You pull your sweater closer as you let out another yawn.
Still tired. Still cold. This hypothyroidism thing is such a drag.
Now, it’s not as bad as it was. Since your doctor gave you an official diagnosis, you’ve started taking medication and made a few lifestyle adjustments.
The depression doesn’t seem as deep, and you’ve finally been able to lose a few pounds.
But still, you wish this condition would just disappear altogether.
You start doing research and discover the power of herbs. Ashwagandha pops up in the search results, and you start to dig in further.
Could this herb really make a difference for you if you’re struggling with hypothyroidism? You’re in the right place because that’s the very question we’re addressing in today’s article.
What is Hypothyroidism?
A gland that looks like a butterfly and wraps around your trachea, your thyroid is responsible for creating hormones that regulate how you metabolize food, body temperature, breathing, heart rate, and more (1).
Hypothyroidism means your thyroid gland isn’t doing its job properly. It’s also called an “underactive thyroid”, meaning your thyroid gland isn’t producing enough hormones to keep things running smoothly. The result leaves you feeling sluggish, constipated, bloated, tired, and achy (2).
How does this happen? Oftentimes hypothyroidism develops from an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease (3), which causes your immune cells to attack your thyroid. This slows everything down, leading to hypothyroidism.
Ashwagandha and Hypothyroidism
While prescribed medication is one of the first courses of treatment a doctor might take, some people don’t process the artificial hormones well.
If you’re looking to add more natural remedies to better support your thyroid and overall immune function, checking your diet can be a good place to start.
Reducing or eliminating sugar and gluten can help lessen your symptoms (4,5). Adding more iodine and probiotic-rich foods can also help your thyroid function more efficiently (6). But what about herbs like ashwagandha?
Found in the Middle East and parts of Africa, the Withania somnifera shrub, also known as winter cherry, Indian ginseng, or ashwagandha, yields an herb that is gaining popularity in the United States for its potential to help reduce stress and strengthen your immune system (9).
In regard to hypothyroidism, one pilot study found that taking 600mg of ashwagandha for at least 8 weeks significantly improved thyroid levels in participants with low thyroid function (7).
Should you take ashwagandha for thyroid issues? That depends on several factors, including:
- Severity of symptoms
- Personal choice
Talking with your healthcare provider can help you spot any potential reasons not to take this herb.
How to Take Ashwagandha for Hypothyroidism
Natural health companies are tuning into ashwagandha’s healing potential and are coming out with several different formulations. Depending on your lifestyle and personal preference, you can choose between:
- Applied topically
Some people don’t like the bitter, earthy flavor of this herb. Mixing it with foods, smoothies, or taking a flavored form can help make for a more enjoyable experience.
How much ashwagandha should you take? Before starting any new regimen, always consult with your doctor to rule out any potential risks.
Whichever form you decide to take, a safe dose seems to be about 500mg per day (8). If you notice any upset stomach, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, discontinue right away.
Other Herbs that Support Low Thyroid Function
Ashwagandha is undoubtedly a superhero when it comes to boosting your immune system and jumpstarting a sluggish thyroid. But is that the only helpful herb?
Nature offers a few more plant companions that stimulate lower thyroid function, such as:
- Bacopa: an ancient Ayurvedic tonic used primarily for improving brain health, bacopa has also been shown to improve thyroid hormone production and increase antioxidant numbers in an animal study (11).
- Black cumin seed: this delicate flowering plant holds some powerful seeds. Black cumin seeds are not only anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants, but they have also been shown to greatly improve thyroid levels in patients with hypothyroidism (13).
- Bladderwack: This type of sea kelp is naturally rich in iodine, which helps control how your thyroid functions (10). Use caution, however, because consuming too much iodine could result in goiter.
- Coleus: a colorful member of the mint family, the extract of the coleus forskohlii root seems to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones, specifically T3 and T4 (12).
Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid isn’t making the hormones your body needs to metabolize properly. This can affect how well you digest your foods, how well you stay warm, your skin, hair, and joints.
Ashwagandha is a natural herb that has been used medicinally for centuries. Its anti-inflammatory properties act as a support system for your immune cells, which is important when addressing diseases like Hashimoto’s.
If you’re curious about adding ashwagandha to your treatment plan, talk with a doctor to discuss dosing, frequency, and safety. Look for companies who run have their products third-party tested and guarantee quality.
Hypothyroidism can be treated, and with the right herbs you may find yourself healing faster than you imagined possible. Know someone who might want to try ashwagandha for themselves? Share this with them today!
References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author