Ashwagandha can significantly improve thyroid health, study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) Don’t accept low thyroid function as a ‘normal’ part of life. If you’ve tried (and failed) to find a solution with the help of Western medicine, it may be time for you to explore the value of herbal medicine – especially the health benefits of ashwagandha root.
First, let’s be sure we understand the basics: the thyroid is a gland located in the front of the lower neck. The hormones it produces help to regulate many key functions, including metabolism, respiration, body temperature, heart rate, cholesterol levels and more.
If it becomes either underactive or overactive, many aspects of our health can quickly fall apart.
Ashwagandha helps to balance hormones and immune function
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) are the most common thyroid conditions. They can be precursors to the chronic autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease or a generally overstimulated thyroid.
While there are prescription drugs available for thyroid problems, the herb ashwagandha has been found to bring effective relief without unwanted side effects. The root is also known for its ability to combat stress, anxiety and insomnia – while increasing vitality and energy levels.
The 2017 study involved 50 participants, half male, half female. All of them showed elevated thyroid hormone levels but were not taking medication for it.
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They were given either ashwagandha root or a placebo for 8 weeks. The ashwagandha dose was 300 mg taken twice daily. And, blood samples to measure thyroid function were taken before and after the study period.
Causes and symptoms of thyroid problems can vary
Those who took the ashwagandha root showed significant thyroid improvement in their serum T3, T4, and TSH – three key thyroid hormones. The researchers said their thyroids were essentially brought back to normal.
Mild side effects were experienced by some participants in the form of headache, cough and low fever.
An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid issues of some kind, with many more unaware that they have issues. Hypothyroidism symptoms can include sudden weight gain, chronic fatigue, lethargy, depression, low heart rate, dry skin and memory issues.
Conversely, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) symptoms often include racing heartbeat or palpitations, fatigue, weight loss – despite increased appetite, anxiety and insomnia.
Most scientists aren’t certain of the exact causes of thyroid dysfunction however, environmental toxins, autoimmune disorders, the side effects of medications or an iodine deficiency can play a significant role.
Great way to support thyroid health and your immune system
Ashwagandha has been valued for its healing properties for thousands of years – particularly by ancient cultures in India, the Middle East and Northern Africa. More recently, it’s been incorporated into healing practices by Ayurvedic practitioners.
Ashwagandha, part of the tomato family, is considered an adaptogenic herb. And, adaptogens are well known for their ability to help stabilize hormone function and protect the cells against chronic stress.
Ashwagandha can help just about all systems of the body. It supports both immune system health and thyroid functioning in a really gentle (non-toxic) way.
In addition, studies show positive results as it relates to blood sugar levels, cholesterol status, better memory and overall brain function. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid issue, ask your doctor about ashwagandha plus other herbal remedies to support your health.
If your doctor doesn’t know about herbs – don’t stress out – just find an herbal medicine expert that understands your needs. Don’t give up – until you find what you’re looking for.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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