One of the reasons doctors prescribe medication for thyroid disease is to help ease a patient’s suffering and pain. The problem with most prescription medications though, is their negative side effects.
Medications for hypothyroid can lead to rapid or irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, irritability, tremors, impaired fertility, shortness of breath, nervousness, sleeplessness, hair loss, and decreased bone density.
Medications for hyperthyroid and graves can cause skin rash, itching, abnormal hair loss, vomiting, swelling, joint and muscle pain, dizziness, drowsiness, decreased white blood cells, decreased platelets, and unusual bleeding.
People initially feel better on the medication, but within a few months or years, they often feel much worse due to the side effects.
Unfortunately, when taking prescription medication, the root cause of the thyroid condition is never addressed. Plus, synthetic prescription medications can contribute to liver dysfunction. It’s a double whammy!
Herbal medicine, on the other hand, is much gentler on the body than pharmaceutical drugs. Botanical treatments have been around for thousands of years and are based on the use of plants and plant extracts that can be taken internally or used externally.
Many of these time-tested remedies can help ease suffering and pain without negative side effects, as well as heal the body on a deep nutritive level.
It’s time we get back to a more gentle type of healing.
While my clients go through the process of healing their thyroid, I recommend plant medicine for additional support. Herbal remedies are subtle, so they may not be immediately noticeable, but given due time, you will feel the positive effects.
Below are some of the plant remedies I recommend:
Ginseng– used in Traditional Chinese Medicine since 190 AD. It is considered an “adaptogen” – a substance that strengthens the body and increases the body’s ability to handle stress. It doesn’t directly affect the thyroid gland, but it has been used to help boost immunity, increase energy and vitality, and alleviate chronic fatigue and adrenal exhaustion. If you are suffering with hypothyroid and fatigue this would be a good herb to help boost energy.
Ashwaganda – In Ayurvedic medicine ashwaganda is used to treat age-related physical debility and impotence. It acts on the reproductive and nervous system and has sedative and immune strengthening properties. If you are feeling stressed out or suffering from insomnia and reproductive issues, Ashwaganda is a good herb to include in your healing regime.
Black Walnut Hull – according to herbalist, Phyllis Light, Black Walnut Hull is the traditional remedy for treating goiter and hypothyroidism. This herb is also used to tone the intestines and digestive system as a whole. It is especially useful for people suffering with Candida and/or bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut and bloating.
Bugleweed – also know as “lycopus” is an excellent remedy for hyperthyroid and thyroid storms. According to Master Herbalist, Matthew Wood, “Lycopus was discovered to be an excellent remedy for hyperthyroidism and hyperadrenalism. It reduces the output of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary, turning down the setting on the thyroid level.” If you are feeling hyper at night and cannot sleep or you are suffering with extreme nervousness, or heart-pounding thyroid storms, put this herb to work on calming down your system.
Melissa (Lemon Balm) – is an effective treatment for Graves and hyperthyroid. “In the Middle Ages, people used this herb to reduce stress and anxiety, promote restful sleep, improve appetite, lower fever and ease the pain and discomfort of indigestion.” Another traditional use of Lemon Balm is as an antiviral. Many people suffering with thyroid disorders often complain of frequent cold sores and herpes virus infections (including Epstein Barr). Lemon Balm directly inhibits viral replication which eases the load on the liver, and can help stop viruses from growing out of control.
Bladderwrack – a sea plant used as tincture and eaten, too. This plant is beneficial for both hyper and hypo thyroid. Regular consumption of Bladderwrack can normalize a swollen prostate, lower chronic high blood pressure, promote healing and improve sleep. “Much of the iodine in bladderwrack presents as di-iodotyrosine, an immediate precursor of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine. This makes it the sea vegetable of choice for treating thyroid disorders by providing the immediate precursors for T4 and T3.”
Don’t disregard the power of botanical medicine. Some of these herbs, combined with a nourishing thyroid healing diet, have the right ingredients to shift your body into healing and out of suffering!
When using herbs of any kind, from the sea or from the land, it’s best to work with a knowledgeable practitioner. If you live in the United States you can find an herbalist through The American Herbalist Guild.
As far as reducing your thyroid prescription medications, remember to take it slow. Keep in mind that getting off your medication is only recommended if you currently have a thyroid. If you do not have a thyroid due to RAI or thyroidectomy, you may need to remain on some type of thyroid hormone replacement.
The information above was taken directly from my best-selling book: Happy Healthy Thyroid, The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally. Did you find it useful?
Opt in here to get two FREE chapters of Happy Healthy Thyroid. Plus, you’ll receive crucial information about healing the thyroid delivered directly to your email inbox. https://www.synthroid.com/whatissynthroid/sideeffects.aspx  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682464.html  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10580751  http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00469/Herbal-Botanical-Medicine-Dr-Weils-Wellness-Therapies.html  21st Century Herbal, Michael Balick, PhD, Rodale 2014, pp 306-307  The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood, North Atlantic Books, 2009, p 232  21st Century Herbal, Michael J. Balick, PhD, Rodale 2014, p. 204  http://www.ryandrum.com/seaxpan1.html
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.