Suffering from Thyroid Disease? Try These Herbal Remedies.

Doctors prescribe medication for thyroid disease is to 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.[1]

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.[2]

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 contribute to liver dysfunction.[3]

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.[4]

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.

While my clients go through the process of healing their thyroid, I recommend plant medicine for support. Herbal remedies are subtle, so they may not be immediately noticeable, but given due time, you will feel the positive effects.

Here are some of the plant remedies I highly recommend.


Uused 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.

Ginseng 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.


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.[5]

If you are feeling stressed out or suffering from insomnia and reproductive issues, Ashwaganda is an excellent herb to include in your thyroid healing regime.

BUT, if you are hyperthyroid, it may be wise to NOT take Ashwaganda until your thyroid has regulated itself.

A 2014 placebo-controlled study to monitor thyroid for T4, T3 and TSH of 60 patients taking Ashwagandha found that patients taking Ashwagandha reported an increased production of T4.

If you are hyperthyroid you don’t want to increase T4 or T3 as that would make you even more hyper.

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.

I have found Black Walnut to be especially useful for people suffering with Candida and/or bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut and bloating. Many of my thyroid clients often complain about these conditions.

Black walnut is a vermifuge (eliminates worms and parasites) and natural fungicide. It’s a useful ally for those folks with compromised digestive health.



Also known as “lycopus”, Bugleweed 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.”[6]

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)

This is a gentle and 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.”[7]

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.

If you are hypothyroid, this herb may NOT benefit you as it can inhibit T3 conversion. This herb is better for someone struggling with hyperthyroid.


Bladderwrack is 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.”[8]

There is healing power in botanical medicine!

Some of these herbs, combined with a 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, like me.

The information above was taken directly from my best-selling book: Happy Healthy Thyroid, The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally.

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[5] 21st Century Herbal, Michael Balick, PhD, Rodale 2014, pp 306-307

[6] The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood, North Atlantic Books, 2009, p 232

[7] 21st Century Herbal, Michael J. Balick, PhD, Rodale 2014, p. 204