Ashwagandha for Thyroid
The key benefit of taking ashwagandha for the thyroid is coping with the stress level which is considered the major underlying cause of thyroid disorders. Therefore, ashwagandha can be a great herbal supplement for maintaining a healthy thyroid function.
With the growing concern of sedentary lifestyles, people often lack adequate physical activity and gradually develop metabolism issues that are closely interlinked to the thyroid.
Though prescription medications can help, they generally come with several unwanted adverse effects and may develop many severe complications in long-term use. For this reason, a large number of people are turning to herbal supplements such as ashwagandha as a first and foremost option for thyroid-related issues nowadays.
Before we dive deep into ashwagandha for thyroid, it’s worth knowing the basics of thyroid and its disorders a little bit more.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that’s situated in the front of the neck and wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). The thyroid gland releases hormones that help maintain various vital functions of the body, especially metabolism. When it doesn’t work properly, it can affect the entire body.
Types of thyroid disorders
The thyroid plays a major role in several body functions including metabolism, growth, and bone health.
There are 3 vital hormones that are essential for a healthy thyroid –
- T3 or triiodothyronine
- T4 or thyroxine
- TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone
TSH is released by the pituitary gland of the brain and it stimulates the thyroid gland to release T3 and T4. An imbalance among them may develop thyroid problems.
In general, there’re 2 major types of thyroid disorders –
- Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid
- Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a condition when the thyroid gland doesn’t release adequate levels of hormones. In contrast, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid overproduces thyroid hormones, thus also called overactive thyroid. Both conditions are critical and may cause serious health issues if left untreated.
Symptoms of thyroid disorders
Symptoms vary depending on the underlying issues of the thyroid.
Most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include –
- Weight gain
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Goiters or enlarged thyroid glands
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Muscles and joints pain
Most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include –
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular and rapid heart rate
- Hair loss
- Unintentional weight loss
Causes of thyroid disorders
Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is often associated with iodine deficiency, specific medications, and most importantly an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which causes the thyroid gland to stop working properly.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid is usually caused by thyroid nodules that are metabolically active and release too much thyroid hormones, and an autoimmune disorder called Grave’s disease.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is an ancient medicinal herb that has historically been used in many traditional medicines to treat diverse health conditions including pain, inflammation, stress, and anxiety for almost 5000 years.
The term “ashwagandha” was derived from an ancient language of India called “Sanskrit”. In Sanskrit, “ashwa” meaning “horse” and “gandha” meaning “smell”. “Ashwagandha” refers to the “smell of horse”.
Ashwagandha, which is scientifically known as Withania somnifera, is considered one of the most powerful adaptogens in the world.
A legendary scholar of Indian traditional medicine (Ayurveda) Charaka mentioned ashwagandha in his famous book “Charak Samhita” (around 100 BC) as –
“One can obtain longevity, regain youthfulness, get sharp memory and freedom from diseases, get shiny complexion, and strength of a horse.”
Benefits of ashwagandha for thyroid
Ashwagandha has diverse potential health benefits and can improve overall thyroid health while taking without any thyroid issue. But while considering if ashwagandha can help to cope with thyroid problems, one should obviously explore necessary information and consult with a licensed healthcare provider.
Ashwagandha for an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
Ashwagandha has been found very effective in treating hypothyroidism by stimulating the secretion of thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4 and reducing cortisol levels, which plays a key role in increasing stress in the body.
Major benefits of ashwagandha for underactive thyroid include-
- It calms anxiety
- Reduces inflammatory conditions
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Boosts overall immunity
- Improves brain fog
- Increases energy levels
- Supports nervous system
Ashwagandha for an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
Since ashwagandha helps to stimulate the secretion of thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4 and increases hormone levels in the body, it may exacerbate symptoms of hyperthyroidism and worsen the conditions.
Extremely high levels of thyroid hormones in the blood are called thyrotoxicosis and may lead to serious health conditions like sudden weight loss, heart failure, skin problems, and extreme thirst. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a licensed medical practitioner before taking ashwagandha in hyperthyroidism.
How to use ashwagandha for thyroid
Ashwagandha helps to improve resiliency in the body, and hence thyroid health, and remarkable support to the nervous system. Though the doses of ashwagandha herb widely vary depending on the severity of symptoms, commonly 500 mg to 1000 mg of standardized ashwagandha root extract is recommended once or twice a day.
The water decoction of ashwagandha herb, popularly known as “Ashwagandharista”, may also be recommended by healthcare providers 15 ml to 30 ml once or twice a day or as per conditions. 3 gm to 6 gm crude Ashwagandha root powder may also be used with milk, water, smoothies, or juices.
Before choosing an ashwagandha supplement, make sure the brand is trusted for a long time and uses only pure natural ingredients. Also, check out if the laboratory is GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified and produces standard quality products.
Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years to treat different health conditions such as weakness, fatigue, depression, pain, and inflammation among others, and may help improve hypothyroidism conditions. But it may worsen overactive thyroid conditions if not applied properly.
Vorst, a reputed brand of Celex Laboratories Inc., has been producing high-quality natural health supplements since 1987. We use only natural ingredients in our GMP-certified laboratory to ensure the purity and efficacy that come from mother nature.
The information including the advice of this article is generic and solely intended for educational purposes and never replaces any prescribed medical advice for the thyroid. To use any part of this guide, it’s compulsory to seek the direct medical supervision from a licensed healthcare provider.