Some people with hypothyroidism may need to stimulate their thyroid. Of course, in this case, medical treatment is essential. But certain herbs can help regulate the thyroid better and stimulate it naturally.
Plants that stimulate the thyroid
Here are some plants and natural products that will act positively on the thyroid, especially if it needs to be stimulated.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as “Indian ginseng”, is a medicinal plant that has been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years. Its uses are varied: immunostimulant, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, etc. But here, it is its effects on the thyroid that interest us. The plant is known to increase the production of the T4 hormone and thus stimulates the thyroid.
Ashwagandha is usually consumed as a powder or capsule extract. Consuming ashwagandha can help the organs counter the effects of hypothyroidism. It is also an adaptogenic plant that helps reduce the influence of stress on health. This plant is therefore beneficial on any occasion.
Commiphora Mukul or guggul is a plant native to India, just like ashwagandha. In Ayurvedic medicine, it has been used for almost 3,000 years to treat skin diseases, arthritis, oral infections, digestive disorders, and even obesity. But also to stimulate the thyroid gland! Guggul has biological effects on thyroid homeostasis and lipids. It increases the synthesis of the hormone T3 by acting on the conversion of the T4 hormone into T3. Guggul also allows better assimilation of iodine.
On the other hand, by stimulating the thyroid, guggul plays a role in lipid metabolism. Thus, it helps in reducing weight gain and obesity. Finally, this Indian plant is ideal for limiting the oxidation of liver cells! The liver stores the T4 hormone and it is in this organ that its conversion to the T3 hormone takes place.
Plectranthus barbatus is a plant from the same family as nettle and mint. Its uses are very widespread in Asia, in particular because of its antidepressant and fat-burning effects. But this plant is also interesting for its stimulating effects on the thyroid and the hormones T3 and T4. Its virtues relate directly to the normalization of thyroid function. As such, this is a plant that can be taken in addition to treatment for hypothyroidism.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a plant that is mainly used in herbal tea or in cooking. But we sometimes forget that it also has therapeutic properties. Rosemary is known to influence the activity of T3 hormones and participate in their production. Generally speaking, rosemary stimulates the activity of thyroid hormones, which is ideal for people with hypothyroidism. You just need to incorporate it into your dishes or take it as extracts and regular cures to benefit from its effects.
Spirulina is not a plant, but a cyanobacterium rich in essential nutrients and proteins. The minerals and vitamins it contains play a role in the balance of the thyroid. Not to mention that a spirulina cure will also be beneficial against many forms of stress as well as inflammation, ailments, infections, and strokes of fatigue! Spirulina combines perfectly with ashwagandha and the plants presented here to promote a better general hormonal balance.
Rhodiola is an adaptogenic plant, like ashwagandha. It helps the body fight against all forms of stress that affect it: emotional, oxidative, physical… Its effects on the body make it a natural thyroid regulator. So, to stimulate your thyroid, you can integrate Rhodiola Rosea into your diet. Your whole body will thank you!
By definition, royal jelly is not a plant, but a product of the hive. But that does not matter since this substance is beneficial for the body as well as for the thyroid! Indeed, studies conducted on it show that royal jelly is beneficial for stimulating the thyroid gland. But not only: this substance produced by bees contains hundreds of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. They are all beneficial to the general functioning of the body. Finally, royal jelly also acts on many other functions of the body such as immunity, for example.
Coconut Oil can help boost thyroid function. Its medium-chain fatty acids promote good regulation of the metabolism as a whole. In addition, it is rich in minerals and vitamins, but also in antioxidant substances which are ideal for countering the harmful effects of imbalances in the thyroid gland. Today, coconut oil is the subject of further studies to determine its exact influence on the body.
Nutrients that stimulate the thyroid
Besides plants, there are also other natural solutions to boost the thyroid naturally: nutrients.
Essential for the proper functioning of our brain system, omega 3s are just as important for the thyroid. Increasing your intake of essential fatty acids is a solution to naturally stimulate the thyroid. They are found in certain vegetable oils, nuts, and oily fish.
Magnesium is a mineral difficult to absorb. Nevertheless, it has the advantage of stimulating several systems in our body. For example, it is essential for the transformation of iodine into thyroid hormones. Thus, it is important to ensure that you have a sufficient intake of this essential mineral. It is found in bananas, avocado, spinach, corn, and raisins, among others.
Zinc is another mineral that should not be overlooked. Found in nuts, seeds, seafood, meats, and green vegetables, in particular, it helps regulate the thyroid. Good zinc intakes help to maintain a balance between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This is because low levels of zinc can sometimes cause thyroid problems.
Selenium is found in mushrooms, seeds, dried fruits, and yogurts, among others. This mineral controls the stress process and helps regulate hormonal activity in the body. It acts positively in the treatment of thyroid disorders.
Finally, iodine is also important for the thyroid. Found in table salt, seafood, eggs, and bluefish, it is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid.
Be careful though, as excess iodine can worsen hypothyroidism instead of improving it, as stated by the World Health Organization. It is therefore essential to consult a doctor and analyze your iodine levels before supplementing.
B-complex vitamins to stimulate the thyroid
The B complex vitamins play an important role in the proper functioning of the thyroid. For example, a deficiency of vitamin B6 may be the cause of thyroid problems. Overall, all vitamins are essential, especially those of the B complex group. This is because of the various roles they play in the body. Favor fruits and vegetables to benefit from sufficient and varied intakes of vitamins daily. If you have a thyroid problem, a blood test can help check that it is not related to a B vitamin deficiency.
Exercise and relaxation to stimulate the thyroid
In addition to plants and complementary nutrients, it is possible to adopt a better lifestyle to allow the thyroid to regulate itself better.
Regular physical activity is essential for keeping fit and healthy. Sport also improves the overall functioning of the thyroid gland. Exercise prompts the thyroid to produce hormones, and can also improve the sensitivity of tissues to hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Likewise, exercise is essential for people with hypothyroidism who are looking to lose weight. In general, adopting a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for the regulation of the thyroid and metabolism.
Relieve stress and relax to stimulate the thyroid naturally
Along with medical treatments, herbs, and exercise, relaxation can significantly help stimulate the thyroid. Indeed, stress is an essential factor to take into account. Stressful situations cause the body to produce increased hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine in the body. To produce them, tyrosine is mobilized.
Too much stress can then cause tyrosine deficiency. Relax and conserve your tyrosine reserves! Note that this amino acid is found in bananas, avocados, nuts, and almonds. To reduce your stress, many solutions are available to you: breathing, meditation, yoga, sophrology. Also, act on the causes of stress to get rid of it permanently.
Adopt an antioxidant diet
An antioxidant diet will have beneficial effects on your overall health. Free radicals and other toxins present in excess in the body disrupt the proper functioning of the metabolism and the body in general. So, while a diet rich in antioxidant foods does not directly stimulate the thyroid, it is its beneficial effects on free radicals that help regulate the various systems of the body. Fruits and vegetables will thus be very good allies in regaining health as they are good sources of antioxidants.
The natural thyroid stimulating solutions presented here are effective in improving the quality of life of people prone to hypothyroidism. Play sports and relax too! However, self-medication should always be avoided: nothing replaces the advice of a health professional and the treatment they prescribe.
Mandell is currently working towards a medical degree from the University of Central Florida. His main passions include kayaking, playing soccer and tasting good food. He covers mostly science, health and environmental stories for the Scientific Origin.