Note: Do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Use home remedies just as an adjunct treatment.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck just below the Adam’s apple. It is considered the chief gland regulating the body’s energy and metabolism. When the thyroid is overactive and produces excessive amounts of the thyroxin hormone, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism.
Common causes of hyperthyroidism include the autoimmune disorder known as Graves’ disease, inflammation of the thyroid gland, abnormal secretion of thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH), excessive intake of iodine, or benign lumps or nodules in the thyroid.
While anyone can suffer from hyperthyroidism, the condition occurs eight times more often in women than in men. It can develop as early as in their 30s, but symptoms are more common in women over 60.
Several signs could be indicative of hyperthyroidism such as drastic weight loss, an irregular heartbeat, nervousness, excessive perspiration, changes in the menstrual cycle, swelling at the base of the neck, fatigue, muscle weakness and difficulty sleeping.
As many of the signs of hyperthyroidism are common to other conditions, it can be a bit challenging to diagnose the problem quickly.
The sooner an overactive thyroid is diagnosed, the easier it will be to bring it back under control with medications, supplements, and lifestyle changes. Hyperthyroidism can also be treated with some natural ingredients. However, make sure you consult your doctor and do not self-treat your condition.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for hyperthyroidism.
The herb bugleweed, also known as Lycopusvirginica, can help manage mild hyperthyroidism. This particular herb reduces the amount of hormone that is produced by the thyroid.
Studies have found that it helps decrease TSH levels and impairs thyroid hormone synthesis. (1) Moreover, it helps lower T4 levels and blocks the conversion of T4 to T3.
- Prepare an herbal tea by putting one-half teaspoon (or a little less) of bugleweed in a cup of boiling water and allowing it to steep for several minutes. Strain and cool, and then enjoy this tea once daily.
- You can also take this herb in the form of tincture (two to six ml per day). Furthermore, a combination of bugleweed, motherwort and lemon balm is highly effective in treating hyperthyroidism naturally.
Note: Do not use this herb for hypothyroidism or an enlarged thyroid gland. Also, it may not be suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
2. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, is an herb that can help normalize an overactive thyroid by reducing TSH levels. It contains flavonoids, phenolic acids and other useful compounds that regulate the thyroid.
In fact, it blocks the activity of antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland and cause Graves’ disease, which is a common form of hyperthyroidism. (2) To restore your thyroid activity to a healthy level, drink lemon balm tea.
- Add two tablespoons of lemon balm to one cup of boiling water. (3)
- Let it steep for about five minutes.
- Strain and drink this tea 3 times a day.
You may start the treatment with a lesser dosage, about one-half or one teaspoon of lemon balm, and gradually increase the amount to two tablespoons.
The herb motherwort, also known as Leonurus cardiaca, acts as a natural beta-blocker and helps control tachycardia (high heart rate) and palpitations. It has some anti-thyroid activity as well, which makes it even more beneficial for those suffering from hyperthyroid conditions.
- Steep one-half teaspoon of motherwort in one cup of boiling water for at least five minutes. Strain and cool.
- Drink this tea three times daily.
It is essential to note that this herb must be avoided if you are taking any kind of sedating medications.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If your body is not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, there can be hormonal imbalance, including thyroid hormones. These essential fatty acids are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function and cell growth, and also help improve the ability to respond to thyroid hormones.
You can increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating more fish, grass-fed animal products, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains substances known as isothiocyanates and goitrogens, which help restrain the thyroid from producing too much hormone. Therefore, anyone suffering from hyperthyroidism must try to eat uncooked broccoli as much as possible.
Other cruciferous vegetables that may be helpful are brussel sprouts, cauliflower, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, kale, mustard greens, and radishes.
6. Antioxidants and Proteins
An antioxidant-rich diet is helpful in managing hyperthyroidism. Increased level of thyroid hormones due to hyperthyroidism is linked to free-radical damage and oxidative in the body.
Antioxidants are beneficial for reducing the oxidative stress. (4) Include foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, selenium and magnesium in your diet. To get these nutrients, include fresh fruits and vegetables like berries, grapes, tomatoes, squash and bell peppers in your diet. You can also take a multivitamin.
Also, get more protein in your diet. An overactive thyroid causes your muscles to break down more easily. Protein, especially whey protein, enhances muscle mass as well as strength.
You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of whey protein powder in your smoothies to get the protein. In addition, eat more plant-based proteins by including beans, nuts, nut butters, seeds and yogurt in your diet. You can also eat lean meats, cold-water fish, and eggs but avoid eating red meats and processed meats.
7. Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables are a good source of iodine, an important mineral for thyroid health. The natural iodine present in sea vegetables can normalize thyroid-related disorders like weight fluctuations and lymph system congestion. These vegetables also contain a good amount of vitamin K, B-vitamin folate, magnesium, iron and calcium.
Some of the sea vegetables that you can use in the treatment of hyperthyroidism are kelp, kombu, hijiki, nori, arame, sea palm, etc. They are usually available in dried form at groceries.
You can use these vegetables by crushing, chopping or crumbling any mix of dry sea vegetables you like into soups and sauces, pizzas, casseroles, rice and salads.
Cabbage is one of the most useful foods that can be used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Cabbage contains a good amount of dietary goitrogens, substances that help reduce thyroid hormone production. For best results, eat uncooked cabbage.
Berries are rich in vitamins and various antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation of the thyroid gland. You can eat different types of berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries and others.
10. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, can treat many health problems including hyperthyroidism. Indian gooseberry, due to its ameliorating effects on the thyroid gland, can help to control the production of thyroid hormones.
Mix Indian gooseberry powder with honey to make a thick paste and eat it in the morning before breakfast.
These are some of the foods that naturally suppress thyroid hormone production to help in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Also, try to limit your intake of dairy products and caffeine as much as possible to manage hyperthyroidism successfully.