Thyroid disorders are one of the most common endocrine disorders in the world. The thyroid gland is responsible for the body’s metabolism, protein production, and calcium level balance in the body.
Disease in thyroid gland arises due to irregular levels of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is due to under activity of thyroid gland and decreased levels of thyroid hormones. It is a quite common disease and can occur at any age.
For hypothyroidism, most of the patients are ultimately rendered with the lifelong supplementation of synthetic thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone replacement drugs and surgery are the sole treatment methods in allopathic treatment to fulfill the deficient levels of thyroid hormones.
On this line, Ayurvedic treatment can be an ideal way to get rid of daily hormone supplementation. The Ayurvedic approach towards hypothyroidism has become an effective and popular way as it does not depend on synthetic drugs and so has no side effects.
Ayurveda considers hypothyroidism as a state of suppressed Agni (digestive power) and aggravated kapha & vata dosha.
What are the characteristics of hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism slows down the body and weight gain along with lethargy is its most typical symptom. It results in high cholesterol, intolerance to cold, hair loss, skin & hair dryness, slowed breathing, puffiness in eyes & face, swelling of hands & feet, and heart disease.
It may also result in mental stress, makes the body more prone to infections, decreased brain functioning, skin de-pigmentation, reduced blood glucose levels, and menstrual problems in women.
Such life-threatening ailments should be cured entirely rather than relieving symptoms momentarily. For this, let’s find out the Ayurvedic way to treat hypothyroidism.
What is Ayurvedic way to treat hypothyroidism?
Ayurvedic line of management mainly targets on stimulating Agni (digestive fire), balancing aggravated kapha & vata dosha, clearing blocked channels (srotas) of body, and restoring the normal bodily functions with the help of Rasayana therapy.
For this, many herbs, and Panchakarma procedures are employed after considering the patient’s strength, state of disease, and Prakriti.
Ayurvedic palliative therapy
Palliative therapy herbs and their preparations are used which stimulates suppressed digestive fire as well as digests & clears the ama i.e.; toxins build up in the body due to indigestion.
Ayurvedic herbs like Indian pennywort, Orchid tree, Indian costus root, Guggulu gum, Indian elecampane, Crataeva nurvula winter cherry, willow bark, prickly chaff flower, water hyacinth, flaxseed, cassia tree, ginger are beneficial in raising thyroid levels as well as reduce the associated symptoms.
Take these herbs in the form of their extract juices, paste, decoctions, or as extract pills.
Herbal preparations like Pancakola powder, vaishwanara powder, Guggulutiktaka Kwatha, varunadi Kwatha, kanchanara guggulu, navaka guggulu, guggulu tiktaka ghee, shiva gutika, punarnava mandura are suggested in hypothyroidism.
Most of these herbs are of heating nature as they decrease the aggravated kapha dosha and helps in losing extra weight. So such herbs and their preparations should be used in proper dosage and with an appropriate diet to preserve the body energy.
Panchakarma for hypothyroidism
Panchakarma procedures form a prominent part in the management of hypothyroidism. It is essential to clear the blocked channels and eliminate aggravated doshas. Before Panchakarma, palliative therapy is administered for regulating Agni.
Vamana i.e., emesis is the ideal Panchakarma method for elimination of excessive kapha dosha. It increases Agni and removes the toxins from the body. But this can be prescribed only for patients with good body strength.
Nasya i.e., nasal administration of medicinal oils are said to be the best to eliminate the aggravated kapha doshas from neck and head region. Moreover, it strengthens our sense of organs & mind.
In hypothyroidism, nasya of oils like Anu oil, Shadbindu oil, Nirgundi oil, and Guda ardrakam are very useful.
Basti i.e., enema, can be administered to pacify the aggravated Vata dosha. In the case of hypothyroidism, oil enema and decoction enema can be given alternatively.
Takradhara i.e., pouring medicated buttermilk or medicinal liquids overhead and Shiro- abhyanga (head massage) are one of the natural and best methods to counteract depressive mood disorders, anxiety, & hypothyroidism.
Rasayana therapy (Rejuvenation)
After the elimination of doshas and stimulation of Agni, Rasayana drugs are employed to balance Tridoshas and restore the metabolism of the body.
Rasayana drugs like Guda Bhallatak ghee, milk decoction of garlic, Shilajatu, Citraka are best for rejuvenation of body in hypothyroidism.
What is the diet for hypothyroidism?
Ayurveda believes that thyroid disorders are a result of gut disturbances. Poor diet and improper digestive activity are one of the prominent causes of hypothyroidism. So to establish a strong gut-thyroid connection, it is essential to look after one’s dietary habits.
Proper Ayurvedic diet ensures proper digestion and builds up ojas i.e. essence of all body tissues.
- Eat fresh, local, natural, and organic foods
- To improve digestion, use digestive spices like cinnamon, fennel, ginger, turmeric, & cardamom
- Include khichari (green lentil & rice porridge) added with cumin, ghee, & black pepper in your daily diet. It is light to digest and helps in weight loss
- Decrease the intake of raw vegetables like radish, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, soy, Brussel sprouts, & peanuts. These reduce the functioning of thyroid hormones. However, you can take them after cooking it with above digestive spices
- Avoid using pearl millets, sweets, & heavy to digest foods
- Drinking ginger tea is an excellent option to regulate thyroid hormone levels
- Vegetables like beetroot, drumstick, moringa, garlic, onions are advisable.
- Take one teaspoon of flaxseed powder with water regularly to balance thyroid hormones
- Use cow ghee and coconut oil for cooking, or you can drink a glass of milk added with two teaspoons of coconut oil to regulate thyroid functioning
Yoga for hypothyroidism
Yoga is believed to rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. Ayurveda recommends many yogic asanas (postures) to regulate thyroid levels. Performing following yoga poses on a regular basis are proven to be very beneficial in treating hypothyroidism
- Surya Namaskar
- Surya bhedana
- Ujjayi Pranayama
Ayurveda attempts to treat a disease from its root rather than treating only symptoms and providing momentary relief. Knowledge of Agni, dosha, dhatu, Prakriti, and resorting to cleansing measures in different seasons can prevent thyroid disorders.
Hypothyroidism brings a lot of mental as well as physical stress. Herbal remedies, Panchakarma procedures, Ayurvedic dietary, and lifestyle changes are an ideal way to cure hypothyroidism and restore health completely.