Is Iodine Enough?
Iodine may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of healthy thyroid function, but sometimes taking iodine alone isn’t enough. Ayurveda suggests some herbs to support healthy iodine absorption into the thyroid.
Guggul for Thyroid
In one study, guggul (Commiphora mukul) was shown to increase uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland. This is perhaps due to enhanced activities of thyroid peroxidase and protease, as well as oxygen consumption, all of which were found with guggul supplementation.1
Another study on guggul supplementation suggests that its constituent factors have the ability to counteract thyroid dampening agents in otherwise healthy subjects.2
In a final study, after 30 days, certain constituents in guggul were found to boost activity of enzymes—like super-oxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and lipid peroxides (LPO)—all of which support healthy thyroid function. This increased antioxidant activity is thought to be responsible for the increase in T3 and T4 thyroid hormone levels also noted in this study.3
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Ashwagandha for Thyroid
According to Ayurveda, guggul is best used in conjunction with ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Studies suggest there are constituents in ashwagandha that also support healthy lipid peroxide levels (LPO) in the liver, where thyroid hormones are manufactured.4
SOD and CAT levels were found to be significantly increased after supplementation with ashwagandha. Certain constituents in ashwagandha are thought to support natural production of these enzymes, which counteract thyroid-depressing agents in otherwise healthy individuals, resulting in higher levels of T4, the precursor hormone to T3, considered the active thyroid hormone.4,5 Other studies have measured a boost in both T3 and T4 levels in correlation with ashwagandha supplementation.5
Ashwagandha is one of the world’s most potent adaptogens, which means it supports a healthy response to stress. In one study, 64 chronically stressed subjects were given 300mg of ashwagandha twice a day for two months. The group that ingested ashwagandha saw a significant reduction in scores on all stress-assessment scales compared to placebo.6
According to researchers, these findings suggest that ashwagandha root safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance to stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.
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Takeaway: Herbs for Thyroid
Read all of my thyroid article here.