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Ashwagandha Benefits: Is This Herb Good For Thyroid Patients?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 13 December 2022, Updated on - 29 December 2022

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Did you know, thyroid disorders affect almost 200 million people across the world? Among its types, hyper and hypothyroidism are the two most common endocrine disorders that originate due to the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. These disorders can manifest as fatigue, rapid weight gain or loss, hair loss, bulging eyes, mood changes, depression, menstrual abnormalities, and even infertility. While thyroid disorders are usually treated with the help of oral medications, a potent herb called ashwagandha has become popular as an alternative thyroid treatment. Though there aren't many studies to prove that ashwagandha can heal this metabolic disease, it can help manage the symptoms.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a flowering plant that is used as a traditional herb for hundreds of years to treat a variety of illnesses, including fatigue, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disturbances, and menstruation issues. Ashwagandha helps in boosting immunity and prevents the development of autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

What Are The Ashwagandha Benefits For Thyroid?

Ashwagandha is good for thyroid function in multiple ways:

  1. Boosts thyroid hormone levels by reducing cortisol (stress hormone)
  2. Stimulates the endocrine system, thereby improving thyroid hormone levels
  3. Reduces cholesterol levels in people with hypothyroidism
  4. Normalizes thyroid biomarkers

Effects Of Ashwagandha On Thyroid

Hypothyroidism

There have been limited studies on the effects of ashwagandha on thyroid function. However, some studies indicate that ashwagandha can be a potent alternative treatment for those suffering from hypothyroidism.

An 8-week study of 50 hypothyroid patients found that supplementing 600 mg (milligrams) of ashwagandha root extract daily resulted in significant improvements in their thyroid levels as compared to those who received a placebo. The group also showed 41.5% and 19.6% increases in triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels, respectively. Furthermore, the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were also reduced by 17.5%.

Ashwagandha is believed to increase thyroid hormone levels by decreasing cortisol levels.

Hyperthyroidism

No studies have been conducted on the effect of ashwagandha supplementation on hyperthyroidism.

However, it has been noted that ashwagandha may worsen the symptoms of hyperthyroidism by increasing T3 and T4 levels in the body and result in thyrotoxicosis, a severe form of hyperthyroidism.

Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a doctor before having ashwagandha, especially if one has hyperthyroidism.

How To Use Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is usually available in the form of powder and tablets.

  1. Ashwagandha Tablets: 1 pill or capsule of ashwagandha taken twice a day with warm water or milk can provide considerable benefits.
  2. Ashwagandha Powder: Take one-fourth or half a teaspoon of ashwagandha with warm water, milk or ghee, twice daily to reap the benefits.

While a diet should be high in healthy fats, protein, and fibre, adding some herbs and antioxidants can help manage hormonal imbalances more effectively. However, one must consult a doctor before taking herbal supplements as they may interfere with any pre-existing medications or treatments. For expert advice,

Consult An Apollo Endocrinologist

 

Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

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