Thyroid Natural Supplements & Cures © 2014 #1

Do you Have Depression or an Under-Active Thyroid

An underactive thyroid can be diagnosed as depression and vice versa. It's also possible to have both :-(
Not only can mental health problems be mistakenly attributed to an underactive thyroid but an underactive thyroid is a very common coexisting condition in depression and bipolar syndrome. I encourage you to explore the possibility that you have an underlying thyroid dysfunction and it may be contributing to your mental health problem and address it with natural therapies.

Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist and do your own research including using the temperature test below.

Dr. Barns Basal Temperature Test

This simple test does not replace full laboratory blood work however it’s a useful way to monitor your progress at home.
Leave a thermometer (already shaken down if necessary) by your bed ready for the morning.
Upon waking, place the thermometer in your armpit and lie on that side while lying completely still and relaxing for 10 minutes. It is imperative that you do not arouse or exert yourself before taking the temperature, for example getting out of bed for the toilet would produce useless results, even talking or reading will produce inaccuracies. 
Repeat this procedure for 3-4 mornings. Women should do the test on the second, third, fourth and fifth day of menstruating for the best results.

The average of the readings should be between 97.8--98.2'F or 36.55--36.68'C. Lower readings indicate hypothyroid function (under active), higher readings indicate hyperthyroid function (overactive).
Average (divide the total by 4)        

Natural Treatments for Thyroid Problems

For successful thyroid treatment you must address to sort out any health issues you have in your adrenal function and ability to control blood sugar such as insulin resistance, syndrome X or even just hypoglycaemia. You must also eliminate heavy metal toxicity from mercury and cadmium particularly seeHeavy Metal Detoxification as these can interfere with thyroid function and if present will prevent effective treatment. Once you have made a start on addressing these fundamental aspects of your health combine specific remedies to treat the thyroid including herbs and exercises to produce a strong therapeutic effect. 
If you’ve been taking 75 µg or less of thyroxin for less than 2 years it is definitely possible (not guaranteed of course) with the right combination of natural treatments to regenerate the thyroid sufficiently to be able to give up using thyroxin. If you can taking higher doses of thyroxin for longer periods of time it becomes less likely that you will be able to it up altogether, but it may be possible to reduce your prescription, and or stabilise your dosage if you have been having to increase it.
The herbal treatments below are part of the traditional naturopathic approach to treating thyroid problems, hard scientific research on their effectiveness has not been carried out.

Herbal Thyroid Remedies


More commonly known for its helpful effects in calming anxiety ashwagandha is also used to help regeneration of healthy thyroid function


Bladderwrack is used for hypothyroidism. It should be included in a hypothyroid treatment protocol, combined with other herbs and nutrients. This herb does contain a small amount of iodine and so in theory some people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should avoid this herb, however the amount of iodine very small and if you are addressing the auto immunity aspect of Hashimoto’s syndrome the small amount of iodine in bladderwrack should not present any problems and the overall therapeutic effect of this herb of regenerating thyroid function make it worth taking. I think the best current source of information on autoimmunity and thyroid health problems is: Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Syndrome? By Kharrazian.


Guggul is a herbal compound traditionally used in our ayuverdic medicine, today it is mainly known as a medicine for lowering cholesterol however it has also been shown to stimulate healthy synthesis of T3 hormones (Panda S, Kar A. Gugulu induces triiodothyronine production, Life Sciences. 1999; 65 (12): 137-141).

Motherwort and Bugleweed

These 2 herbs are used for or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and Graves’ disease. 

Thyroid Pituitary Dysfunction 

One of the many hormones the pituitary gland releases this called thyroid stimulating hormone and excess or deficiency of this hormone from the pineal gland will result in an apparent imbalance in thyroid function. The primary herb used to regulate the function of the pituitary gland is called Agnes Castus or chaste tree berries.

Thyroid Nutritional Supplements


Iodine deficiency is quite common and if you are taking iodine supplements on top of a diet rich iodine containing foods  can speed up your recovery. You can easily find iodine supplements from good health shops, ideally chose chelated organic formulations such as concentrated kelp extract rather than inorganic iodine like Lugols, the latter are less efficient but are very cheap and will still work. You can even use the old-fashioned iodine tincture that used to be used as an anti-septic to sterilise cuts, it’s still available for purchase from independent chemists. A dab of this 2 ½% iodine tincture on the skin about the size of a UK to 10p coin (¾” inch or 2 cm) on the skin is a dose. What I like about this method is if you make a note of the length of time it takes for the steam to disappear and you notice that the length of time significantly increases from say 2 hours to 4 hours, it tells you that your body has absorbed enough iodine and you no longer need a daily dose. At this point reapply the dose once or twice a week until you noticed the time begin to increase again. It’s important not to always apply this iodine in the same place as this can cause skin irritation, simply vary the site of application.

Foods exceptionally rich in iodine are sea vegetables or seaweed and cranberries. Add a few pinches of dried seaweed to soups and stews and you will easily cover your iodine needs; home-made cranberry chutney is delicious and easy to make, substitute xylitol for the sugar. Most seafood, fish, lobsters et cetera are rich in iodine as our potatoes and yoghurt, however improperly cooked potatoes can have a high glycaemic index and many people should avoid dairy because of allergy or mucus problems.
In the event of a nuclear radiation leak quickly flood your body with iodine from any source particularly potassium iodide to prevent your body from absorbing radioactive iodine.

Don’t Take Too Much Iodine

Taking too much iodine, over 400 µg a day can actually be counter-productive and suppress thyroid function.


Selenium is an essential cofactor for the enzyme that converts T4 into T3.


Zinc supplementation improves thyroid hormone production; zinc may also be helpful in reducing thyroid antibodies if thyroid autoimmunity is an underlying problem.

L Tyrosine

Tyrosine is the amino acid precursors to thyroxine and supplementing it seems to make sense. For many years now I have always included the amino acid L tyrosine in my prescriptions for under active thyroid conditions and observed a significantly increased rate of recovery. Before I included tyrosine my combines treatments would tend to produce an increase in the Barns basal temperature test above of about 1°C per month and since including it I tend to achieve an increase of 1.5 to 2°C per month; however I highly respect the work of Kharrazian and in his book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Syndrome? He advises against the inclusion of L tyrosine suggesting that it may suppress thyroid function. In my practice I will continue to use it because I see it significantly increasing the effectiveness of my therapeutic methods, I just want to mention the possibility that it may have the opposite effect; it may well be that there is some aspects of the treatment I use that prevents the antagonistic affect that Dr Kharrazian mentions.

Dietary and Lifestyle Practices for Thyroid Problems

It’s very important to eliminate anything that causes ups and downs in your energy level and may put additional demands on your thyroid to maintain your energy, these include fluctuations in blood sugar and stress hormones. 
Not addressing stress/adrenal hormone and blood sugar issues can prevent your efforts to restore thyroid health, don’t think of them as separate issues and ignore them. One of the central techniques used in functional holistic medicine that makes it so effective is you treat all the body systems connected to the central issue, this reinforces the main treatment and eliminates inhibiting forces. 

Thyroid and Stress Responses

It’s very important to eliminating excess and inappropriate stress responses by following a relaxation training program, see The Stress Solution. You should probably also avoid stimulating caffeine at least during your recovery process.
If there is also adrenal dysfunction/fatigue present combine the relaxation response training with appropriate herbs and supplements including: pantothenic acid, eleuthero, Siberian ginseng, licorice et cetera

Thyroid and Blood Sugar

You must eliminate the ups and downs in your energy caused by wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels which puts pressure on thyroid. Fluctuations in blood sugar also increases inflammation in the body which further harms the thyroid. See Balancing Blood Sugar

Thyroid and Autoimmunity

If there’s any hint that your condition is caused by autoimmunity you should go hundred percent gluten free to remove the possibility that gluten sensitivity and antibodies are contributing to your problem. Combine this with high dose vitamin D3 which appears to help autoimmune mediated thyroid dysfunction, however be careful supplementing high dose vitamin D3 without also supplementing vitamin K2 to prevent soft tissue calcification.
It said that you should avoid soya and broccoli because they can inhibit the uptake of iodine however you can more than adequately compensate for that by supplementing your iodine intake. 
Eat plenty protein and essential fatty acids to give your body the building blocks it needs to manufacture thyroid hormones and regenerate.

Coconut Fat

The medium chain length fatty acids from avocados, peanut butter and coconut oil can be easily absorbed and metabolised by the body for energy in a way that helps to stabilise our blood sugar. Coconut oil in particular is helpful for thyroid function and therefore should be included on a daily basis in the form of coconut fat and coconut cream added to food and used in cooking.

Exercises for Thyroid Health

Exercise in general improve circulation and blood sugar regulation both important for thyroid health  however this specific exercise for thyroid health problems is the yoga shoulder stand. You must be careful with your neck and build up the amount of time you spend in this pose gradually, the goal is to spend 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day in this particular yoga pose as it forces increased blood circulation through the thyroid. If you’ve never done this exercise before you should go to a yoga class and ask the teacher to show you how to do it to avoid injury.
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