Blast from the Past: Thyroid Supporting Herbals

Note: This article was originally featured in the March 2008 Health Hunters Newsletter. Enjoy!

Thyroid Supporting Herbals

While many think in terms of iodine and thyroid hormone when talking about the health of the thyroid gland, there are also some botanical options to consider. In this article, I’ll address four herbs that can have positive effects on the health of the thyroid gland. These herbs are most beneficial used in combination for those who suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism. These herbs may also be used in conjunction with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Iris versicolor (Blue flag iris root), Commiphora mukul (Guggul lipid),Fucus vesiculosis (Bladderwrack), and Phytolaccadecandra (Pokeweed) are all beneficial in supporting healthy thyroid activity.

Blue flag root was used as far back as 1898 as drug treatment for the cure of goiter (enlarged thyroid). It is known as a detoxifier of the thyroid gland (thyroid chemistry is disrupted by environmental toxins). It works as a choleretic (stimulates production of bile in the liver) and cholagogue (stimulates bile flow from the gallbladder).Guggullipid increases iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and promotes conversion of T4 to T3 (active thyroid hormone) in the liver. Fucus(Seaweed of North Atlantic) has also been used historically in the treatment of goiter. It contains approximately 600mcg of iodine per gram. Fucus may also contain trace amounts of diiodotyrosine, T3, andT4. Phytolacca increases circulation through the thyroid and improves lymphatic flow through the thyroid.

Blue flag and Phytolacca should only be used in small amounts under doctor supervision as their constituents can be very powerful.