Discover the benefits of Ashwagandha on the thyroid.
From the Withania somnifera plant or Indian ginseng, with us, you can buy powdered ashwagandha, which is part of the traditional pharmacopeia of India, Ayurveda, for its health benefits.
Many people use it for hypothyroidism, not knowing why it improves the situation, or how to use it for thyroid disorders.
So let’s expand on the subject to know everything about Indian ginseng and the thyroid.
The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that makes hormones rich in iodine, primarily T4 (tetraiodothyronine) and T3 (triiodothyronine), thyroid hormones that are essential for life and have many effects on the body. metabolism, growth, and development of the organism.
Indeed, the hormones T3 and T4 will regulate the speed of operation of all our organs, like a conductor of the organism, making it possible to regulate for example energy consumption, body temperature, heart rate, nervous system, digestive tract, genitalia, mood, weight, etc.
The thyroid produces the hormones T3 and T4 mainly thanks to the iodine contained in the blood, then it stores them in the vesicles, and releases them into the bloodstream when the body needs them. It is the brain, or more precisely the pituitary gland that instructs the thyroid to make more or fewer hormones.
However, it happens that this system of regulation functions badly, with either an overly lazy thyroid gland, it is hypothyroidism, or too active, it is hyperthyroidism. Thyroid problems affect more than 10% of the French population.
Heart acceleration, weight loss, diarrhea, faster contraction, muscle weakness, brittle hair, heat intolerance, hot and clammy skin, excitement, anxiety, restlessness, aggressiveness, period disorders, decreased libido, etc. symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
The body functions too much and too quickly.
To treat hyperthyroidism problems, drugs are used that decrease the excess production of thyroid hormones. There is also a radioactive iodine treatment introduced into the body, which is then picked up by the cells of the gland, which are then destroyed by the radioactivity.
Slowing of the heart, weight gain, constipation, cramps, physical and mental fatigue, hair loss (see ashwagandha for hair ), chilliness, dry and pale skin, depression, stopped periods, decreased libido, etc., all of the symptoms that can be caused by hypothyroidism.
To treat hypothyroidism problems, the lack of hormones is usually compensated for with a drug that contains natural hormones. The dosage is adjusted according to the intensity of the symptoms. It is often a lifelong treatment that requires constant readjustments of the doses.
Hypothyroidism is either of environmental origin (pollution, heavy metals, iodine deficiency, etc.), or of autoimmune origin (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). This is a thyroid disorder that can most easily be accompanied by natural medicine.
According to a study published in August 2017 in the Journal of alternative and complementary medicine, ashwagandha would have a normalizing effect on the signs of subclinical hypothyroidism to prevent it from evolving into proven hypothyroidism.
Subclinical hypothyroidism is a case of mild hypothyroidism, characterized by a slightly higher than normal TSH level, and the absence of clinical signs (puffy face, weight gain, pallor, fatigue, drowsiness, hypothermia, etc.). Thus, ashwagandha helps to stabilize the pathology.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha has the property of stimulating the thyroid by increasing the production of T4 hormones in female mice, and T4 and T3 hormones in male mice.
These studies were conducted with ashwagandha in extract form (capsules), as well as in powder form. Positive results were recorded with cures of 2 capsules of 450 mg per day, or 5 g of ashwagandha powder per day.
Stress is believed to be the main cause of thyroid dysfunction, and an aggravating factor for the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Stress and anxiety cause the signal sent by the brain to the thyroid to drop, causing thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to drop.
Stress would also lead to inflammation affecting the ability of thyroid hormones to bind to receptors to exert their beneficial effects.
Thanks to its adaptogenic action, ashwagandha increases stress resistance, with a relaxing and calming effect in times of stress and anxiety.
This is one of the reasons that we recommend consuming ashwagandha against insomnia.
Studies have shown that the plant reduces the levels of tribulin (a marker of anxiety) in the brain, and blood cortisol (a marker of stress).
Ashwagandha is a rhizome with anti-inflammatory properties, helping to relieve chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a particularly bad ailment in people with thyroid disease, for 3 main reasons:
• it affects the production of thyroid hormones,
• it inhibits the ability of hormones to bind effectively to receptors and exert their effects,
• it also damages the function of the mitochondria whose role is to produce energy for the cells, causing fatigue and lack of energy.
Thus, ashwagandha will participate in the fight against chronic inflammation, harmful in the case of hypothyroidism.
There is no precise dosage, always consult a doctor before embarking on any cure. Check out our article on how to use ashwagandha to know in detail all the possible uses of Indian ginseng, with dosages and dosages.
According to animal studies, the basic dosage would be between 4 and 8 g of powder daily, whatever the way: in a glass of water, fruit juice, compote, etc.
Preventive cures generally last 4 to 6 weeks, followed by a 10-day break before possibly renewing, without however exceeding 4 cures per year.
As in all therapeutic cures, it is advisable to start by taking small doses, then gradually increasing them, to accustom the body to ashwagandha.
Levothyrox helps to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones associated with hypothyroidism. According to studies and general medical opinion, there is no contraindication to consuming ashwagandha while taking Levothyrox, the plant having a rather normalizing action.
However, I always call for caution when taking medication, talk to your doctor before consuming ashwagandha.
Stick to the recommended dosages, so ashwagandha has very few unwanted side effects. We wrote an article on the dangers and contraindications associated with ashwagandha, which lists all the unwanted effects of the plant. If in doubt, consult a doctor.
An overdose of ashwagandha can increase the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that can lengthen the reflex time and transiently decrease the motor and intellectual faculties. It can also cause some mild digestive upset.
As a precautionary principle, ashwagandha is contraindicated in hyperthyroidism, and its use is not recommended in pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 16 years of age.