Treat Thyroid With Ayurvedic Therapy


6 Min Read

Do you have a thyroid problem that’s making you miserable? If conventional treatment and medicines aren’t giving you the respite you seek, alternative answers may lie in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. From massages to relaxing therapies, these treatments take a multi-pronged approach to fixing the problem.

Do you feel weak and tired? Is anxiety synonymous with your daily life? Are your joints aching? Have you noticed signs of goiter? If your answers to these questions is a resounding yes, chances are your thyroid is letting you down. If you’re looking for a natural way to treat your thyroid problem, Ayurveda offers the closest thing to self-healing that you can get. By helping your body along with massages and therapies, supplemented with some yoga and breathing methods, your thyroid problems should ease with time.

Ayurvedic Head Massage

If you have hypothyroidism, you are prone to develop gout. This ailment occurs when your body produces too much uric acid, which could bring on painful joints or acute arthritis.1 For treating gout, the root of the eranda or Ricinus communis Linn is used to make the herbal remedy amrutadi taila. The oil, when massaged into the head, can provide relief from symptoms.2

Yogic Asanas

Certain asanas alongside herbal remedies and massages are recommended for thyroid problems. The fish posture (matsya mudra) and the shoulder stand (sarvangasana) in particular are helpful. These poses help normalize the secretion of thyroxin in the body, restoring metabolic balance and easing problems like anxiety, nervousness, and sleeplessness. Each of the poses must be done thrice. They act like a massage of the thyroid gland, are restorative, and enhance its effectiveness.3

Try learning breathing exercises like ujjayi pranayama if you have a hypothyroid issue,4 or Shitali breathing if you have hyperthyroidism. Practice these methods every day for about 10 minutes or so.

Nasya Therapy

Thyroid problems too can be treated with nasya therapy where medicated oils or powders are administered into your nasal passages. This treatment is one of the cornerstones of the five-pronged panchakarma treatment, a holistic Ayurvedic therapy designed to detox, restore balance, and build immunity. You could try a neti pot, a special vessel used to pour the medicated oils into your nostrils while tilting your head at an angle, allowing the oil to move in from one nostril and out the other. The elderly, young children, pregnant women, and those who are ill with fever, diarrhea, or inflammation should avoid this treatment, though.5

Dough Basti Treatment

In this therapy, dough is used to create a raised circular dam to hold warm medicated oils in the thyroid region. The treatment is believed to help stimulate the gland and nourish the thyroid. The basti used specifically for the thyroid is called “vishuddha basti,” and it tackles problems of the throat and thyroid chakra. The exact oils and herbs used by the Ayurvedic specialist will depend on your body constitution and the particular problems you have with your thyroid.6

Foot Massage

Massaging the points on your feet that correspond to the throat chakra or the vishuddhi chakra for about 2.5 minutes (for each foot) can also help with problems of the thyroid. Use a semi-circular movement during the massage at these points located on the inner edge of the ball of your feet.7

Dhara And Shirodhara

A dhara treatment of the vishuddhi chakra, where a stream of medicated oil is poured on the thyroid area using a dhara pot, is another course of treatment. Shirodhara, which uses a flow of oil on the head to stimulate the psychoneuroimmunological function of your brain, causes changes in the levels of thyroid releasing hormone and can thus help improve symptoms for someone with abnormal levels of the hormone.8

Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies

Ayurveda suggests some simple home remedies that can alleviate some of the more painful symptoms and problems related to thyroid issues. A paste made from water lettuce or jalakumbhi (Pistia stratiotes) when placed on any area swollen due to goiter can help bring down the swelling. The juice of the same plant can also be consumed to increase iodine levels in the body.9 Another remedy involves dipping a cloth in water containing a paste of drumstick (shigru) bark. This needs to be dried and can then be tied loosely around your neck at night while you sleep, for a maximum of 15 days or as suggested by an Ayurvedic specialist, to help reduce any swelling. Be careful not to leave it on longer, and stop the treatment after the suggested number of days to prevent emaciation of the muscles of your neck.10

In general, since an enlarged thyroid is considered an imbalance of kapha (water) and meda (fat), if you have hypothyroidism, you may need to limit certain foods in your diet. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pearl millet, soy, lima beans, and maize, in particular, are considered avoidable under Ayurveda. Called “Pathya Apathya,” this diet regimen suggests the inclusion of neem leaves, old rice that’s nearly a year old, parval or pointed gourd, and corn, while avoiding avoid certain foods (like the ones mentioned here) that can aggravate kapha.11

Hyperthyroidism, by contrast, is a sign of a vata and pitta imbalance. Consuming plenty of dairy products by way of milk or ghee can help. Fresh fruit like melons, bananas, and dry fruit including walnuts and dates can abate the vata and pitta.12

References   [ + ]

1.Gout: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment, NIH.
2.Krunal, Doshi, and Acharya Rabinarayan. “Therapeutic importance of Eranda (Ricinus communis Linn.) in Ayurveda-a Review.” Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci 2, no. 9 (2013): 281-295.
3.Govindan, S. V. Ayurvedic Massage for Health and Healing. Abhinav Publications, 1996.
4.Swami, Gaurav, Savita Singh, K. P. Singh, and Manish Gupta. “Effect of yoga on pulmonary function tests of hypothyroid patients.” (2010).
5.Perlman, Jeff. “The Magic of Nasya.” La Yoga Magazine. October 2015.
6.Panchakarma Therapies, California College of Ayurveda.
7.Govindan, S. V. Ayurvedic Massage for Health and Healing. Abhinav publications, 1996.
8.Fulzele, Ashwini V., Nilesh Ingle, Md Nazmul Huda, and D. S. Mishra. “Comparative Study to evaluate the Effect of a Herbal Preparation & Shirodhara in the Management of Major Depressive Disorder.”
9.Murthy, N. Anjneya. Ayurvedic cure for common diseases. Orient Paperbacks, 1995.
10, 12.Batra, Sanjay, and Raghavendra Udupa. “A backyard entry to Thyroid Disorders with the help of Agni, Satwa and Sara.” International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine 6, no. 1 (2015).
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.