17 Effective Home Remedies For Goiter

Reviewed by Priyanka Sadhukhan, Nutritionist
Written by Kushneet Kukreja
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Though goiter may sound like a very intimidating ailment, it can easily be managed with the appropriate combination of medical treatment and home remedies. This article lists the different ways in which you can aid the body in overcoming this thyroid gland problem with the help of herbal remedies.

About The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland present in the lower front of the neck (1). This gland is responsible for secreting thyroid hormones, which maintain our body’s metabolism. Insufficiency or excess of thyroid hormones leads to malfunctioning of the thyroid gland.

What Is Goiter?

Goiter is a medical condition that is characterized by swelling of the thyroid gland (2). This may happen due to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid glands), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid glands), or euthyroidism (normal thyroid functioning). In simpler words, the lack of and also the excess of thyroid hormone can cause the gland to swell up. It is usually not a painful disease but brings along many other symptoms that can disrupt the normal functioning of your body .

Medical intervention is the most sought after method for goiter treatment. But, with the use of simple home remedies, you can alleviate the symptoms and assist the prescription medicines to treat the problem faster.

Let us look at the causes and symptoms of goiter first. We shall then delve into the home remedies for goiter.

Iodine is one of the most important minerals to make thyroid hormones.The gland cannot make enough thyroid hormones if it does not get enough iodine from diet. Hence, iodine deficiency is the primary cause of developing goiter (3). Some of the other causes of goiter are as follows:

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s diseases and Graves’ disease, wherein the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid hormone production
  • Genetic defects
  • Injury or any infection to thyroid glands (3)
  • Radiation therapy for cancer
  • Certain medications
  • Benign tumors or thyroid cancer (3)

Who Are At Risk Of Goiter?

  • Women over the age of 40
  • Family history of autoimmune disease.
  • People with low iodine in diet (4)

Goiter Symptoms

If you notice the following symptoms, it is quite possible that you have goiter:

  • Coughing for no reason
  • Having a constricted feeling in the throat
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Discomfort or pain while swallowing
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty in swallowing (2)
  • Visible swelling at the base of your neck
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Difficulty in breathing (2)
  • Puffy face (2)

Please remember that many of these symptoms are also associated with other health conditions. Hence, do not assume you have goiter without getting a confirmed diagnosis from your doctor.

If you are diagnosed with goiter, surgery or drugs are not the only solution. Fortunately, you can try several home remedies to reduce the size of the thyroid gland and get relief from the symptoms. These, as mentioned, work best if used in conjunction with the prescribed medicines.

Home Remedies For Goiter

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • A glass of warm water
What You Have To Do

Mix the honey and vinegar with water and drink the mixture, preferably on an empty stomach.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day in the morning.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and restores the pH balance in the body  (5). It detoxifies the body, and this indirectly helps to increase iodine absorption and reduce the thyroid swelling.

2. Castor Oil

You Will Need

A few drops of castor oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the neck area with the oil gently.
  2. Leave the oil on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every night before going to bed.

Why This Works

Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling in the thyroid gland (6). It detoxifies the liver and helps in conversion of T4 to active T3.

3. Coconut Oil

Image: Shutterstock

Virgin coconut oil contains high levels of lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride, which is converted into monolaurin, and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as improves metabolism (7). You can add it to your hot drinks, smoothies, and use it as a salad dressing as well as cooking.

4. Bentonite Clay

You Will Need
  • 2-3 tablespoons bentonite clay
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a paste by adding enough water to the clay powder and mix well.
  2. Apply this paste on the neck and let it dry.
  3. Wash it off with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this clay mask once in every 2-3 days and observe the changes in the swelling.

Why This Works

It is a natural clay that helps to cleanse the body of toxin build-up and has effective antimicrobial properties (8).

5. Seaweed

Shutterstock

You Will Need

A handful of seaweed

What You Have To Do

Boil a handful of seaweed to make a salad. Add dressing as per your choice.

How Often You Should Do This

Include it once or twice a week in your meal. Do not overdo it.

Why This Works

Seaweed is a good source of iodine that helps to produce thyroid hormones.(9). Seaweed also contains tyrosine, a supportive amino acid that aids the production of thyroid hormones (10).

6. Dandelion Leaves

You Will Need
  • A handful of dandelion leaves
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Grind the leaves with some water to make a paste.
  2. Add the ghee to this and heat the mixture for a few minutes until it becomes lukewarm.
  3. Apply this on the neck and keep it on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every day for a week or two.

Why This Works

Dandelion leaves have antioxidant properties and exhibit anti-inflammatory effects (11), (12). Hence, this paste can reduce the swelling of the thyroid gland and relieve the associated symptoms.

7. Juice Recipes

(a) Lemon Juice

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush the garlic and mix it with the lemon juice and honey.
  2. Drink this in the morning.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach.

Why This Works

Both lemon and garlic contain anti-inflammatory compounds. This remedy also helps to remove any toxins that have accumulated in the body due to infections by eliminating the microbes with their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (13), (14).

(b) Pineapple Juice

You Will Need
  • 4-5 pineapple pieces
  • 1 medium-sized carrot
  • 2 tomatoes
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend everything to get a smooth juice. You can add some water to adjust the consistency.
  2. Drink this juice, either at room temperature or slightly chilled.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink a glass of this pineapple blend every day.

Why This Works

Pineapple ingestion can improve the hormonal thyroid status and reduce the size of the goiter (15).

8. Ashwagandha

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons ashwagandha bark powder
  • 160 ml water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the Ashwagandha bark powder to water and boil this until the concoction reduces to 40% of its original volume.
  2. Strain and divide the concoction.
  3. Drink one portion early in the morning, before breakfast, and the second part in the evening.
  4. You can also add this powder to milk or smoothies.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every day.

Why This Works

Ashwagandha is a powerful Ayurvedic herb that helps to boost the functioning of the thyroid gland.It increases the production of T3 and T4 hormones (16). Normally, chronic stress increases the levels of cortisol, which impairs proper functioning of thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha powder fights this stress to stimulate endocrine secretions (16).

9. Moringa (Malunggay)

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon dried moringa leaves
  • A cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep the leaves in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Strain and drink this decoction.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink moringa tea once every day.

Why This Works

Moringa leaves can help regulate the production of thyroid hormones (17). This herbal tea has an earthy taste and is very refreshing for the body.

10. Turmeric

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper powder
  • 70 ml cold pressed olive oil or coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Heat the water in a pan and add turmeric powder to it.
  2. Cook this slowly for 5-10 minutes until you get a thick paste.
  3. Add the black pepper and oil and stir well.
  4. Remove from the flame and store in an airtight container.
  5. Have a teaspoon of this paste.

Note: This golden paste can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Turmeric is a potent spice that not only adds color and flavor to food but also possesses multiple beneficial properties that improve health. Studies have found that turmeric could be useful in goiter treatment (18).

11. Flax seeds

You Will Need
  • 2-3 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Grind the flaxseeds and make a paste with a little bit of water.
  2. Apply this paste on your neck and let it stand for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Wash and pat the area dry.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every day until the swelling goes away.

Why This Works

Flax seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, which forms resolvins that have anti-inflammatory properties (19). These properties may help reduce swelling.

Caution: Do not consume flax seeds without consulting your doctor as they may have a contrary effect.

12. Neck Exercise

Image: Shutterstock

Stretching exercises for the neck are also known to aid the treatment of goiter.These exercises can help stretch the muscles that are connected to the thyroid gland and reduce the swelling.

  • Upward Neck Stretch– Sit on a chair and lift your chin towards the ceiling. Stretch the neck as much as possible and then stay in that position for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise 10-12 times.
  • Sideways Neck Stretch– Slowly bend your neck to the side so that the ear touches your shoulder. Stretch as much as possible and then repeat on the other side. Do 10 repetitions on each side.

Note: Do not exert yourself when trying to do these neck exercises. Stretch as much as you can without causing any discomfort to yourself. If you feel any pain, stop the exercise immediately.

13. Garlic

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

3-4 garlic cloves

What You Have To Do

Chew garlic cloves as they are in the morning. If you feel that they are too pungent, crush the cloves and add some honey to them before ingesting.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day in the morning.

Why This Works

Garlic stimulates the production of glutathione in the body as it contains selenium, which is required for the healthy functioning of the thyroid (20).

14. Lemon Balm Tea

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons dried lemon balm (or 2 teaspoons fresh lemon balm)
  • A cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour the hot water over the herb and let the tea steep for a few minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on while making the tea as it will prevent the aromatic oils of the balm from escaping with the steam.
  2. Strain the decoction and add honey for taste.
  3. Sip on this warm herbal tea.

Be sure to keep the lid on while making the tea, as it will prevent the aromatic oils of the balm from escaping with the steam.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink 2-3 cups of this herbal tea every day until the goiter symptoms are gone.

Why This Works

Lemon balm is an effective stress management booster. It reduces psychological stress, which is the most common reason for developing thyroid disorders (21).

15. Nuts

Shutterstock

You Will Need

A handful of nuts

What You Have To Do

Soak a handful of nuts overnight or munch on them as it is.

How Often You Should Do This

Have a handful of nuts either as a wake-up snack or in between meals.

Why This Works

Nuts are not only rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids but also exhibit anti-inflammatory properties (22).Among all nuts, Brazil nuts are the richest sources of selenium (23). Selenium acts as a stimulating factor in the conversion of T4 hormone to the most active form – T3 hormone (24).

16. Fish Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need

Fish oil supplement either in capsule form or in liquid form

What You Have To Do

Take a teaspoon of fish oil every day.

How Often You Should Do This

Once a day.

Why This Works

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to metabolize thyroid hormone in liver (25).

17. Motherwort

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon motherwort herb
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • A cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Brew motherwort tea and add honey for taste.
  2. Drink this.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink motherwort tea twice a day for best results.

Why This Works

Many people experience palpitations and fast heartbeat due to hyperthyroidism. These symptoms of goiter can be alleviated with motherwort (26).

We would like to reiterate this – while these home remedies for goiter will help, you should ensure that you use them in conjunction with the medications prescribed by your doctor. Also, make it a point to be extremely careful about your diet. You should be looking to eat foods rich in iodine and selenium, while eating limited quantities of goitrogenic foods. And don’t forget the neck exercises!

Goiter can produce unpleasant symptoms, but it is not an untreatable condition. The right combination of prescription medications with home remedies and a goiter-friendly diet can treat the symptoms and the underlying cause easily. Use the remedies listed in this article after consulting with your doctor.

Did you find this article helpful? Have you ever tried any of these remedies for goiter? Please leave your feedback in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tips For Treating Goiter

  • Take a cold shower twice a day. This is supposed to stimulate the thyroid gland to function properly.
  • Keep a tab on the medication you generally use as these can also trigger goiter. You can share the list (with the dosage) with your doctor to determine if any of these medications are the cause.
  • Do the neck exercises regularly, but also keep in mind that these exercises should not be causing you any pain.
  • Try to gently massage the swelling and the surrounding area using carrier oils like almond oil or olive oil.
  • Give acupuncture or aromatherapy a try if you are more inclined to the alternative therapies for goiter treatment.

What Is The Best Food For Goiter?

There are certain foods that you can include in your diet to speed up recovery from goiter. These food items replenish the iodine and selenium levels in the body causing a healthy amount of thyroid hormone to be produced. They also contain anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which reduce the swelling and other symptoms. Here is the recommended diet for goiter –

  • Iodine-Rich Diet – If your goiter is caused due to iodine deficiency, you need to replenish your body with an iodine-rich diet. Try using iodized salt or consume more seafood, cod fish, tuna, eggs, natural yogurt, milk, navy beans, baked potato with skin, and cranberries. Adults should consume about 150 micrograms of iodine every day to keep goiter away.
  • Lettuce – Do not confuse this green leafy vegetable with cabbage, which is a cruciferous vegetable (and is not recommended for goiter patients). Lettuce is rich in iodine and is apt for consumption by goiter patients.
  • Selenium Rich Foods – Your thyroid gland requires selenium to function at its optimal level. Some foods are naturally rich in this mineral like Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, shellfish, onions, mushrooms, wheatgerm, barley, meats, poultry, eggs, and fatty fish. Even meat items like kidney and liver can be consumed as they contain a good amount of selenium in them.. Make these foods a part of your daily diet to help cure goiter.
  • Bananas and pineapples are also recommended for goiter treatment.

What Food To Avoid For Goiter?

Goitrogenic foods are those that hinder normal functioning of the thyroid gland. As a result, the gland is unable to synthesize iodine properly. So, there are some foods that you should eat in moderation and these include:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Turnip
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Mustard greens
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Soy beans
  • Peanuts
  • Radish
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Strawberries

You can cook goitrogenic foods to negate their effect on your thyroid. While it is not necessary to eliminate them from your diet completely, you should consume them in moderation.

Sources

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