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12 Best Natural Treatments For Hypothyroidism + Diet Guide

Medically reviewed by Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD ND
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12 Best Natural Treatments For Hypothyroidism + Diet Guide September 21, 2018

Are you feeling tired, constipated, confused, and gaining weight like never before? Then, there is a high probability that you are suffering from hypothyroidism. Or, in other words, your body is producing lesser amounts of thyroid hormones than it is actually supposed to. Do you want to bring your thyroid hormones back to their normal levels? By the end of this article, you sure can! Read on!

Table Of Contents

What Is Hypothyroidism?

When your body is unable to produce enough thyroid hormones, it leads to hypothyroidism.

The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of your neck. This gland releases hormones that help your body in regulating and using energy.

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Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

Some of the common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • A decrease in sweating
  • Slowed heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Stiffness and pain in the joints
  • Thinning and dry hair
  • Impaired memory
  • Menstrual changes or fertility issues
  • Muscles aches and tenderness
  • Sensitive and puffy face
  • Prematurely graying hair

We will now look at the varying causes that lead to a drop in the secretion of thyroid hormones.

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What Causes Hypothyroidism ?

The major causes of hypothyroidism are:

  • Yeast overgrowth – a condition of excess yeast produced in the intestines after taking antibiotics. Yeast toxins are known to block the thyroid.
  • Chlorine in drinking water can block the thyroid.
  • Fluoride in toothpaste and fluoridated water can block the thyroid.
  • Autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that attacks the thyroid gland.
  • Other autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, vitiligo, etc.
  • Undergoing radioactive iodine treatment or radiation therapy for the neck.
  • Certain medications like amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin 2
  • Mineral deficiency: Iodine, selenium, zinc, molybdenum, boron, copper, chromium, manganese and magnesium
  • Pregnancy
  • Defect in the thyroid gland
  • Damaged or dysfunctional pituitary gland
  • Disorder of the hypothalamus
  • Age (older individuals are at higher risk)

Women are at a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism as compared to men.

Now that you have a fair idea about hypothyroidism, let us understand how it is diagnosed based on the analysis of thyroid levels.

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Thyroid Level Chart

The two major thyroid hormones secreted by the thyroid glands are called T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones regulate your body’s metabolism, temperature, and also the heart rate.

Another hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is released by the pituitary gland in your brain, and this hormone is responsible for controlling the secretion of thyroid hormones.

A blood test that measures the TSH levels is used to determine the status of your thyroid hormones. A high TSH level indicates a deficiency of thyroid hormones, so the thyroid must be stimulated to produce more. Normal TSH shows that your thyroid hormones are in the right range. Low TSH levels show that your body is producing thyroid hormones in excess.

  • Normal TSH level ranges from 4 – 4.0 mIU/L (milli-international units per liter)
  • TSH levels of 2.5 or less are considered ideal, while 5 – 4.0 mIU/L is considered “at risk”.
  • TSH High levels above 4 mIU/L are considered high, and below 0.4 mIU/L are considered low.

Hence, if you are planning to or have already gone ahead with a thyroid test, these results will hopefully be of help to you in determining whether you are at risk of hypothyroidism.

If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, there is no need to panic. Following any of the remedies discussed below will help in restoring the functioning of your thyroid gland. We’re not suggesting that you need them all. One or more remedies can often be enough to turn your thyroid around.

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Home Remedies For Hypothyroidism

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Minerals
  4. Flaxseed
  5. Coconut Oil
  6. Ginger
  7. Kelp
  8. Guggul
  9. Bladderwrack
  10. Vitamins
  11. Black Walnut
  12. Nettle

Top Natural Treatments For Hypothyroidism

1. Essential Oils

Note: If you notice that an essential oil is not helping within 3-4 weeks, discontinue it and try another oil, but don’t use too many at once, and don’t use them indefinitely.

a. Rosemary Oil

Hypothyroidism - Rosemary Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of rosemary oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix three to four drops of rosemary oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Apply this to the thyroid acupressure points like the base of your throat, the medial aspect of your lower leg, and below your feet. You can find charts on acupressure points online.
  3. Massage gently for a couple of minutes and allow the oil to be absorbed by your skin.
  4. Alternatively, you can also add a few drops of rosemary oil to your bath and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. You can also apply rosemary oil to your scalp if your hair is thinning as a result of hypothyroidism.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this daily for quick recovery.

Why This Works

Rosemary oil helps fight inflammation in your body (1). Massaging it on the thyroid pressure points can help regulate the secretion of thyroid hormones (2).

b. Frankincense Oil

Hypothyroidism - Frankincense Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a few drops of frankincense oil with coconut oil.
  2. Apply the blend to the base of your throat, below your feet, and other acupressure points for thyroid.
  3. Apply this mixture to any topical inflammation as well.
  4. You can also consume a drop or two of food-grade frankincense oil.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this on a daily basis.

Why This Works

Frankincense oil can help treat the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism like skin irritation, stomach problems, and inflammation. This is mainly because of its ability to stimulate digestive and brain function and soothe inflammation (3).

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2. Ashwagandha

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You Will Need

500 mg ashwagandha capsules

What You Have To Do

Consume 500 mg of ashwagandha capsules daily.

How Often You Should Do This

You must consume this supplement 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that can work wonders in balancing your thyroid hormones (4), (5). Often used to strengthen one’s immunity, this herb can also help in reducing stress and enhancing your stamina. These properties of ashwagandha make it one of the best options to treat hypothyroidism and its symptoms.

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3. Minerals

You Will Need

A well-absorbed, low potency liquid mineral supplement containing the 9 minerals (iodine, selenium, zinc, molybdenum, boron, copper, chromium, manganese, and magnesium) that are necessary for producing thyroid hormones.

What You Have To Do

Consume the liquid mineral supplement daily. Seek your doctor’s advice to find the best supplement suitable for your condition.

How Often You Should Do This

This is a long-term therapy to keep your thyroid healthy.

Why This Works

Hypothyroidism is caused due to the deficiency of iodine as well as a few other significant minerals (6). Taking supplements can restore the mineral levels in your body.

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4. Flaxseeds

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered flaxseeds
  • 1 glass of milk or fruit juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Add about a tablespoon of powdered flaxseed to a glass of milk or fruit juice. It’s best to grind frozen flaxseeds immediately before using.
  2. Mix well and consume daily.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this solution 1 to 2 times a day.

Why This Works

Flaxseeds are rich sources of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which helps in inducing the production of thyroid hormones (7). They have phytoestrogenic properties, and supporting your sex hormones can also help support your thyroid. They are also a rich source of magnesium and vitamin B12 that can help in restoring the functions of your body and fight the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Caution

You must not consume more than two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily as it may then have a reverse effect on your condition. Flaxseeds go rancid quickly, so store them in your freezer and grind immediately before using.

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5. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of 100% virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume coconut oil daily, either directly or by adding it to your favorite salad or dish.
  2. You can also substitute your cooking oil with coconut oil. However, non-heated coconut oil is more beneficial.
How Often You Should Do This

You must consume this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that are known for their wide range of benefits. Regular intake of coconut oil can help combat hypothyroidism by increasing your metabolism and body temperature and can also help you lose weight (8), (9).

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6. Ginger

Hypothyroidism - Ginger Pinit

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You Will Need
  • An inch of ginger – chopped fine
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add an inch of ginger to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Allow it to cool down. Add a little honey to it and drink it immediately.
  3. You can also add minced ginger to the foods you prepare.
  4. Or you can simply chew on small bits of ginger.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink ginger tea thrice daily.

Why This Works

Ginger tea is another sought-after remedy for treating hypothyroidism. Being a rich source of potassium, magnesium, and polyphenols like gingerol, ginger exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve hypothyroidism and its symptoms (10).

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7. Kelp

Hypothyroidism - Kelp Pinit

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You Will Need

A product that contains 150-175 micrograms of iodine

What You Have To Do

Consume 150 to 175 micrograms of iodine from a kelp supplement.

How Often You Should Do This

You must consume this only once daily, for a few weeks or months.

Why This Works

Kelp is a type of seaweed that is rich in iodine. Supplementing with kelp can help in inducing the production of thyroid hormones, thus helping combat hypothyroidism (11), (12).

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8. Guggul

Hypothyroidism - Guggul Pinit

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You Will Need

25 mg of guggul supplementation

What You Have To Do

Consume 25 mg of guggul supplements daily.

How Often You Should Do This

You must consume this thrice daily.

Why This Works

Guggul is a resin produced from the guggul plant. It is used to treat acne and inflammation and also to lose weight. The guggulsterone in guggul can help fight hypothyroidism by regulating the thyroid function and treating the symptoms (13), (14).

Caution

You must consult your naturopathic doctor before using this supplement.

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9. Bladderwrack

Hypothyroidism - Bladderwrack Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of bladderwrack herb
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two teaspoons of bladderwrack herb to a cup of hot water.
  2. Allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow the tea to cool a bit.
  4. Add a little honey and consume it immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this infusion 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed that is known to restore the iodine deficiency of your body even when taken in small doses. Hence, if the cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency, bladderwrack is a great option for treating it (15).

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10. Vitamins

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Hypothyroidism can also be caused by a deficiency in certain vitamins like vitamin B12. Regular intake of vitamins B12 and C can help in the treatment of hypothyroidism.

Vitamin B12 stimulates the functioning of the thyroid gland, while vitamin C helps fight oxidative stress (that can worsen hypothyroidism) with its antioxidant properties (16), (17). Try to obtain methylated B12 and food-based vitamin C.

To increase your intake of these vitamins, you can either consume foods rich in them, such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products, or take supplements after consulting your physician.

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11. Black Walnut Hull

Hypothyroidism - Black Walnut Hull Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of black walnut hull extract
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three drops of black walnut hull extract to a glass of water and mix well.
  2. Consume this solution.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily until you start seeing results.

Why This Works

Black walnut is another traditional remedy that is used for the treatment of hypothyroidism. The presence of vitamins and minerals like iodine, selenium, magnesium, B-vitamins, and vitamin C helps in promoting digestive functions and combating hypothyroidism and its symptoms caused due to iodine deficiency (18).

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12. Nettle

Hypothyroidism - Nettle Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of stinging nettle tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two teaspoons of nettle tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow it cool a bit before adding honey.
  4. Consume the tea while it is still warm.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink nettle tea 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Nettle is also known as stinging nettle. This herb is a rich source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, and iodine. The presence of iodine helps to reverse the iodine deficiency that may be responsible for causing hypothyroidism. This, in turn, corrects any kind of thyroid imbalance, thus speeding up your recovery (19), (20).

In addition to these remedies, you should also follow the diet guide mentioned below for faster recovery.

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Diet Guide

Foods To Consume

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetables (cruciferous vegetable can be consumed, but in small amounts)
  • Fruits like bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and berries
  • Gluten-free grains and seeds like rice, quinoa, chia seeds, and flax seeds
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Water and non-caffeinated drinks

Foods To Avoid

  • Foods that contain gluten like bread, pasta, cereals, and beer
  • Soy foods like tofu, soy milk, and soybeans
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and cabbage, which contain goitrogens with thyroid blocking properties
  • Some fruits like peach, pears, and strawberries also have goitrogens
  • Caffeine and alcohol

If you are at risk of developing hypothyroidism or are already suffering from the problem, the follow the prevention tips listed below to avoid recurrence of the condition.

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Prevention Tips

  • Get yourself screened for hypothyroidism every 5 years, typically beginning when you cross 35 years.
  • Get screened during and after pregnancy
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid intake of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Keep yourself stress-free.
  • Drink filtered water.
  • Avoid consuming deep fried foods.
  • Consume iodine-rich foods.
  • Keep your weight under control.
  • Do exercising and yoga.

Among these, one of the most important tips that you must pay heed to is to keep a regular check on your thyroid levels, especially once you cross 35 years of age. This is because the earlier you detect a thyroid dysfunction, the faster you can treat it naturally and avoid complications or the need for the synthetic hormone. Some of the major complications that may occur if you leave hypothyroidism untreated are listed below.

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What Happens When Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?

When hypothyroidism remains undetected and thus untreated for a long time, it may result in the following complications:

  • Goiter – enlargement of your thyroid gland
  • Heart problems
  • Mental health problems
  • Peripheral neuropathy, which may result in damaged peripheral nerves
  • Infertility
  • Myxedema (Coma) – in rare cases

Leaving hypothyroidism untreated for too long can lead to life-altering complications. So, the moment you notice your thyroid levels dip, take the necessary action and follow the required remedies to bring your thyroid levels back to the normal range. Try the remedies listed in the article and let us know how they worked for you.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to treat hypothyroidism during pregnancy?

Recent studies show that a TSH during pregnancy higher than 4 should be treated. The standard medical treatment is with synthetic thyroid hormones. We would also recommend using minerals and one or more of the above remedies to prevent your thyroid from becoming overworked during pregnancy so that your TSH remains normal throughout

Which is the test used to diagnose thyroid levels?

The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test is used to determine the thyroid levels and diagnose hypothyroidism.

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