Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods
Graves' Disease & Hyperthyroidism
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Let’s Hear It For Bugleweed & Motherwort!

As most people who are reading this know, I personally was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, and used a natural treatment protocol to help restore my health back to normal.  And while I frequently mention how just taking nutritional supplements and herbs alone isn’t enough to restore one’s health, this doesn’t mean that taking supplements and herbs aren’t important, as they definitely play a big role in the recovery process.

When I followed a natural treatment protocol there were numerous supplements and herbs which I took.  And when it came to managing my symptoms, the herbs Bugleweed and Motherwort were the two most valuable ones.  Since I opted not to take any antithyroid drugs, it was somewhat challenging dealing with the hyperthyroid symptoms (high pulse rate, palpitations, etc.).  These two herbs were highly responsible for controlling these symptoms.

I actually began by just taking Bugleweed for a few months, which by itself did a good job of managing the symptoms.  Of course the other supplements and herbs I took, along with modifying certain lifestyle factors, were also an important part of the recovery process.  But for many people who don’t want to take antithyroid drugs, Bugleweed is an option.  Although Bugleweed did do a good job of managing my symptoms, I still had some minor palpitations, which is why I decided to take Motherwort as well.  Taking both of these herbs pretty much eliminated the cardiac symptoms I experienced.

Taking These Herbs On Your Own

I’m of course not a big advocate of self-treating one’s condition.  However, I realize that many people with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease will take these and other herbs on their own.  In fact, a number of people I consult with are already taking these herbs during the initial consultation.  And many of these people told me they decided to take them based on what they read on my website.  What’s important to understand is that these herbs won’t work on everybody with a hyperthyroid condition, as other factors need to be addressed as well.

For example, I’ve consulted with some people who took Bugleweed and Motherwort and actually experienced a worsening of their thyroid blood tests.  And usually the reason for this is because there are other factors that aren’t being addressed.  In other words, when I was taking the Bugleweed, I was also taking certain herbs to help with my immune system, was taking iodine and magnesium to help address my iodine deficiency, etc.  So I wasn’t just taking Bugleweed alone, which is what some people do.  Or many will take other supplements and herbs, but these won’t be the appropriate ones to address other problems they are experiencing.  This is why it’s always wise to consult with an expert.

Replacing Antithyroid Drugs With Herbs

Some people who are already taking antithyroid drugs such as Methimazole or PTU try to replace them with these herbs.  Once again, I can’t recommend for anyone to do this, even if they are a current patient of mine.  Some people choose to take both the antithyroid drugs and these herbs, which once again is completely up to them.

Weaning Off These Herbs

Just as most people don’t want to take antithyroid drugs for the rest of their life, the same thing applies with herbs.  As I mentioned before, I began taking Bugleweed each day, and then eventually began taking Motherwort.  Then a few months later I began weaning myself off of these herbs, first reducing the dosage in half, and then taking them once a day, until eventually I no longer needed them anymore.  After doing this I was concerned that my symptoms would return, but fortunately they didn’t.  Obviously it wasn’t just taking these herbs which was responsible for restoring my health back to normal.  But my guess is that most people with an autoimmune thyroid disorder who begin weaning off the supplements and herbs worry about their symptoms returning.

In summary, both Bugleweed and Motherwort can both help to manage the symptoms of hyperthyroidism naturally.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that just taking these herbs alone might not be enough to manage your symptoms, and almost definitely won’t be enough to restore your health back to normal.  Plus, just as is the case with any other herb, the goal is to eventually wean off these herbs.  While many people take these herbs on their own, those serious about restoring their health back to normal really should consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor.


 

44 Comments

  1. Jeanny says:

    If your taking iodine and bugleweed and motherwort does bugleweed take up all the iodine I live in Tulsa Ok and I wish I could find a natural doctor to help me Racing heart has been going on since Nov13 up to this point none of these dudes I’ve seen have helped me I’m getting tired Any suggestions

    • Dr. Eric says:

      No, bugleweed does not “take up” all of the iodine. As for finding a natural endocrine doctor, I would suggesting contact some of the local chiropractors and naturopaths in your town to see if any of them focus on endocrine disorders.

  2. Donna says:

    I was just diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and I consulted with my ND who have me iodine supplement (potassium based) after doing a muscle test. After doing some research, I am hesitant to take it since iodine is normally called for with hypothyroidism and can make hyperthyroidism worse. I am scheduled for a thyroid scan in one week and not sure if it will interfere with the test results. Should I be concerned?

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Donna,

      Iodine supplementation is definitely a controversial topic. Some people with hyperthyroid conditions are deficient in iodine and do need to supplement with it, although I personally wouldn’t rely on muscle testing for this. However, iodine definitely isn’t for everyone, and some people don’t do well when taking iodine. When I had Graves’ Disease I supplemented with iodine, and it didn’t make my hyperthyroidism worse. But this doesn’t mean that everyone with hyperthyroidism should take iodine. I probably would hold off on taking any iodine before the scan.

  3. yinka says:

    Dear Dr Eric Osansky,

    I have been following your write-ups and i have taken my broccoli more seriously, eating a big clove daily and discover lately that the swelling on my neck has started to reduce. I have ordered for bugleweed (lycopus virginucus) hyperthroid herbs and also motherwort (leonurus cardiaca) as a way of gradually eradicating my carbimazole and propalonol. I sincerely hope i will get out of this dreaded disease. i just want to also confirm if cabbage and cauliflower is also ideal for hyperthroid since they belong to the cruciferous family. please help me clarify sir.

    Thank you so much for your listening ears.

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Yinka,

      Eating some raw goitrogenic vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower might help with the hyperthyroid symptoms to some extent, although many times people don’t notice much of a difference, even when eating a lot of servings each day. But of course these foods are very healthy, and so it shouldn’t hurt to eat them, and might help a little.

  4. Sharon says:

    Dear Dr Eric

    I am diagnosed with Hyper and am taking PTU since Aug 2006. My eyes are bulging a little and the swelling on my neck is getting bigger. The doctor asked me to take the radio iodine but i refused to. I’ve read your post and quite interested abt the Bugleweed and Motherwort. I live in Malaysia and i’m hoping that i could get the bugleweed & motherwort here in my country. Maybe u could tell me what kind of vitamins or supplements that have these two?

    Thanks so much

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Sharon,

      There aren’t too many companies which manufacture Bugleweed and Motherwort. You might want to see if you can find a local herbalist who can prepare a tincture consisting of these herbs. I typically recommend the MediHerb brand of Bugleweed and Motherwort, although some people also take these herbs from the company Herb Pharm, which can be purchased online.

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  25. Joanne says:

    My husband has hypothyroidism, diagnosed Aug 2015,with TSH 4 of over 80. He is on Carbimazole (started at 30mg/day and now down to 20mg/day) and is now down to normal T4 levels, though his T3 is still slightly elevated and his TSH is below normal. We are on a tight budget and have been trying to eat as healthily as we can for last 5 years, though has been a steep learning curve – we have followed the Weston Price principles. He is still on medication …

    would it be wise in his case to even consider coming off medication?

    If so should he ask doctor to take him off before trying Bugleweed/ Motherwort or can he take them alongside. I doubt our docs/consultant at hospital here in UK will be very sympathetic.

    Also, I take it these supplements only control the symptoms, not contribute to bring it into remission?

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Joanne,

      A TSH that is greater than 80 is extremely high. There still are risks with coming off of the medication, but if he stays on the Carbimazole I would make sure that your husband gets retested every 2 to 4 weeks with the TSH being that high. Motherwort can usually be taken with the Carbimazole. As for bugleweed, this can also be taken with antithyroid medication, although it of course also has antithyroid activity and can potentially worsen the hypothyroidism. And yes, the bugleweed and motherwort only manages the symptoms, as it doesn’t address the cause of the problem.

  26. Jason says:

    Hi Dr Eric,
    You mention you took Bugleweed for Hyperthyroidism as well as Iodine, just wondering why you would take both at the same time, as isn’t Bugleweed is to meant to stop the uptake of Iodine by the Thyroid , so doesn’t taking Iodine defeat the purpose of taking the Bugleweed ?

    In your Iodine article you also mention it can sometimes cause Hypothyroidism, and also Hyperthyroidism. Just wondering how it can do both. And if it can potentially worsen Hyperthyroidism , I would be concerned with taking the 50mg of Iodine you mentioned needed to test for deficiency ?
    many thanks

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Natural Treatment Methods:
Graves Disease Treatment
Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hyperthyroidism Treatment
Natural Thyroid treatment


Conventional Treatment
Methods:
Radioactive Iodine
Thyroid Hormone