Published August 6 2012
When someone with hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease follows a natural treatment protocol, the obvious goal is to restore their health back to normal. However, initially it is important for the person to manage their hyperthyroid symptoms. And while many people will choose to take prescription medication to accomplish this, others will look to take a natural approach. So while taking the following herbs alone won’t restore someone’s health back to normal, they can help a great deal with symptom management while the person is following the natural treatment protocol.
Hyperthyroid Herb #1: Bugleweed. As I’ve mentioned in other articles and blog posts, this was the main herb which helped to manage my symptoms when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. While I considered taking the Methimazole and Propranolol that was prescribed by my endocrinologist, I decided to hold off on taking the prescription drugs, and took the Bugleweed to help manage my symptoms. Of course this wasn’t the only thing I did, as I ate well, managed my stress, and took some other supplements and herbs as part of my natural treatment protocol.
How does Bugleweed work?
Bugleweed acts like a natural antithyroid herb, as clinical studies have shown that it inhibits T4 output. Pharmacological studies show that in addition to decreasing T4 levels, people that take Bugleweed have decreased T3 levels, most likely due to it inhibiting the conversion of T4 to T3.
Hyperthyroid Herb #2: Motherwort. Motherwort is another herb that can help people with hyperthyroid conditions. In my situation, when I took the Bugleweed it did a wonderful job of managing the symptoms, as it pretty much helped to eliminate all of my symptoms. But after a few months of taking it I still had some slight palpitations, and so I began taking the motherwort as well, and it wasn’t long before the palpitations were gone.
What Does Motherwort Do?
Motherwort actually has numerous functions, but when given to a person with hyperthyroidism, you can think of it as a natural beta blocker, as it can help with symptoms such as tachycardia (high heart rate), and palpitations. Of course a beta blocker such as Propranolol is more powerful, and so I’m not suggesting that anyone replace their beta blocker with Motherwort. But for someone who is looking for a natural method to manage some of the cardiac symptoms, Motherwort may be an option. It supposedly has some antithyroid activity as well, which of course would be even more beneficial for hyperthyroid conditions.
Hyperthyroid Herb #3: Lemon Balm. This is yet another useful herb for hyperthyroid conditions. I personally didn’t take this herb when following a natural treatment protocol. But many of my patients with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease have taken this herb before consulting with me and it does seem to be beneficial. So while it’s still not something I recommend to everyone, I did want to briefly discuss this herb because it also can help to manage the hyperthyroid symptoms.
What Does Lemon Balm Do?
Just as is the case with Motherwort, Lemon balm has numerous functions. With regards to hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease it inhibits TSH, which in turn can help to reduce the excessive secretion of thyroid hormone. This of course can help with the thyroid symptoms. Lemon Balm also plays a role in immunity and detoxification.
Which Of These Herbs Should You Take?
First of all, I should tell you that not everyone needs to take these herbs. Some of my patients continue to take the medication initially when following a natural treatment protocol. So not everyone takes the herbs I have discussed here. If someone is looking for a natural way of managing their symptoms, then I will typically recommend Bugleweed first, although for some I will initially recommend the combination of Bugleweed and Motherwort. Most of the time the combination of these two herbs will eventually control the symptoms, although not in everyone.
Remember that these herbs shouldn’t be used for emergency situations, such as thyroid storm episodes. Although I’m an advocate of these herbs, there is a time and place for prescription medication. I’m just not a big fan of people taking drugs for a prolonged period of time for symptom management. But sometimes it is necessary to take antithyroid medication and/or beta blockers on a temporary basis to manage the symptoms. On the other hand, for those people with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease who are looking for a natural method of managing their symptoms, taking one or more of these herbs can help greatly.