Hypothyroidism
44 Case Studies
12 Member Stories
15 Research

Written by Dr. Kye Peven (TCM and Naturopath)

Feb 4, 2019


The mainstay of herbal treatment will be to tonify qi and yang. Qi and yang tonifying herbs often work on multiple organ systems but the following herbs are considered to work primarily on the Kidney and Spleen. Subhuti Dharmananda reports on good results from studies that used herbs such as astragalus (Huangqi), codonopsis (Dangshen), epimedium (Yinyanghuo), aconite (Fuzi), cinnamon (Guizhi)l, ginseng (Renshen), atractylodes (Baizhu), ginger (Ganjiang), and others. Heiner Fruehauf, in his Classical Pearls herbal formulas series, has a number of formulations that he recommends for hypothyroid (depending on the individual), many of which contain combinations of the above herbs. Western herbs of note according to Matthew Wood include siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus), nettles (Urtica), gotu kola (Centella), and kelp (Fucus) for the iodine content. Chinese medicinals from the ocean such as seaweeds and seafood are also used for their iodine content in cases of hypothyroid.

For people with excess cortisol, usually due to chronic stress, herbs that address Liver qi stagnation and help regulate cortisol are helpful. These include herbs such as Chinese skullcap (Huangqin), bupleurum (Chaihu), bitter orange (Zhishi), magnolia (Houpo), and others. For Liver deficiency, formulas that contain evodia (Wuzhuyu) can be helpful, along with the yang tonics listed above.

The best treatment approach is an individualized one that takes into account the person’s unique presentation and history. If you or someone you know is ready to move past symptom management with thyroid hormone and get to the root of the issue, find an integrative practitioner who can help you understand, and treat, your unique situation.

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