Hypothyroidism refers to lower production of
thyroid hormones in the body due to a
decrease in the function of the thyroid gland. It
is a common thyroid gland disorder and is
more prevalent in women.
The thyroid gland is located in the front of the
neck just below the larynx (voice box). This
gland secretes several hormones such as
thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and
calcitonin. These hormones are produced under
the regulation of pituitary gland in the brain
and are responsible for maintaining the body’s
metabolism, controlling the body temperature
and regulating the production of protein.
Calcitonin helps in maintaining the level of
calcium in our blood.
These hormones are believed to regulate many
other body functions as well and almost every
system of the body is affected by low levels of
Usually, patients with mild disease feel entirely
well. The disease is often skipped for a long
time as the symptoms present in patients are
not so severe. Depressions, fatigue, dry and
cold skin and hair loss are a few symptoms
that are often ignored by the patient.
However, if not treated, pronounced symptoms
may appear later. Untreated hypothyroidism
can cause a number of problems, such as
obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
Although anyone can develop hypothyroidism,
it is normally found as occurring in women
older than 50, and this risk is believed to
increase as one ages.
The description of hypothyroidism in Ayurveda
is similar to that in modern medicine. It is
mentioned that it does not attack those who
consume adequate quantities of milk, old rice,
barley, green gram, Bengal gram, sugarcane
juice, cucumber, and milk products. These are
the foods recommended in present times also.
According to Ayurveda, one should not
consume sour substances as it may aggravate
the diseased condition.
There are plenty of Ayurvedic herbs prescribed
for hypothyroidism. They regulate the thyroid
hormone and restore its functionality. These
herbs are still under research and many of
them have proved to be very beneficial for
treating thyroid conditions.
Ayurvedic herbs are generally well tolerated
and free from side-effects and this is the
reason Ayurveda is now one of the most
popular health sciences gaining global
admiration. These Ayurvedic herbs can also be
considered daily health supplements. Many of
the herbs we can find in the kitchen and the
rest are readily available in herbal/Ayurvedic
stores in various forms such as pills, tablets,
capsules, decoctions, powder, extracts and
Some of the herbs described below are still in
practice for Ayurvedic treatment of
Mountain ebony (Bauhinia veriegata): It is
known as purple mountain ebony and is
probably the most powerful drug in Ayurvedic
pharmacopoeia for treating any type of thyroid
problem. This herb is available in the form of
pill or tablet.
Guggul (Commiphora wightii): This drug is
used widely in modern Ayurvedic practice. It is
well known for its calorie burning properties
and is therefore used abundantly for reducing
weight, i.e. obesity. Hypothyroidism is closely
related with obesity and this herb is extremely
useful for treating the condition. It is available
in the form of tablet, pill and capsule.
Spreading hogweed (Boerhavia diffusa):
This herb falls in the category of diuretics. It is
an excellent remedy for treating swelling or
inflammation from all over the body. Since
hypothyroidism has swelling and numbness all
over the body as its symptoms, it can be very
beneficial for treating such conditions. This is a
very good tonic and can also be used for
There are many compound Ayurveda
formulations that are advised to manage
hypothyroidism. Ayurveda always suggests
patients to go for internal medication, followed
by strict diet as prescribed and advised by
According to Ayurveda, all diseases involve
vitiation or imbalance of the three vital bodily
humors called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Ayurvedic medicines along with recommended
lifestyle and diet will restore these three
humors and, thus, eliminate the disease.