One in 10 million people in America currently live with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. If this staggering statistic includes you or someone you love, take a few minutes to learn about Ashwagandha.
Adding this herb to your treatment routine is very easy. It may help reduce your symptoms and improve your health. Continue reading to learn about Ashwagandha thyroid benefits.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article.
How Ashwagandha Helps Hypothyroidism
Ashwagandha Thyroid Benefits
1. Ashwagandha Reduces Stress And Anxiety
2. Ashwagandha Stimulates T4 Hormones
3. Ashwagandha Supports The Adrenal Glands
4. Ashwagandha Supports HPA Functions
5. Ashwagandha Boosts Immunity
6. Ashwagandha Helps You Cope With Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
7. Ashwagandha Has No Side Effects
Ashwagandha is a saponin glycoside known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. It helps in stabilizing and regulating body functions.
According to Ayurveda, an increase in Vata and Kapha doshas are mainly responsible for hypothyroidism. A prolonged Vata and Pitta imbalance depletes strength and immunity and causes Vata to push Kapha out of its normal range of homeostasis.1
Ashwagandha counters hypothyroidism by pacifying Vata and Kapha.
It is one of the best adaptogenic herbs and is beneficial for increasing the very essence of life, called ojas, and restoring energy levels.2
READ MORE: Vata Diet: Everything You Need To Know
Here is a list of seven ways that Ashwagandha may benefit hypothyroidism (Ashwagandha thyroid benefits).
Ashwagandha is a safe and effective adaptogen. It’s roots aid in reducing stress and anxiety and so it improves the self-assessed quality of life.3
A study conducted to test the ability of Ashwagandha to combat stress and male infertility resulted in several positive findings. A decrease in stress, improved levels of antioxidants and improvement in overall semen quality were found.4
Another study involving mice showed that Ashwagandha weakened chronic stress induced perturbations including significant hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance and an increase in plasma corticosterone levels. The study concluded that this herb has significant anti-stress adaptogenic activity.5
Ashwagandha stimulates the thyroid to produce more T4 hormone. At the same time though, it keeps potential risks of excess T4 in check.
Researchers concluded that patients with hypothyroidism experience benefits after consuming Ashwagandha because of its T4-elevating, anti-inflammatory, nerve-protecting, antioxidant and antidepressant properties.6
High T4 levels on the other hand, may generate oxidative stress. Free radicals that form oxidize the lipid membranes of cells and damage the cells.
Ashwagandha is an effective antioxidant, able to scavenge free radicals, reduce lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress.
Even as Ashwagandha stimulates the thyroid to produce more T4, it keeps potential risks of excess T4 in check.7
Ashwagandha has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol and balancing thyroid hormones. It has proven effective in supporting adrenal function helping sufferers overcome adrenal fatigue and chronic stress.8
Ashwagandha corrects the imbalance between the immune and the neuroendocrine system to normalize the bodily functions under stressful conditions. It does so by targeting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland (HPA) axis.9
The hypothalamus, pituitary gland and the adrenal glands all play a role in proper thyroid function.
Ashwagandha has immunomodulating effects.10
One study looked at its effects on the cellular immune response. Administration of this herb was found to enhance the proliferation of lymphocytes, bone marrow cells and thymocytes.11
Another study showed that Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoietic, and rejuvenating properties.12
These studies show that Ashwagandha may help to slow the growth of tumors and reduce inflammation in the body.
Ashwagandha helps in increasing memory,13 concentration, cognitive abilities and promotes an uplift of mood and restful sleep which are the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The effects of Ashwagandha intake are the same as that of the common pharmaceutical anxiolytic drugs diazepam, lorazepam and the antidepressant drug imipramine. Above all, Ashwagandha does not have any side effects.14,15
Ashwagandha acts like a GABAergic drug binding to GABA receptors. It produces calming, anti‐anxiety, anti‐convulsive, highly‐stabilizing effects.16
Ashwagandha promotes restful sleep.
Restful sleep naturally reduces stress levels, while lower stress levels lead to good sleep. Both have an overall positive effect on the body and mind.
Ashwagandha root extract can be safely and effectively used for long-term administration without any adverse side effects and withdrawal symptoms.17
If you wish to use Ashwagandha, consult your health care provider or a qualified Ayurvedic herbalist for assistance.
READ MORE: Ayurveda’s Natural Treatment For Low Thyroid
1 Dr. Marc Halpern, Clinical Ayurvedic Medicine Sixth Edition, 7-10
2 Dr. J.L.N.Sastry, DravyagunaVijnana, Study of essential Medicinal Plants in Ayurveda Vol 2, Chaukhambha Orientalia,Varanasi.
3 K. Chandrasekhar, A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 255–262.doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022 PMCID
4 Abbas Ali Mahdi, Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility 2011; 2011: 576962.Published online 2011 Jun 18. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep138PMCID: PMC3136684
5 Lakshmi-Chandra Mishra ,Scientific Basis for the Therapeutic Use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review Alternative Medicine Review Volume 5, Number
6 Gannon, Jessica M., Paige E. Forrest, and KN Roy Chengappa. “Subtle changes in thyroid indices during a placebo-controlled study of an extract of Withania somnifera
in persons with bipolar disorder.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 5, no. 4 (2014): 241.
7 Huang, Yue-Ye, Aaron M. Gusdon, and Shen Qu. “Cross-talk between the thyroid and liver: A new target for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease treatment.” World J
Gastroenterol 19, no. 45 (2013): 8238-8246.
8 Chandrasekhar K ,A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha
root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022.
9 Verma SK, Kumar A. Theraputic uses of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) with a note on withanoloids and its pharmacological actions. Asian J Pharma Clin Res. 2011;4(1):1–4.
10 A Erlandsen,P01.44. In vivo immune modulating effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012; 12(Suppl 1): P44.Published online
2012 Jun 12. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882- 12-S1- P44 PMCID: PMC3373860
11 Davis L, Effect of Withania somnifera on cell mediated immune responses in mice. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Dec;21(4):585-90.PubMed.
12 Mishra LC,Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Aug;5(4):334-46Pub Med.
13 Nava E ,Mental relaxation improves long-term incidental visual memory Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2004 May;81(3):167-71
14 Gupta, Girdhari Lal, and Avtar Chand Rana. “Protective effect of Withania somnifera dunal root extract against protracted social isolation induced behavior in rats.” Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 51, no. 4 (2007): 345-353.
15 Abdel-Magied EM, Abdel-Rahman HA, Harraz FM,The effect of aqueous extracts of Cynomorium coccineum and Withania somnifera on testicular development in
immature Wistar rats.J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Apr; 75(1): 1-4.
16 KSM-66 Ashwagandha: The High-potency, Full Spectrum Ingredient for Stress Relief, Energy, Cognition and Immunity Anand V. Bodapati, Ph. D. UCLA Anderson
School Advisor, Ixoreal Biomed
17 Andrade, Chittaranjan, Anitha Aswath, S. K. Chaturvedi, M. Srinivasa, and R. Raguram. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy of an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera.” Indian journal of psychiatry 42, no. 3 (2000): 295.
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