Hypothyroidism is the name for a condition where the thyroid under produces hormones. The thyroid hormones work to regulate the metabolic rate of the body. When there is an imbalance of the thyroid hormones, your body reacts by altering its metabolism. While this condition can affect all ages and can develop in men, it appears to be most common in women aged 50 and over.
When you have hypothyroidism, the change in your body’s metabolism results in either weight gain or a loss of appetite. Other symptoms connected to hypothyroidism include dry hair and skin, sensitivity to cold, anemia, memory loss and menstrual complications. While hypothyroidism can be treated, it can be fatal if left alone which is why it is always important to seek medical attention if you feel something is not right in your overall health condition.
However, there are several ways to alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroism. Herbal remedies are common as they have a long history of use going back to ancient times. One such herb is Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is a plant native to parts of Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. It has a long history of use going back over 3,000 in Ayurveda medicine.
This herb has been used to treat several health issues and comes from a class of herbs identified by the name rasayana. This class of plant is known for having a revitalizing effect on one’s health. Here’s why: the active chemicals in Ashwagandha are the same as those in ginseng. There’s also scientific evidence to back up the stress relieving qualities of the herb.
How Ashwagandha Works In Your Body
Scientists at D. A. University in India concluded from tests on mice that the root of the Ashwagandha plant can stimulate hormone production in the thyroid gland. These results alone point to the potential in treating hypothyroidism through the use of this herb. The studies show that Ashwagandha feeds thyroid hormones to the pituitary gland.
The hormones, called T4 and T3, are the center of the matter. Ashwagandha has the ability to increase the production of T4 thyroid hormone. This hormone has the qualities of being an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant with properties including nerve-protecting and contains several antioxidants. Ashwagandha also regulates the impact of T4 by attracting free radicals to keep the herbal reactions under control.
The Dosage You Require Of Ashwagandha
Historically, Ayurvedic practitioners relied on using the leaves or root powder of this plant for medicinal purposes. A teaspoon of either combined with milk, honey or mixed in boiled water could be taken twice a day. For comparison, a teaspoon of Ashwagandha leaves or root powder equals roughly 300g of concentrated herbal extract. The problem with using tea therapeutically is not being sure of the strength or dosage.
Using Ayurvedic measurements as a base, effective dosages in today’s world are between 600 and 1,200mg on a daily basis. If you are taking this herb in capsule form, a dosage of 1 or 2 capsules taken twice daily is sufficient. That being said, this plant is as effective in lower doses as well. Ashwagandha root extract or leaves are effective in doses as little as 50 to 100mg. Evidence also suggests that high doses up to 6,000mg daily is safe to consume.
Other Benefits of Ashwagandha
Aside from being useful in combating hypothyroidism, Ashwagandha can be used to decrease stress and anxiety, increase memory and concentration, relieve headaches, lowering the level of bad cholesterol and increase energy and stamina. It can also be used to increase the production of red blood cells and offer protection of the liver.
It can also produce increased relaxation making it an effective tool for those suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders. Ashwagandha can help regulate blood pressure reducing the risk of developing hypertension and contains anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce swelling as well as providing a pain reducing quality. If that’s not enough, this amazing plant can also produce natural steroid effects in those who use it.
Remember, you are trying herbal remedies at your own risk and results may vary from one person to another. This means that you may not receive the same kind of benefits to using Ashwagandha in treating hypothyroidism as someone else. Also, pregnant and nursing mothers are advised to refrain from using this or any herbal remedy. Although there is scientific proof to support the use of Ashwagandha as a treatment for hypothyroidism, you must still take precautions.