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Hyperthyroidism and Ayurveda

Author : Gurnam Saini  

Ayurveda Approach to Hyperthyroidism

 

 

Hyperthyroidism occurs due to increase of Pitta and Vata Doshas and hyper functioning of Agni. The subtype of Vata, the Samana Vata located in the duodenum and the subtype of Pitta, Pachaka Pitta located in the stomach is vitiated leading to increase in Agni which in turn leads to depletion of the body tissues. Hyperthyroidism is correlated with Pittavritta Vata in Ayurveda.

 

 

Pittavritta Vata

 

 

Occlusion of Vata by Pitta Dosha produces symptoms such as burning sensation, increased thirst, pain, giddiness, fatigue, loss of strength, intolerance to heat, craving for cold comforts, increase of symptoms upon intake of pungent, sour, salty and hot potency food. Thus, it can be correlated with hyperthyroidism. 

 

 

लिङ्गं पित्तावृते दाहस्तृष्णा शूलं भ्रमस्तमः।। ६१।।
कट्वम्ललवणोष्णैश्च विदाहः शीतकामिता।

 

 

 

Hyperthyroidism Ayurveda Causative factors

 

 

Aharaja: Diet factors

Viharaja: Lifestyle factors

 

Ruksha: Dry food

Langhana: Fasting or long gap between meals

 

Ati vyayama / Ati kriya: Excess exercise or overstrain

Vegadharana: Suppression of natural urges especially of sleep

Shoka: Grief

Krodha: Anger

 

           

 

 

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms as per Ayurveda:

 

 

As Agni at the digestive and metabolic level is increased, hence the tissues are depleted. And as Vata and Pitta Doshas are aggravated they in turn decrease nourishment or Kapha Dosha. Hence the following symptoms are seen in hyperthyroidism.

 

 

  1. Dourbalya: Fatigue occurs due to dryness of Vata Dosha and heat of Pitta Dosha which are increased.
  2. Usha Asahsnuta: Intolerance to heat because of increased Agni and increase in heat and penetrating qualities of Pitta Dosha.
  3. Hrit Pida: Palpitation
  4. Chinta: Mood swings / Panic attacks

 

 

The above two symptoms occur due to increase of heat and penetrating properties of Pitta and lightness property of Vata Dosha.

 

 

  1. Ati Sveda: Excess sweating occurs due to increased Agni and increase in heating and sharpness qualities of Pitta Dosha and mobility property of Vata Dosha.
  2. Alpa Nidra: Less sleep or insomnia is because of increase in lightness and mobility nature of Vata Dosha and decrease of Kapha Dosha.
  3. Udvega: Hyperactivity occurs because of decrease of Kapha Dosha, increase of heating property of Pitta Dosha and mobility and lightness quality of Vata Dosha.
  4. Khalitya: Hair loss occurs due to increased heat of Pitta Dosha and dryness of Vata Dosha.
  5. Atisara: Diarrhea / Excess bowel movements are caused due to increase of liquid property of Pitta and mobility property of Vata Dosha.
  6. Kshudhadikya: Excess appetite
  7. Ati Pipasa: Excess thirst

 

 

The above two symptoms occur due to hyper functioning of Agni, decrease of Pitta, Kapha Dosha and increase of Vata Dosha and vitiation of lymph tissue.

 

 

  1. Karshya: Weight loss
  2. Mamsakshaya: Loss of muscle strength

 

 

The above two symptoms occur due to increase of heating and penetrating property of Pitta Dosha and dryness, coarseness and lightness property of Vata Dosha.

 

 

Ayurveda Treatment approach for Hyperthyroidism

 

 

Herbs that are bitter and sweet in taste and have healing, cooling, unctuous and heavy properties are beneficial in hyperthyroidism as they bring equilibrium of Vata and Pitta Doshas and decrease hyperactivity of Agni as well.

 

 

  • Shankapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) may help in improving the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentina), Methika (Trigonella foenum-graecum) may help to reduce the thyroid hormone in the body.
  • Bilwa (Aegle marmelos) has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property which may reduce the hyperfunctioning of thyroid gland.
  • Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is an adaptogenic herb that helps in improved stress tolerance and promotion of homeostasis helps to reduce the levels of thyroid hormone in the body. It also has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory effects and may help to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure as well.
  • Rasayana (Rejuvenation) herbs are a class of Ayurvedci herbs that improve cellular nutrition is suggested in hyperthyroidism as they regulate the functioning of Agni and enhance nourishment of the tissues including thyroid gland thereby correcting thyroid function. Rasayana herbs such as Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) are suggested as they have cooling and unctuous property which may help to balance Pitta and Vata Doshas respectively, also they reduce the hyper functioning of Agni and provide nourishment to the thyroid gland and other body tissues.
  • Shatavari Ghrita, Amalaki Rasayana, Guduchi ghan vati are some of the Ayurveda herbal formulations that help in hyperthyroidism.

 

 

Panchakarma

 

 

Panchakarma procedures mainly Basti and Nasya are recommended for the management of hyperthyroidism.

 

 

Basti: Therapeutic enema is the best to bring equilibrium of Vata Dosha. Gut is called the second brain. Nutrients are absorbed in the intestines, hence healthy gut is necessary for maintaining disease free, healthy and long life. Basti directly acts on the intestines which are the seat of Vata Dosha and Agni hence they are beneficial in correcting thyroid imbalances too. Just like every other Panchakarma, Basti is also administered after therapeutic massage and sudation. The minimum recommended duration of Basti Panchakarma is 8 days. Anuvasana Basti (Oil enema) and Kshira Basti (Enema with Milk Decoction) are beneficial in hyperthyroidism as they are nourishing and strengthening the tissues. In Anuvasana Basti, lukewarm Ayurveda herbal oil especially Kshirabala oil or Sukumara ghrita along with little rock salt is administered through the anus. Rock salt helps in facilitating proper absorption and spreading of the Ayurveda herbal oil to all the tissues. In Kshira Basti, milk decoction is prepared by adding cooling Rasayana herbs such as Brahmi, Shatavari and is administered lukewarm. Kshira Basti is good for balancing Pitta and Vata Doshas by virtue of its nature – cooling property of herbs and milk helps to bring equilibrium of Pitta Dosha and nourishing, unctuous and heavy qualities of the milk and herbs help to bring equilibrium of Vata Dosha. Also cooling, unctuous, heavy property of herbs help to decrease hyper functioning of Agni thus helping in hyperthyroidism.

 

 

Nasya: Nasal Medication is beneficial in all diseases occurring in the Kapha region that is above the heart level. Following local massage of the scalp, face and upper back region with suitable Ayurveda herbal oil, local steam procedure is performed. Then lukewarm Anu oil is instilled into the nostrils following which therapeutic herbal smoke inhalation is done. This procedure helps to bring equilibrium of Doshas in the head and chest region. It also helps to cleanse the channels located in the head and chest region thereby regulating the movement of Vata Dosha. As Vata Dosha is the controller of Pitta and Kapha Doshas, its equilibrium will help in balancing other Doshas as well.

 

 

Shirodhara: As thyroid problems occur due to stress and worries and also people with thyroid problems suffer from stress, Shirodhara is beneficial. Following head massage, lukewarm Ayurveda herbal oil is poured on the forehead in a rhythmic manner which will help in deep relaxation thereby reducing symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, etc.

 

 

Abhyanga: Therapeutic body massage with lukewarm Ayurveda herbal oil such as Kshirabala oil is beneficial to improve circulation thereby helping in reducing symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, etc which commonly occurs in hyperthyroidism. Also, Abhyanga helps to reduce Vata Dosha thus beneficial in hyperthyroidism.

 

 

Natural Ayurveda Diet for Hyperthyroidism

 

 

Food articles that are nourishing, unctuous, heavy and cooling are suggested. Cooling spices like mint, coriander, fennel is beneficial. Increase intake of cruciferous vegetables, rice, wheat, milk, ghee, dry fruits, legumes, sweet food articles in diet. Reduce salt intake. Also use Himalayan rock salt for cooking.

 

 

Natural Ayurveda Lifestyle for Hyperthyroidism

 

 

Taking regular meals, timely and good quality sleep, day nap, improved stress tolerance, doing all activities slowly and mindfully are suggested. Avoid physical and mental overstrain, strenuous sport activities. Avoid staying awake late at night.

 

 

If you wish to consult Ayurveda, you may choose to contact one of our Ayurveda Practitioners Gurnam Saini or Pooja Saini in Melbourne. Both of our practitioners are Qualfied Ayurveda Doctors from India. You may contact us at "Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic".  People who can't reach us personally, may choose for online Ayurveda consultation. 

 

 

www.PureHerbalAyurved.com.au

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Author Bio:

Gurnam Saini has over 15 years’ experience in Ayurvedic naturopathy treatments in Melbourne, Australia. He has completed his bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India. He has done MD in Alternative Medicine and certificate courses in Panchakarma Detox, Pulse diagnosis and skin care. He is also a member of the Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA). He has won awards for ground-breaking work in Ayurveda globally. Read More