Obtained from plants, essential oils are known for their strong aroma and surprisingly pleasant taste. While it is important for most people (especially in individuals with thyroid problems,) essential oils are ‘insignificant’ for the plants themselves. These byproducts, extracted through steam or pressure, do not only repel the plant’s enemies, they work by fighting bacteria as well.
With that being said, there are many essential oils that improve over-all well-being – that of the thyroid included. Whether you have an underactive thyroid or an overactive one, here are some essential oils that can help reduce your symptoms – if not help you achieve a euthyroid phase.
Hypothyroidism is an ailment characterized by low amounts of thyroid hormone in the body. It can result from an inflamed thyroid gland such as what you can expect from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It can also be caused by radioactive iodine treatment or surgical removal of the thyroid due to nodules, tumors, and other underlying problems.
Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, depression, memory loss, and irritability, among many others. Fortunately, these symptoms can be addressed naturally simply by using any of the essential oils below:
Myrrh is an aromatic gum resin obtained from the plant Commiphora myrrha. True enough, it befits to be one the three wise king’s gifts to Jesus because of its many medicinal powers. According to the study by Su et al., it is useful in treating conditions that come with inflammation and pain. Such is the case for hypothyroidism, where many people verbalize the onset of muscle aches. It can also address dry skin and acne, which are two dermatological symptoms inherent to hypothyroidism.
Myrrh is also valuable for people suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this condition, the immune system attacks the thyroid by mobilizing lymphocytes to the gland. These produce the antibodies that work against the thyroid. As a result, the gland is unable to produce enough amounts of hormones – a condition most people know as hypothyroidism. With myrrh, the onset of the said inflammatory process can be prevented.
Rose Geranium Oil
Rose Geranium oil, which comes from the Geraniacaea family, has long been used for flavoring and spices, apart from being utilized in fragrances and cosmetics. In traditional medicine, it is one of the most celebrated oils because of its bevy of benefits. Not only is it an effective antibacterial and antifungal oil, it’s also non-toxic, non-sensitizing, and non-irritating.
As for hypothyroidism, Rose Geranium oil extracted from the stem and leaves is useful in addressing some symptoms. It can help in the management of depression, which is frequently experienced by individuals with underactive thyroids.
Rose Geranium oil is also lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties, as demonstrated in the study of Boukhatem et al. As with Myrrh, it is recommended for people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease as intake of this essential oil can lessen the inflammatory activities associated with the illness.
Rose Geranium oil is also known to help foster weight loss. This is particularly important for thyroid patients, as most of them experience weight gain due to the low metabolism caused by the lack of thyroid hormones. Rose Geranium oil makes this weight loss possible due to dimethylmylamine, a stimulant agent found in the plant.
In patients with dry skin, application of Rose Geranium oil will work as well. After all, drug studies show that it brings about a soothing effect to skin.
Rosemary oil comes from the small evergreen shrub scientifically known Rosamarinus officinalis.Popular for its sweet scent, rosemary oil is used in making soaps, colognes, and medicines.
Apart from its aromatherapy use, rosemary oil is particularly helpful for hypothyroid individuals, especially when it comes to addressing the ailment’s worrisome symptoms. According to Sayorwan et al, rosemary oil has been known to yield stimulatory effects such as alertness and attentiveness to combat the usual fatigue. It also elicits ‘cheerfulness,’ which can thwart depressive episodes seen in hypothyroidism.
Rosemary oil has also been “shown to possess excellent brain-stimulating properties as well as an aid for memory improvement,” which is essential for hypothyroid people experiencing the symptom of memory loss. To top it all off, it can also cure acne, which is one of the skin manifestations of hypothyroidism.
Sandalwood oil, which is extracted from the tree Santulum album, has long been used as flavoring, fragrance, and medicine in ancient (and even present) India. Due to its many medicinal properties, it comes as no surprise that this oil is also beneficial for those suffering from hypothyroidism.
According to a study by Sharma et al, Sandalwood oil has been deemed useful in managing depression, which is just one of the many psychological symptoms of hypothyroidism. Additionally, Sharma et al. noted that Sandalwood oil also exhibited anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly useful for people at risk of developing Hashimoto’s disease, a condition which can lead to hypothyroidism.
When it comes to skin symptoms caused by hypothyroidism, inflicted individuals can count on Sandalwood oil to address such conditions. As per the study of Orchard and Van Vuuren, Sandalwood oil is not only effective in treating acne, it is also intended for use on dry, damaged skin.
Obtained from the plant Mentha spicata, spearmint oil is used in treating spasms and alleviating hirsutism, among many other concerns. With that being said, spearmint is not only a refreshing flavoring for gums and candies, studies also show that it can address symptoms usually associated with hypothyroidism. To start, it is an easy fix for the stubborn acne associated with an underactive thyroid.
In a study made by Ataabadi et al, results showed that spearmint can help decrease body weight, which is particularly useful as hypothyroidism often leads to weight gain.
Subsequently, it can also address menstrual issues linked with hypothyroidism. The same study suggested that spearmint can ‘fix’ ovulation problems and address menstrual pain, apart from decreasing insulin resistance and normalizing testosterone levels in the body.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition hallmarked by increased amounts of thyroid hormones circulating in the body. Such results in a high metabolism, which are characterized by the symptoms of heart palpitations, insomnia, mental disturbances, nervousness, and tremors, to name a few. Granted that these symptoms are very worrisome, they can be managed with the help of any of the following essential oils mentioned below:
Obtained from Boswellia trees, Frankincense oil is a widely popular product used to make perfumes and incense, among many other products. Apart from these materials Frankincense oil is also known to treat many symptoms, such as that of inflammation, as well as other hyperthyroidism symptoms.
For one, it exhibits an anxiolytic effect, which is widely useful in people suffering from hyperthyroidism-caused anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. Most importantly, frankincense is effective in thwarting the DNA repair and cycle progression of cancer cells, as noted in the study of Gautam et al. This is particularly important for individuals suffering from thyroid cancers, apart from other malignancies.
Lavender oil is obtained from the plant Lavandula officinalis, a shrub with fragrant blue flowers. Known for its clean odor, Lavender oil is used in the manufacturing of perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. Fortunately enough, lavender oil is widely available to help people who suffer from hyperthyroidism symptoms.
For one, it can help decrease heart rate because of its ability to decrease autonomic arousal, as per the study of Ayorwan et al. This is especially helpful since hyperthyroidism is characterized by rapid heartbeats and palpitations.
Lavender oil is also known to produce anxiolytic effects, which can thwart the unease often observed in individuals with hyperactive thyroids.
Another symptom that lavender oil can address is insomnia, as difficulty sleeping is often observed in people with hyperthyroidism. According to Koulivand et al, lavender oil improves sleep by enabling faster slumber – with an even longer duration.
Peppermint oil comes from the marriage of two mints, namely the water mint and spearmint. The plant, common in Europe and North America, produces oil that is used for flavoring, fragrance, and cosmetics.
Peppermint oil comes with a variety of benefits for hyperthyroid individuals. According to Kingler and Chaudhary, it is very effective in addressing digestive problems, such as the frequent bowel movements that come with an overactive thyroid. Additionally, it is a good pain reliever – as muscle aches and pains are often linked with the said condition.
Since peppermint oil brings about clarity and focus, it is also recommended for use by individuals suffering from anxiety, impatience, irritability, emotional lability, and distractibility caused by hyperthyroidism.
Peppermint oil can be taken in the form of tea, or as a liquid extract or a capsule. Side effects include heartburn, irritation, and rashes. When taken in excess, it can cause toxicity, so be careful when using Peppermint oil!
Wintergreen oil comes from Gaultheria procumbens, an herb indigenous to North America. Its oil is used as flavoring for toothpastes, mouthwashes, gums, confections, and teas.
As an analgesic, wintergreen oil is best used for aches and spasms associated with hyperthyroidism. Massage wintergreen oil to the affected areas – as much as four times a day –in order to experience immediate and soothing pain relief.
Wintergreen oil has also been known to revitalize the mind, which is best when mental disturbances are experienced alongside other hyperthyroidism symptoms.
Because of its minty sensation to the skin, make sure to wash your hands after applying wintergreen oil. Avoid contact with the eyes, mouth, nose, and genitals to avoid irritation.
Both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
Fortunately, there is an essential oil that can address symptoms both for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Such is the case with Lemongrass oil, which is widely available in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Congo, and India. It is obtained from the plant Cymbopogon citratus and contains 70-80% of citral. As such, lemongrass oil is commonly used in cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, and bath salts.
Lemongrass oil is ideal for people suffering from autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, where the disease occurs because of the body’s ‘inflammatory process.’ According to Sforcin et al, lemongrass does so by inhibiting the production of IL-1 beta and IL-6, pro-inflammatory cytokines which cause inflammation and tissue destruction to the thyroid gland, among many other symptoms.
Another hypothyroidism symptom that lemongrass oil can manage is acne, alongside many other skin conditions.
As for people with hyperthyroidism, Lemongrass oil is just as important as it is known to cure shaky limbs, another symptom associated with the said condition.
The use of alternative medicine, such as that of essential oils, is growing in popularity because of its safety and effectivity. They are surprisingly inexpensive as well! With the many benefits that you can expect from these oils, there is no reason why you should not use any of them in conjunction with your thyroid medications.
While they are markedly safe and proven effective, make sure to consult with your doctor first before you start using essential oils.
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