4 Herbs for Thyroid and Adrenal Health

September 2, 2014    BY Jackie Dobrinska

Millions of Americans are unaware that their fatigue, weight gain, and depression can be caused by an underactive thyroid. In fact, according to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 60% of the 20 million affected people are unaware of their condition.

Millions of Americans are unaware that their fatigue, weight gain, and depression are caused by an underactive thyroid.

The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism—how energy is used by tissues—which affects body temperature and heartbeat, among other things. When the thyroid doesn’t secrete enough hormone, the body slows down energy use and we end up being cold, putting on weight, and feeling tired.

While the causes of thyroid conditions are many and varied and should be investigated by your doctor, one issue, often overlooked in the medical community, is adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue happens when cortisol levels become consistently low, often after a traumatic event or from a sustained lifestyle of too many late nights, poor food choices, and chronic stress. The body enters a catabolic state, which signals the thyroid to slow down.

To support the adrenals, whether you suffer from thyroid issues or not, turn to these respected herbal adaptogens (herbs that help the body adapt to stress). 

Siberian Ginseng

Eleuthero, often called Siberian ginseng, is a well-known adaptogen. It creates a broad-spectrum, normalizing action that brings the systems back to homeostasis. This herb was used by Russian athletes to increase performance at the Olympics in the 1970s and was incorporated into the space program for cosmonauts in 1977.

Licorice

The sweet root of licorice has been used for over 3,000 years for strengthening the overall system. A widely used herb, licorice also helps regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, an intricate relationship between glands that help to regulate hormones. Licorice mimics the effects of cortisol, thereby supporting physical and emotional health during times of adrenal fatigue.

Ashwagandha

A favorite herb in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is believed to give its users the stamina and strength of a male horse. This adaptogen improves both DHEA-S (an adrenal hormone) and testosterone levels, while aiding in calming the nervous system. It is a great ally in relieving nervous exhaustion and fatigue and has been used as a rasayana (rejuvenating herb) by the people of India for generations. (Organic Ash

Rhodiola

Rhodiola has been used for decades to benefit the nervous and endocrine systems. It thrives in the harsh and stressful climates of high mountains, offering support to those living in stressful situations regardless of climate. Studies show that rhodiola helps increase stamina, prevent fatigue, improve mental function, reduce anxiety, and ameliorate symptoms of mild depression. 

NOTE: While these herbs are considered safe for most people, they may be contraindicated under certain conditions, or while taking certain other herbs or medicines, so it's best to check with your doctor before using them.

Jackie Dobrinska
For almost 10 years, Jackie has apprenticed with world-renowned leaders in mind-body health. She teaches simple tools for transformation - including yoga, nutrition and herbs - at universities, hospitals, yoga studios, businesses and conferences around the Southeast. As an author and teacher, her passion is to empower others on their journey of self-discovery, encouraging deep nourishment, self-love, and connecting to an authentic truth that brings fulfillment and an inner radiance. For more... Read more>>