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Management of Hypothyroidism in Ayurveda

Treatment / August 26, 2018

Imagine feeling tired, drained and sluggish, and it is only the start of the day. That’s how hypothyroidism feels. The condition is characterised by low energy, forgetfulness, weight gain and a low resistance towards cold. The culprit, in this case, is a lazy thyroid gland.

What is the Ayurvedic view about hypothyroidism?
Holistic expert Shivangi Chatterji, from, world’s first natural wellness platform explains, “The way that Ayurveda looks at a condition is by dissecting its qualities. When you have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid, the first feeling is that of coldness. You will also start to feel other symptoms like a slow digestive fire, dullness of the mind and an overall feeling of heaviness due to the accumulation of toxins in the body, which weigh the body down.”
“It’s a disorder that causes one to feel heavy, cold, soft, slow, stagnant and dull. All of these qualities are embodied in the Kapha dosha. Therefore, incorporating contrasting qualities like light, hot, sharp, mobile and dry can bring your thyroid functioning to normal.”
In this article, Shivangi discusses the various ways in which Ayurveda can help you manage hypothyroidism.

What is the best diet for hypothyroidism according to Ayurveda?
Dairy: Dairy and dairy products like cheese and paneer (cottage cheese) are all great additions to a low thyroid diet.

Healthy fats: Healthy fats are the key constituents of hormones. Coconut oil, ghee, flax seed oil and fish oil are all superb sources of good fats.

Low glycemic foods: Low glycemic foods such as whole grains, lentils and kidney beans are full of fibre and maintain healthy levels of blood sugar.

Warming spices: Warming spices such as black pepper, ginger and turmeric can be used in your diet or consumed as herbal tea to enhance circulation and stimulate your heart rate.

What to avoid: Refrain from consuming sour and heavy foods, similarly, while cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, turnips, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower can be beneficial for hyperthyroidism, they reduce thyroid activity which is why those with underactive thyroid should avoid them.

What are the best Yogasanas for hypothyroidism?
Yoga and pranayama: Relaxation techniques like yoga and pranayama are very beneficial in lowering stress levels and boosting thyroid function.

Asanas: The Shoulder head stand (Sarvangasana) is an excellent way to get blood circulation pumping and flush out toxins from the thyroid gland. Asanas like Fish Pose (Matsyasana) and Plow Pose (Halasana) can stretch the thyroid.

Lung openers like Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Cow pose (Bitilasana) and gentle backbends are generally beneficial for thyroid.

Pranayama: Ujjayi pranayama, or victory breath, is a controlled breathing technique that can rapidly oxygenate the blood and promote thyroid health. The other great pranayama practices for low thyroid are Brahmeri, Kapala Bhati and Bhastrika.

What are the best herbs for hypothyroidism?
Punarnava: Fires up the metabolism for better digestion, reduces Kapha dosha and helps in removing excess water to support weight loss.

Vacha: Tonic for the mind. Vacha counters heavy, Kaphic depression and clears away brain fog.

Trikatu: It lights the digestive fire with its hot and dry properties. Have a pinch before meals to jumpstart your metabolism.

Brahmi: Another herb that brightens and lightens the mind to offset brain dog and depression