Plants have been used time and again as medicinal aids to various ailments. While most healing properties come directly from the leaves and roots, some plants and herbs offer their essential oils to relieve, prevent, and reverse symptoms.
The numerous components of essential oils can be used in a great variety of purposes, from foods to cosmetics, to treatments and therapies. One such disease that can test the potency of essential oils is related to the thyroid.
The thyroid gland, along with adrenal glands, supply essential hormones throughout the body. The adrenals, which are located above the kidneys, are best known for helping you cope with stress by releasing stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. They are also responsible for managing blood sugar levels, regulating the balance of salt and water, and controlling sexual maturity. Thyroid hormones can significantly decrease during repeated or prolonged periods of stress.
Essential oils for thyroid health
One of the main benefits to using essential oils is their soothing ability, which helps the mind and body recover from fatigue. Meanwhile, some plant extracts support endocrine and immune system function. In thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism, there are certain essential oils that can stimulate hormone production and help relieve symptoms naturally. Some of these are:
Black spruce – This herb contains antioxidant compounds called terpenoids, which have a tonic effect on adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. These promote hormonal balance, and help combat lethargic moods, especially in winter months.
Clary sage – This herb stands out as one the most potent essential oils for relaxation and stress relief. According to a study, it "could be developed as a therapeutic agent for patients with depression." Moreover, its strong antidepressant abilities is associated with dopamine regulation, which affects a person's emotions and sensations of pleasure or pain.
Lemongrass – Lemongrass can instantly boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue thanks to its invigorating aroma. Its essential oil can help manage the symptoms of low thyroid function, and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it helps reduce oxidative stress, which encourages the body’s overall healing process.
Myrrh – Much like the black spruce, myrrh is rich in terpenoids, which help reduce inflammation and support the immune system. In addition, this herb can be helpful for managing symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease, which affects the thyroid gland. Terpenoids are also found to protect against hormone-related cancers.
Rosemary – Aside from giving off its characteristic aroma, this festive herb may also be helpful for managing symptoms of hypothyroidism, including digestive issues and hair loss. Rosemary has been found to stimulate hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness, which can be caused by autoimmune conditions and chronic stress.
Inhaling the aroma of essential oils encourages calmness and healing in the body. Likewise, applying them topically allows their medicinal properties to absorb through your skin, which may be more beneficial for improving thyroid function. For this purpose, you can mix a few drops of any of these essential oils with carrier oils such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage onto the front base of your neck where the thyroid gland is located, as well as your lower back, above the kidneys. Note that essential oils can be extremely potent and can burn the skin; always remember to dilute them first with carrier oils before application.