Herbs for an underactive thyroid

Updated July 20, 2017

The thyroid, which regulates hormones and responsible for many functions in the body, can sometimes be underactive. Known as hypothyroidism, symptoms vary from weight issues to sluggishness. While traditional medicine may work for many, there are natural remedy options available including herbs. Herbs may work favourably for those in the early stages of the disease. Patients should consult a doctor before trying herbal remedies, however.


Gugul comes from the yellow resin of the mukul myrrh tree. It has been highly respected in Ayurvedic medicine for treating an underactive thyroid, according to Gugul has components called guggelsterones that help protect the liver while stimulating the thyroid. The dosage can vary, depending on the amount of guggelsterones in the extract or capsule. Gugul can be purchased online or at a natural health food shop.

Coleus forskohlii

Coleus forskohlii is a member of the mint family and aids in stimulating the thyroid. Since ancient times, the herb has been used as a medicinal remedy. It breaks down lipids and stimulates the thyroid gland. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre in the USA, which collates and publishes information on alternative therapies, consuming capsules of 50 to 100 mg. two to three times daily can benefit the under active thyroid. It is generally regarded as a safe herb, but still must be taken cautiously.

Gotu Kola

The gotu kola plant, native to India, has been used for centuries as an Ayurvedic herb, placing itself in the ancient Indian medical text for its powerful benefits. China has also considered it a “miracle elixir of life” using it for many treatments including thyroid gland support. To brew gotu kola tea, according to, steep about a teaspoon of the dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Drink three times daily.


Bladderwrack is a powerful performer and a highly valuable seaweed for treating an underactive thyroid, especially if the cause is iodine deficiency. It is necessary to gradually adapt to bladderwrack, also known as kelp, according to Paul Pitchford, author of “Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition”. It can take the body some time to adjust to digesting the sea vegetable. Kelp is highly nutritious and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It can be added to soups or any favourite food.

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About the Author

Cheryl Murphy is a Bauman-certified nutrition educator, Metagenics lifestyle coach and pending Pilates instructor. With a background studying journalism at the University of Kansas, she has written online health and wellness articles the past two years.