The thyroid is a gland situated in the neck
and produces a hormone called thyroxene which helps in regulating body
metabolism. Deficiency of the thyroxene hormone (hypothyroidism)
increases the subcutaneous fat in adults and cretinism in children.
Hypothyroidism is caused due to the inactivity of thyroxine, deficiency
of iodine or thyroid failure leading to fatigue, listlessness and
hormonal imbalance. If left untreated, it could lead to myxoedema which
manifest as swollen skin and tissues.
From the Sanskrit,
ashwagandha means “horse’s scent.” However, in this case, it might be
more accurately referred to as “horse’s power.” The herb is considered
an adaptogen, possessing the unique ability to regulate the endocrine
system and create a stable metabolic balance. Adaptogens such as
ashwagandha may regulate bile flow and glucose production, possibly
reducing weight gain symptoms often seen with hypothyroid patients.
Given below are four reasons it can be used for thyroid support:
1. It works with your body, not against it.
2. It is an adaptogen, a herbal product that increases the body’s
resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. Adaptogens are
rejuvenating herbs, ‘rasayanas’ in Ayurvedic terms and restoratives.
They are also tonic herbs and can be taken regularly. They also modulate
the endocrine system (hormones) to help the person regain hormonal
balanceand feel better.
3. Anecdotal evidence and real experience of
persons using Ashwagandha indicates that adaptogens work with all types
of people-even people who are suffering from extremes of the particular
disease. For instance one person could take it to correct a sluggish
thyroid, while another could use it to treat the overactive one.
Scientists are stumped by these observations, perhaps because it has a
holistic effect on the body. The scientific approach of separate and
isolate finds it difficult to deal with the larger picture.
Other health benefits of Ashwagandha :
Ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, trouble sleeping
(insomnia), tumors,tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by
white patchiness (leukoderma),bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia,
menstrual problems, hiccups, and chronic liverdisease.
Ashwagandha is also used as an “adaptogen” to help the body cope with daily stress, and as a general tonic.
Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability,
decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), and preventing the effects
of aging. It is also used for fertility problems in men and women and
also to increase sexual desire.
Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).
A little about the dosage you should use – it should be 200 to 1200
milligrams per day. If the odour is unpalatable then it could be taken
as a tea or a smoothie with an addition of basil to make it a
stimulating hot drink.
It is not recommended that pregnant women take ashwagandha because of its spasmolytic activity on the uterus.