Essential oils have been used in the treatment of several ailments for many centuries.
They have proven beneficial effects on the body including improved immunity, speedy recovery from illness, skin care and for topical application.
Balance of hormones is an important benefit of essential oils. This is the reason it is considered as a good treatment method for thyroid conditions.
Thyroid gland and potential dysfunction
Thyroid gland plays a vital role in performing vital body functions, which include metabolic processes such as tissue development and cell growth.
The thyroid hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine need to be secreted in sufficient amounts for the thyroid to carry out its vital functions. But maintaining a balance is difficult for the thyroid as there are many health conditions that result in increased or decreased secretion of thyroid hormones.
For instance, hyperthyroidism which results due to increased hormone secretion is caused by conditions like cancer of thyroid, Graves’ disease, malfunction of pituitary gland and toxic adenomas.
The symptoms for hyperthyroidism include nervousness, anxiety, sweating, unexplained weight loss, irregular menstrual pattern, insomnia, irregular heart beat and muscle weakness.
In hypothyroidism, there is decreased secretion of hormone and is seen in conditions like autoimmune disorders, lithium exposure and toxic iodine levels. The symptoms present include hair loss, constipation, lethargy, memory loss and mood swings.
Hence it is necessary to balance the thyroid hormone levels, which is why there are several medications available ranging from Synthroid and Armour Thyroid to desiccated thyroid formulations.
With essential oils offering a natural and easy way for balancing thyroid hormone, they are considered a good choice of treatment for thyroid conditions.
Common essential oils used for thyroid conditions
Many essential oils have beneficial impact on thyroid gland including rosemary oil, frankincense, geranium, cedar wood, lemon balm, myrtle, jasmine and many other oils. Let us see a few of them.
Rosemary oil: This oil helps in treatment of joint pain, fatigue, and hair loss and weight gain of unexplained cause. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in boosting growth and energy levels.
Myrtle oil: myrtle oil regulates several processes in our body which has been proven scientifically. It helps promote normal body functions, which makes it ideal for treating hyper and hypothyroidism.
Geranium oil: Gernaium carries anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence it is ideal for use in hypothyroid condition. The deficiency of thyroid hormone helps reduce gut, neural and blood vessel inflammation.
Frankincense: This oil soothes any inflammation occurring in the body and helps to keep the digestive process in a healthy state, eliminating symptoms such asconstipation and also helps boost brain function.
Cedar wood oil: This oil helps lower sweating, boosts immunity and has sedative effect. When used with almond oil as carrier and applied on neck, temple and the chest region, the oil helps induce relaxation and sleep.
Lemon balm oil: Rich in antioxidants and compounds enabling anti-inflammation, this oil helps cure digestive upsets, weakness and anxiety. It also helps stimulate appetite.
Jasmine oil: Those with hyperthyroidism will benefit largely from applying this oil as it helps fight exhaustion, nervousness and keeps you relaxed and help fight depression.
How to get the best effect of essential oils
Essential oils are formed as highly concentrated phytochemicals distilled from various plant parts such as flowers, roots, leaves and other plant parts. This makes them very potent. Hence you need to use them only in tiny amounts or as needed.
In general, two or three drops of the oil are sufficient for the effects to be felt. The oil can be used aromatically or as topical application. And you should avoid using large quantities or consuming the oil internally.
Further there areenvironmental concerns regarding overconsumption of essential oils as large amounts of plant materials need to be used to extract the oil, which can create negative environmental impact.
How effective are the essential oils in thyroid treatment
Essential oils have considerable role in bringing about hormonal balance. They help treat many of the symptoms present in thyroid conditions such as insomnia, weight gain, nervousness, and more.
But using them as the only treatment option for thyroid conditions is not advisable. This is because low or high thyroid hormone levels can lead to serious consequences, if not treated quickly and effectively.
The essential oils with their numerous benefits serve as a good adjunct to regular thyroid therapy.
They help to maintain thyroid health and in some cases help to bring about small balance correction.
However if you are suffering from severe hormonal imbalance leading to hyperthyroid or hypothyroid condition, it is advisable to go for a full-fledged thyroid treatment protocol that involves use of synthetic or desiccated thyroid medications.
And in some cases essential oil can trigger skin allergies and other allergic reaction. It is therefore best to use essential oils with care taking necessary precautions in case of proven allergies.