I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t need ashwagandha or thyroid support if this were your backyard.
Ashwagandha is a funny name…
Liz in our office can never pronounce it.
I couldn’t either until I learned more about it as well.
I’m not great at spelling things out phonetically, but let me give it a try here…
Say it a couple of times fast, it will grow on you and hopefully roll off your tongue.
Anyway, anyone who wants to take care of their thyroid (which means most women over 35) should know what this powerful herb is and why it would be worth their while to experiment with it.
Ashwagandha is an herb used traditionally in Ayurvedic practice. It grows in the dryer regions of India, Africa and the Mediterranean. Its Latin name – if you’re into that geeky stuff – is Withania Somnifera.
What I think is cooler is that I’ve heard in Sanskrit ashwagandha means “horse-like smell.” But don’t worry, if you take it you won’t smell like a sweaty horse, I promise.
(If anyone who knows Sanskrit can confirm that, I would appreciate it. I’ve found many sources online to confirm what I learned a while back, but am always skeptical of my online searches!)
So enough about what the herb IS, let me tell you what it can DO for you…
Here are the four reasons why you may want to try ashwagandha for thyroid support:
1. It works with your body, not against it.
One of my favorite categories of herbs are the adaptogens.
Adaptogens have stolen my heart because they’re potent (as long as you get good quality), multidimensional, and effective. They’re also – generally – tonic herbs, meaning you can take them regularly.
Scientists actually don’t really know how adaptogens work, they just know that they have a positive effect on those who use them. They modulate the endocrine system to help you feel better – whether you’re up or you’re down.
Sounds pretty vague right?
I agree, but you won’t want to argue with what I’ve said after you’ve used them on a regular basis – with a positive effect.
Through my research, I’ve found that most adaptogens work with the endocrine system (hormones) to bring you back in balance.
I’ve also found through personal experimentation and through anecdotal evidence that adaptogens worth with all types of people – even people who have issues on opposite sides of a particular spectrum.
For instance, someone could take ashwagandha to support a sluggish thyroid but another person could take it to support an overactive thyroid as well.
Again, both seem to work, and many scientists are stumped about this. I think the reason why is because the herb has a holistic effect on the body. The scientific method of “separate and isolate” has a hard time dealing with the larger picture (or at least many of the scientists who use it do.)
Because of this, when it comes to adaptogens, maybe it’s necessary to discard our microscopes, mass spectrometers and the scientific method and learn from those cultures who have been using and herb like this for thousands of years.
In this case, ashwagandha has been used in Indian (Ayurvedic) tradition to help with issues linked to hormone imbalance – including stress, anxiety and metabolism.
2. Science shows… Ashwagandha has a positive effect on hormones.
I know I just said we have to go back to ancient cultures to learn about this herb and what its traditional uses are, but I know some of you want some proof – or at least some evidence that the scientific world even knows this herb exists.
Good news is that there are some blips on the radar.
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase the amount of hormones secreted by the thyroid gland.
It’s unknown why this happens, but it has some type of regulating effect on thyroid hormone secretion.
The studies on this herb don’t show selectively that the herbal extracts cause the secretion of more T4 or T3, but both levels go up with the supplementation of high quality ashwagandha.
So there’s more to it than our “science” can identify, but science has at least taken a look.
If you want to read a good review on the different uses for ashwagandha, you can read this here.
3. Good for adrenal support too…
Aside from the thyroid, ashwaganda also is effective for adrenal support.
What this means is, one, that it is a true adaptogen, since most adaptogens are very good at supporting the adrenals, and, two, it confirms its ability to work with the entire endocrine / hormone system.
Ashwaganda seems to be an effective endocrine system modulator.
My sense is that most of us have hormone imbalances to some degree. It comes with the stress our cultures put on us. So to think that a potent herb could calm us down a bit and relax our reaction to the overstimulation we’re experiencing on a regular basis is not that far-fetched.
Now, keep in mind, ashwagandha isn’t a complete cure for your adrenals or your thyroid. The increases in T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones) are small and if you keep stressing out or using stimulants your adrenals will never recover, but it’s the first step for the thyroid (and adrenals) especially when there’s stress involved.
Who doesn’t have that?!
If you want a complete therapeutic approach to thyroid or adrenal health you would benefit from more support than just ashaganda, but it is a great start.
4. It’s completely natural.
My approach, from what I’ve learned from other successful natural health doctors and practitioners is pragmatic.
Try the natural approach first (unless you break a leg) and then see if it works. From there, you can decide if you need a secondary plan of action.
The whole herb has been used for thousands of years as a tonic herb which means you can take it for an extended period of time without side effects. Of course, if you want to be cautious, you can take ashwaganda for 1-2 months then take a break or switch to another adaptogen.
Little chance of side effects and a good chance of positive effects equals a good way to start your natural treatment protocol.
How much to take?
When you take ashwagandha you want to use a high quality extract and – as per Dr. Williams’ recommendations – take 200-1200 milligrams per day.
You can take it in capsule form, or in a smoothie or tea.
Adding it to a smoothie will mask the tea like flavor of the herb and if you want to make a tea you can mix it with holy basil and a sweetener for a decent tasting hot drink.
(We sell a very high quality ashwagandha in the Renegade Health Store – it’s cold extracted in powder form and very, very potent. I haven’t found anything as strong as this. Click here to read more and buy ashwagandha here.)
One of the best ways to determine if it is working for you, an approach that I’m in favor of is to test your thyroid hormones before you start taking it, then test 3-4 months later to see if there is a positive change.
This way you’ll know for sure if it’s working for you or if you might want to spend your money, time and energy elsewhere.
You can order thyroid hormone tests from any good health practitioner.
And by the way, if at any time you have a question about ashwaganda or if it’s right for you, it’s always a good idea to have a great health practitioner in your corner to bounce some ideas off of.
I want to know your thoughts: Have you tried ashwaganda? What did you think?
Wait, for Thyroid There’s More…
Ashwaganda is just the start.
In our “Complete Thyroid Health” Program, Dr. J. E. Williams has laid out at least a half dozen more herbs, supplements and minerals for complete thyroid support and natural treatment.
We’d love for you to take a look at it.
If you want, to take the risk off of you, we have a 60 day money back guarantee. So try it, and if you don’t find it valuable, you can return it, no questions asked!
Here’s where to go to get it now…