A year ago at a spry 21 years of age I was floored by the results of blood labs that very clearly indicated I had hypothyroidism. That was a condition only middle aged people dealt with, right? Wrong. Some studies estimate upwards of 40% of the population experiences thyroid malfunction at some point in their life.
I could have figured my adrenals were severely fatigued from burning the candle at both ends during college. Self-inflicted "rushing woman syndrome" and placing my sense of self-worth on how much I could accomplish wasn't my healthiest mindset. My hair was thinning and brittle, I couldn't think or focus and would stumble on my words constantly, I started needing naps. I legitimately thought I was going crazy because I couldn't function. So in a sense, the blood results were comforting to know something was measurably wrong. Creating balance through dietary and lifestyle choices had to happen and I'm on the upswing now without taking synthetic thyroid hormones.
Functional nutrition and medicine indicate a number of herbs, foods, and specific vitamins and minerals that should be taken to support and regulate healthy thyroid gland function. It's important to remember that hormones function on an axis, and this delicate system works in a loop. Supporting the whole system system is the only way to improve function of one gland.
This Ayurvedic adaptogenic herb positively supports immune, endocrine, neurological, and reproductive system functions. Adaptogens are unique substances in that they work with your body systems to boost in instances of deficiencies and suppress in instances of overactivity. Ashwagandha in particular has been proven to aid in balancing cortisol levels (aka "stress hormone") and thyroid hormones. Sunpotion grinds the root of the organic plant, and 1/2 teaspoon should be taken daily for an extended period of time to see optimal support.
Raw Brazil Nuts are the most potent and bioavailable source of selenium found in nature. Selenium is heavily concentrated in the thyroid gland making production of T3 thyroid hormone possible. Buying a raw organic (and sprouted if possible) variety of Brazil Nuts is important as they are known to be easily contaminated with mold during some growing processes.
Gelatin is composed of collagen, aka, amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein in the body that dually support the body systems' metabolic functions. Metabolic function has everything to do with hormones that would include those from the thyroid. If you don't have gelatin on hand, reach for collagen peptides. I have a post here talking about other reasons I take gelatin and collagen peptides on a daily basis.
While not included in this tonic, iodine, tyrosine, omega-3 fatty acids, and b-complex vitamins are also important considerations for supporting a healthy or recovering thyroid gland.
- 1 1/2 cups hot tea, I used rooibos
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
- 3 brazil nuts, raw and sprouted
- 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- optional: 1/4 cup nut milk, if you want a creamier consistency
Add all ingredients to a blender, let run on a medium - high setting until everything is combined and frothy. Enjoy warm. This is a great nightcap drink as the ashwagandha has a calming effect on many while the fat from brazil nuts are satiating.