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While Chinese medicine treats a wide range of thyroid and endocrine disorders, it is most commonly sought after to help improve thyroid function for hypothyroidism. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is underactive and does not regulate the body’s metabolism and other essential processes well. As a result, people commonly experience weight gain, fatigue, swelling, and other health concerns. Chinese medicine typically sees this as the result of a deficiency in the body’s qi and yang.
Qi is the activating force in the body, sometimes likened to energy. With abundant qi, we are healthy, vibrant, active, and trim. When our qi becomes depleted, we tend to feel tired and slow. After a consistent lack of qi and energy, the body falls further out of balance and more serious conditions, like hypothyroidism, can result.
As qi deficiency progresses, it can turn into a deeper imbalance in the body’s yang. All things in life are a delicate balance of yin and yang, and when this becomes disrupted our health suffers. A healthy balance of yang keeps our metabolism strong and our bodies agile. Without enough yang, we become lethargic, gain weight, swell, feel cold, and easily become ill.
With an imbalance in qi and yang, it is only natural for yin to overwhelm the body. This is commonly seen as weight gain, edema, brain fog, sluggishness, and a slower nature.
Major Organ Systems:
The Kidney is closely involved in conditions of the thyroid, as well as any problem with hormone imbalance. The Kidney is also responsible for maintaining the body’s core balance of yin and yang. To improve yang deficiency and re-establish a healthy system, Chinese medicine works to strengthen and support the Kidney.
In Chinese medicine, the Spleen is one of the main digestive organs. While the Stomach manages the appetite, the Spleen is more involved in extracting the quality energy from food to make the body’s own qi. A weak Spleen can lead to qi (and later yang) deficiency. To boost qi and increase yang, herbs are used to enhance the function of the Spleen.
Addressing thyroid health with Chinese medicine starts by supporting the body’s core vitality. This is mostly achieved through boosting qi with tonic herbal formulas, acupuncture, and lifestyle tips. Acupuncture helps to stimulate the body’s thyroid function and can also help improve the symptoms of hypothyroidism like weight gain, slow metabolism, and fatigue. Diet is a major consideration in a well-rounded treatment plan and those with hypothyroidism are encouraged to eat an energy-boosting diet and reduce heavy, hard-to-digest foods.
Chinese herbal supplements are commonly used to help stimulate the body’s own healing processes. The same is true for thyroid health as special herbal formulas work to enhance the body’s energy and internal environment so that the thyroid gland and brain can function better. In addition, many herbal formulas focus on establishing balance in all the body’s vital substances – not only qi and yang. Some work to also nourish yin and blood to maintain overall health. Other formulas are simply directed and relieving the side effects of slow metabolism and may be used to expedite the healing process for weight loss, edema, fatigue, and depression.
The following are important herbs used in our popular formulas for thyroid conditions:
Huang Qi/ Astragalus root: Huang qi is a qi tonic, improving the body’s energy and function. In addition, huang qi has the added benefit of having an upward action which helps to improve brain fog and sluggishness.
Fu zi/ Aconite: Fu zi is a strong yang tonic that increases the body’s natural energy and warmth. It is commonly used in formulas that focus on boosting yang.
Tu si zi/ Japanese dodder: Tu si zi is a gentle yang boosting herb that helps to improve the thyroid function while reducing symptoms like coldness, weight gain, and lethargy.
Whether you are simply hoping to boost your metabolism and lose a few pounds or are looking for a natural way to address your thyroid condition, Chinese medicine offers herbal solutions to help you achieve your goals. Shop our collection of Chinese herbal formulas that improve metabolism and thyroid health.