Essential oils have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. They are commonly used in aromatherapy and to help relax the mind. In recent times, these highly concentrated plant extracts have been used to treat a much wider range of conditions.
You may have heard the expression that there is ‘an essential oil for anything’. While you should take this statement with a pinch of salt, essential oils are used to treat anything from depression and anxiety to skin complaints and bacterial infection. They may also be helpful in treating people with thyroid complaints.
Essential oils are no substitute for the thyroid hormone, but they may provide relief from some of the symptoms associated with thyroid issues. In this article, we will look at the best essential oils to help deal with symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Your thyroid plays an important role in the production and release of hormones. This small gland helps to regulate a wide range of bodily processes including the metabolism, your emotions and your brain function. It is estimated that over 20 million Americans suffer from some kind of thyroid condition.
Hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid) is a common condition in which a person’s thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Insufficient thyroid levels can interfere with a number of bodily functions. While many people will experience symptoms, it is not always easy to spot and some people have no noticeable signs at all.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The symptoms of an underactive thyroid can vary a great deal from person to person. In fact, many people will experience few, if any signs of the disease.
However, the following are some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism :
- lack of energy and fatigue
- weight gain
- pain and inflammation
- hair loss
- dry hair and dry skin
- muscle aches and cramps
- sensitivity to cold
- reduced libido
- memory loss
- mood changes and irritability
- heavy periods
- irregular menstrual cycle
There is no absolute cure for an under active thyroid but it can be treated and managed. Once diagnosed, your doctor is likely to prescribe medication that you will need to take indefinitely.
The standard treatment involves taking levothyroxine – a synthetic thyroid hormone daily. This can reverse many of the signs of the disease. The treatment is typically effective and people will usually feel better relatively fast. The drug helps reduce cholesterol levels and can also reverse weight gain.
Essential Oils for Hypothyroidism
There is very little scientific research into the effects of essential oils on thyroid health and essential oils will not help your body produce more of the hormone.
However, there is evidence that essential oils can help treat some of the symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid. They may help ease your symptoms and manage your condition.
There is evidence that certain essential oils can combat many of the symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid including inflammation, fatigue, dry skin, depression and irritability.
If you would like to know more about the best essential oils for hypothyroidism and how to use them, please read on.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of the most diverse and popular of all essential oils. It can also help relieve many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Peppermint essential oil can help boost your digestive health and can be inhaled or massaged into the abdomen to to ease feelings of nausea. (1). It can also help stimulate a sluggish metabolism while massaging it into your aching muscles can help relieve aches and pains.
Peppermint essential oil is very powerful and should always be dilute with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
Spearmint Essential Oil
Spearmint essential oil has similar stimulating properties to peppermint. Studies have demonstrated that is can help relieve a number of the symptoms linked to an underactive thyroid.
Spearmint essential oil has analgesic properties that can help reduce joint pain. (2). Try massaging it into your aching muscles and joints. It can help relieve the pain and may also boost circulation.
make sure that you dilute your spearmint essential oil with a suitable carrier oil before massaging it into your skin. You can also inhale the oil to stimulate the mi
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is another popular oil with a diverse range of potential benefits. It is often touted as an effective oil to improve hormonal balance.
Frankincense oil can be both inhaled and applied topically to help ease a variety of symptoms linked to an underactive thyroid including dry skin, depression and stress. It may also help relieve digestive upset when massaged into the abdomen.
Frankincense essential oil also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. (3) Because of this, it can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the body to help relieve aches and pains caused by hypothyroidism.
Although frankincense oil is known to be skin friendly, you should still dilute it with a suitable carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh oil has long been used for its natural anti-inflammatory properties. It is often massaged into the skin in combination with other anti-inflammatory oils like frankincense to ease pain and inflammation. (4)
Whether you apply myrrh essential oil on its own or combined with another oil, make sure that you dilute it well first.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Rose geranium essential oil is yet another oil with proven abilities as a natural anti-inflammatory. (5)
If you are suffering from inflammation due to your underactive thyroid gland, try a massage using a few drops of the oil combined with a carrier oil.
As well as helping ease inflammation, rose geranium oil is one of a number of oils that may help relieve anxiety, which many people with underactive thyroids experience.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Many people with hypothyroidism experience skin troubles, especially dry or rough skin. Cedarwood essential oil is one of the best essential oils to treat dry skin naturally and safely.
Simply add a few drops of your cedarwood essential oil to a suitable carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or grapeseed oil. Mix it well and apply it to your skin twice a day. It should help moisturize your skin and allow it to feel and look far healthier.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is still the most popular of all oils and with good reason. It is among the most diverse of all essential oils with a broad range of potential uses. These include treating many of the symptoms suffered by people with an under active thyroid.
Lavender essential oil can help treat emotional issues like stress, anxiety and insomnia as well as treating dry hair and skin. If you suffer from any of these symptoms as a result of your hypothyroidism, lavender oil may be a good choice for you.
Studies have found that inhaling lavender essential oil can help relieve anxiety while it may also help you get a good night of sleep. Try diffusing it near your bed at night or adding a few drops to your pillow. You could also add a few drops to your bathtub and take a long relaxing soak. This can help relax your mins and also ease the inflammation and pain in your limbs.
Rosemary Essential Oil
One of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is tiredness and a lack of energy. Several essential oils have uplifting properties. Citrus essential oils like lemon, and sweet orange oil are known for their uplifting abilities while peppermint and spearmint essential oils have a similar effect.
One of the best essential oils for boosting your levels of energy and improving your ability to focus is rosemary essential oil.
According to research, rosemary essential oil has a stimulating effect on the mind and the ability to impact the mood as well as stimulating the nervous system. (6)
A recent study, published in 2018, found that school children who inhaled rosemary and lavender essential oil which was sprayed around the classroom, benefited in terms of both memory and focus. (7)
Essential Oil Recipes for Hypothyroidism
Essential oils often work better when they are blended together. The following are some popular and effective remedies to treat the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Recipes for Fatigue
The following blends are excellent for relieving the fatigue and lethargy associated with hypothyroidism. Simply blend the oils and use them in a diffuser.
Essential Oil for Fatigue Blend 1
- 4 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 3 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil
Essential Oil for fatigue Blend 2
- 4 drops of lemon essential oil
- 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops of peppermint or spearmint essential oil
Recipes for Stress and Anxiety
Lavender essential oil is one of the best oils you can use for stress and anxiety. It blends well with a number of other essential oils. Give these diffuser blends a try, if you are suffering from stress and anxiety.
Stress and Anxiety Blend 1
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of roman chamomile essential oil
- 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
Stress and Anxiety Blend 2
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of sweet orange essential oil
- 3 drops of lime essential oil
Recipe for Aches and Pains
To treat the aches and pains caused by your condition, try blending a variety of essential oils to make a massage oil that you can use whenever you feel the need. Use the following ingredients :
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- 20 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 15 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 25 ml of virgin coconut oil.
Combine all of the ingredients in a glass bottle and mix well. Apply the oil to your aching muscles or joints once or twice a day.
How to Use Essential Oils for Hypothyroidism
The way you choose to use your essential oil will depend on the symptom you are trying to treat. The following are some of the most effective ways to use your oils.
Most essential oils can be inhaled directly or diffused around the home or office. Inhaling your essential oils is a great way to deal with some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism like fatigue and lack of energy. It can also help boost your focus and memory while certain oils like lavender and frankincense may help relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
One of the most popular ways of using essential oil is to massage them into the body. Massaging an anti-inflammatory oil like frankincense into the body can help relieve the aches and pains caused by your condition. make sure that you dilute your chosen oil with a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or olive oil before applying it to your skin.
For Dry Skin
If dry skin is a symptom of you underactive thyroid, essential oils like cedarwood, lavender and frankincense can help. Soak a cotton ball in water and add a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Massage the oil into your face focusing on the dry areas of your skin.
Laying back in a hot tub of water is one of the most relaxing things you can do. You can get even more out of the experience by adding essential oils to the mix.
Add 10 or so drops of an anti-inflammatory essential oil to your tub, step in and let the soothing oils wash into your body. This can both help treat your aches and pains and also help relax your mind.
Essential oils can be extremely beneficial as long as they are treated with due care and used in the way they should be. There are certain precautions you should be aware of before using these powerful oils.
- Never ingest your essential oils unless under expert supervision.
- Do not apply essential oil to the skin without diluting them first in a suitable carrier oil. There are a number of carrier oils to choose from including virgin coconut oil, sweet almond, jojoba and olive oil.
- Even after diluting the oil, you should make sure you are not sensitive by performing a patch test. Apply a little of the diluted oil to a discreet area of your skin and wait for 24 hours. If your skin does not react, you can go ahead and apply a larger dose.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult a doctor to make sure that your essential oil is safe for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can hypothyroidism be cured permanently?
Thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism can be managed and treated with medications that help achieve normal function of the thyroid. Unfortunately, the condition can never be completely cured and you will have to take the same medications for life.
What foods should be avoided with hypothyroidism?
There are a number of foods that may be bad for people with hypothyroidism because they contain compounds called goitrogens.
The following foods contain these goitrogens, however research suggests that these foods only cause an issue in people with an iodine deficiency.
- Soy foods : Including tempeh and tofu.
- Certain cruciferous vegetables : Such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach and cauliflower.
- Some starchy plants and fruits : Including cassava, sweet potato, strawberries and peaches.
- Various seeds and nuts : Including peanuts, pine nuts and millet.
Is coconut oil good for hypothyroidism?
Improving the metabolism is very beneficial to people with hypothyroidism. By improving their metabolism, they will gain more energy and may also prevent the weight gain associated with the condition. Studies suggest that coconut oil can help boost the metabolism making it a good choice for people with an under active thyroid.
What vitamin is good for hypothyroidism
Diet is important for thyroid health. People with hypothyroidism can help improve their symptoms by getting certain vitamins and minerals into their system. The following minerals and vitamins are important to improve your thyroid’s health :
- vitamin B
- vitamin D
While it is always best to get your nutrients from your diet, supplements are readily available. Before taking any supplements, you should speak with your doctor to confirm that you are making the right choice.
Hypothyroidism is a common thyroid condition where the thyroid gland is not producing sufficient levels of the thyroid hormone. The condition can be managed with medications that you will have to take indefinitely.
People with an underactive thyroid experience a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, lack of energy, poor focus, stress, depression, weight gain, inflammation and dry skin. All of these symptoms can be managed with certain essential oils.
While essential oils can not treat the illness, they can certainly help ease many of the symptoms that people with hypothyroidism experience.