There is no cure for hyperthyroidism, but it can be successfully managed with treatments such as anti-thyroid medication and diet. The thyroid gland is important organ of the endocrine system. It is located just below the voice box. The gland produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control the way every cell in the body uses energy. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid releases too many of its hormones over a short or long period of time.

When it comes to seeing improvements in thyroid function the best place to start is by improving diet with these healing foods:

Alternative Medicine and Herbs for Thyroid Health

Bugleweed (Pic. 1) can lower thyroid hormones and so can Motherwort, which is also anti-inflammatory. Lemon Balm may help relieve anxiety and prevent Graves antibodies from attaching to the thyroid. Citrus Peel's anti-thyroidal properties could be useful for hyperthyroid people, as well as its anti-cancer benefits. Consuming calcium and goitrogenic foods, such as soy, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, will lower thyroid hormones.

Dragon bone, kava kava- Piper methysticum (Pic. 2), and St. John's Wort are sedating which can be useful for those who are hyperthyroid.

High Fiber Foods

In most cases the patients having thyroid disease develop constipation and their body weight may also increase, in such cases foods that are rich in fiber can prove to be beneficial.

It is possible to find high fiber in vegetables, fruits and cereals. The high fiber vegetables are eggplant, beans, cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, and potatoes with skin, peas, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and pumpkin. Fruits with high fiber are apples, dates, bananas, berries, orange, pear, guava and prunes. Other available high fiber sources are bran cereals and breads, beans, lentils and nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts and walnuts.


They are natural substances found in most of the foods and have the ability to enlarge the size of the thyroid glands also called goiter.

In hyperthyroidism conditions the goitrogens act as anti-thyroid drugs and slows down the excess production of the hormones and ultimately cause hypothyroidism. So goitrogen foods should be taken in huge quantities by patients having hyperthyroidism conditions and should be avoided by those having hypothyroidism symptoms.

The most common sources of goitrogens are broccoli, kale, spinach, turnip cauliflower, cabbage, strawberry, peaches, peanuts, pine nuts, soy and mustard. These goitrogen foods work more effectively if taken in raw form.

Coconut Oil

Oils that are being commercially produced have a negative effect on the thyroid. The unsaturated fats contained in these oils slow down the tissue response to the hormones produced by the thyroid. For cooking meals choose coconut oil as it helps to regulate metabolic rate of the body. It helps the thyroid gland to perform better. 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil daily can give good results if swallowed or used in cooking or salads.

Eating principles:
Diet should be high caloric until normal weight has been reached and may be high in protein initially, until tissue wasting is stopped. Recommended fresh juices: carrot juice, pineapple juice, egg yolk, wheat germ, and dulse, black cherry concentrate, clam juice with celery juice.

It is highly recommended not to take orange juice that is calcium fortified and coffee with thyroid medications. The reason is that they interfere with the absorption of medicines taken in thyroid conditions. In case of feeling the urge to drink a glass or so, it is recommended to wait at least 3 to 4 hours after taking the medicines. Same is the case with calcium and iron supplements.

The patient affected by hyperthyroidism in medical treatment should have a balanced diet with care not to use foods containing excess iodine (some types of shellfish, kepls, seaweed) while the iodized salt should be used regularly and does not represent a case of iodine excess.

It is recommended for patient to follow a low iodine diet for at least 2 weeks and stop taking vitamins with high amounts of iodine.

As with any supplement, it is encouraged to do own research and also discuss with health care provider before using. Seeking the guidance of a qualified herbalist may be particularly helpful. Checking local natural foods store or vitamin store for information on trained herbalists in area is advisable.

Ideally a woman who is known to have hyperthyroidism should seek pre-pregnancy advice, although as yet there is no evidence for its benefit. Appropriate education should allay fears that are commonly present in these women. She should be referred for specialist care for frequent checking of her thyroid status, thyroid antibody evaluation and close monitoring of her medication needs.   

In any case it is highly suggested consulting doctor before adding any of these foods to diet. The thyroid disease may not be completely cured by taking or avoiding these foods but can be reduced to some extent.

Unfortunately thyroid conditions require lifelong treatment and because of the body's need for a sensitive balance of thyroid hormone both supplementing and suppressing thyroid function can take months or even years to regulate.

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