Did you know that nearly 20 million Americans have some sort of thyroid disorder? And according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), one in eight of that 20 million are women. Furthermore, even though thyroid disorders are common and can lead to other medical problems, nearly 60% are unaware they have a thyroid condition and do not seek treatment.
About the Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front of our necks. It is relatively small, measuring about 4-6 cm. Your metabolism and the rate at which your brain, heart, muscles, liver, and other organs function are affected by the hormones your thyroid produces.
Most thyroid problems result in either excessive or insufficient synthesis of hormones; namely thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Together, T3 and T4 thyroid hormones impact your:
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Brain function and mood
- Muscle strength
- Reproductive health
- Bone strength
The thyroid gland also manufactures calcitonin, which aids in the absorption of calcium by bone cells and the formation of new bone.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too many hormones, and symptoms include increased body temperature, perspiration, irregular heartbeat, difficulty getting pregnant, weight loss, bulging eyes, anxiety, and uneasiness. Hypothyroidism, which manifests as fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, depression, faulty bone formation, menstrual irregularities, and stunted growth, occurs when the thyroid does not generate enough hormones.
Certain thyroid conditions are autoimmune in nature, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease, meaning that the body’s immune system has mistakenly attacked the thyroid gland. Sometimes, people develop inflamed thyroid nodules, tumors, and goiters. These growths typically result from thyroid inflammation. Occasionally, they become malignant.
The thyroid poultice recipe below is a general thyroid remedy that can help alleviate swelling and inflammation regardless of your thyroid condition.
How This Thyroid Poultice Works
In general, the most effective and gentle way to support a thyroid that isn’t working well is through antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. These support healthy thyroid function and safeguard the gland from damage.
This thyroid poultice is super easy to make. It only contains two simple ingredients, but both help to minimize the size of cysts, swelling, discomfort, and inflammation around the thyroid gland. Both compounds have anti-toxin properties and directly affect the lymphatic system, which is where your body excretes the toxins it eliminates from other organs. One-third of your lymph is found in your neck, alongside your thyroid.
When applied directly to the thyroid, this herbal poultice can draw out built-up toxins and excess hormones lingering inside the thyroid gland, making it super detoxifying and beneficial for thyroid health. Especially since environmental pollutants have been linked to decreased thyroid hormone levels and an increased risk of autoimmune thyroid illness. This, in turn, helps regulate thyroid function and symptoms and reduces pain and swelling.
Let’s look at how both ingredients benefit thyroid function.
Dandelion leaves contain a chemical known as taraxasterol, a naturally occurring substance long recognized for its anti-inflammatory qualities. The leaves of the dandelion plant are rich in many minerals and vitamins, leading to its incredible antioxidant activities, which, of course, also nourish the immune system. As a result, dandelion leaves can help minimize thyroid gland swelling and improve symptoms.
Castor oil has historically been used to support thyroid disorders of all kinds, like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Graves’ Disease, and Goiter. Castor oil helps to engage your body’s cleansing and relaxation mechanisms naturally. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling in the thyroid gland. It detoxifies and helps in the conversion of T4 to active T3.
Although applying castor oil topically doesn’t have the same effect as it does when you ingest it, some precautions should be taken. This remedy should not be used by pregnant women. Avoid using it if you have an IUD since it can release too much copper into your body and cause it to become loose. Avoid this treatment while having your period. As with any herbal cure, it’s best to start with smaller increments of time and then gradually increase them to see how you react.
A Note About the Liver
Since the liver is one of the main places where T4 gets converted to T3, proper thyroid function depends on it. Thyroid health may be negatively affected by insufficient detoxification or a stressed liver. This organic thyroid poultice is also an excellent tool for promoting mild liver detoxification, which could, in turn, enhance thyroid function.
To bolster your thyroid therapy, you can apply the same poultice to your liver once or twice a week, using the same steps as with the thyroid. You can also just apply some castor oil directly to the liver a couple of times a week, which will also help, or make a quick castor oil pack.
Thyroid Poultice Recipe
You will need:
- a few fresh dandelion leaves (or dried)
- 1 teaspoon of castor oil
- a large waterproof bandage that’s big enough to fit over the thyroid
- a mortar and pestle
- Pick some leaves from a sizable dandelion plant. You simply need the plant leaves; no blossoms need be present.
- Rip the leaves into quarters and add them to your mortar. Mash them slightly.
- Add about one teaspoon of castor oil to the mix, depending on how many leaves you use. One teaspoon is plenty for four or five decent-sized leaves.
- Mash again until it forms a sticky poultice.
- It should look something like this.
- Your poultice is now ready.
How To Use
To apply your thyroid poultice, you’ll need to smear it onto a bandage.
A premade dressing is best since it keeps the oil from seeping through and it sticks well to oddly shaped surfaces, like the neck. Spread the poultice over the padded part of the bandage and apply it at the base of the neck.
Your poultice can be worn for up to five hours, and you can do this four to five times each week, or until the swelling and inflammation subside.