One of the most frequent types of questions I receive from readers is “what oil do I use for ___?” (Fill in the blank.) Unfortunately, this is not a simple question, and protocol health solutions are something I am not comfortable with. Besides the legal and ethical reasons of offering a solution without a full wellness history, I am passionate about considering how each person’s unique biochemistry will interact with every essential oil’s versatile characteristics in a distinct and individualized way.
This video is a result of readers’ requests for information on using essential oils for thyroid health. In it, I highlight the pitfalls that can occur if one skips over the steps of investigating for the “top offenders” of thyroid health. I then discuss the main factors involved in thyroid balance and which essential oils may be beneficial in each instance. I also dive deeper into several newly discovered studies that used certain essential oils for specific thyroid conditions. This bonus material, located below, was not included in the original, accompanying article that was recently published.
An overview of the topics of this 27-minute video include:
- The caveats for using “an oil for that” and the synergism of essential oils.
- Weeding out some of the top causes of thyroid hormone imbalances while alleviating symptoms. These include stress, blood sugar spikes, stealth infections, gastrointestinal and liver issues, environmental burdens, and immune dysfunction.
- Several studies on using essential oils specifically for thyroid health including Satureja khuzestanica for hyperthyroid rodents, lemon and ginger oil to decrease salivary gland harm in thyroid cancer patients, an essential oil blend to relieve fatigue in hypothyroid patients, and clary sage oil for decreasing cortisol, enhancing mood, and impacting thyroid hormone.
To access additional references and the associated article click here.
More References on Essential Oils for Thyroid Health from the Video
Satureja khuzestanica for Hyperthyroid Rats
Satureja khuzestanica essential oil belongs to the Laminacea family (mint or sage). It has been traditionally used as an antiseptic and has been studied in vitro for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. It is high in the compound carvacrol.
Source: Satureja Khuzistanica essential oil. JMBFS. 2016; 6: 979-982. 10.15414/jmbfs.2016/188.8.131.529-982.
This work analyzes the effects of Satureja khuzestanica essential oil (SKEO) on the thyroid and antioxidant system, assessed by measuring levels of tri-iodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. Forty adult male Sprague Dawley rats (225?±?25 g) were divided into five equal groups: one control and four hyperthyroid groups that received placebo, 200 mg kg-1 body weight of vitamin (Vit.) E, 225 mg kg-1 body weight of SKEO, 200 and 225 mg kg-1 body weight of Vit. E and SKEO together, respectively. Hyperthyroidism was induced by administering of L-thyroxin in drinking water. After 30 days of L-thyroxin consumption, serum T3 and T4 levels, TSH, and oxidative stress indices were determined. Significant increase in serum T3, T4 and MDA concentrations with a simultaneous significant decrease in TSH, GSH level and GPx activity were observed in hyperthyroid group (p <0.05). In the treatment groups, SKEO and/or Vit. E can compensate serum MDA elevation and GPx activity reduction. Only, SKEO + Vit. E could compensate the decline of GSH levels in response to hyperthyroidism. Supplementation of SKEO, plus Vit. E as antioxidants is useful in attenuating lipid peroxidation and may potentially benefit hyperthyroid patients.
Highlights on Mechanisms from the Discussion:
Flavonoids are potent non-toxic 5′ deiodinase inhibitors in microsomal membrane and intact rat hepatocytes.23 The SKEO contains several flavonoids and can decrease T3 through inhibiting 5′ deiodinase activity due to this mechanism…
Carvacrol, the major components of SKEO, acts as a strong antioxidant and can improve the condition of oxidative stress through inhibition of xanthine oxidase, chelation of transition metals, scavenging free radicals, blocking of oxidative reactions and reinforcing of cellular antioxidant capacity.27 Hence, SKEO may reduce LP through carvacrol antioxidant property. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a second messenger that controls many key cellular functions. It can diminish oxidative stress in many biological systems and diseases.28
Carvacrol scavenging superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide with reduction the free-radical-mediated inactivation of enzyme.31 On the other hand, flavonoids are able to donate hydrogen atoms to tocopheryl radicals and therefore recycle antioxidant, like ?-tocopherol.32
Source: Effects of essential oil of Satureja khuzestanica on the oxidative stress in experimental hyperthyroid male rat. Vet Res Forum. 2015;6(3):233-238. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4611978/
Additional Information on Carvacrol:
Oregano oil. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324203#what-is-oregano-oil
Carvacrol, a component of thyme oil, activates PPARalpha and gamma and suppresses COX-2 expression. J Lipid Res. 2010;51(1):132-139. doi:10.1194/jlr.M900255-JLR200
Thyroid Hormones and Oxidative Stress:
Mancini A, Di Segni C, Raimondo S, et al. Thyroid Hormones, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2016;2016:6757154. doi:10.1155/2016/6757154
Protection of Salivary Gland from Radioactive Iodine Therapy in Thyroid Cancer Patients
Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of aromatherapy in decreasing salivary gland damage for patients undergoing radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Materials and Methods. The subjects were 71 patients with DTC. They were divided into aromatherapy group (group A, n = 35) and a control group (group B, n = 36). We blended 1.0?mL of lemon and 0.5?mL of ginger essential oils. The patients in the inhalation aromatherapy group inhaled this blend oil and those in the control group inhaled distilled water as placebo for 10?min during admission. We statistically compared salivary gland function before and after treatment between groups A and B. Results. In comparison with group B, the rate of change of the accumulation rate was significantly higher in the parotid glands and submandibular glands of group A (P < 0.05). In comparison with group B, a significant increase in rate of secretion change before and after treatment was noted in the bilateral parotid glands in group A (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Because an amelioration of salivary gland function was observed in the present study, our results suggest the efficacy of aromatherapy in the prevention of treatment-related salivary gland disorder. This trial is registered with UMIN Clinical Trial Registry: UMIN000013968.
Mechanisms of Action Taken from the Study:
The presence of sodium/iodine symporters (NISs) in tissues other than the thyroid allows for the absorption of I-131 during RAI therapy. Owing to NISs, salivary glands are among the tissues with the highest absorbed levels of I-131; hence, toxic effects in salivary glands are more severe . These effects are dose related, and the damage can be temporary or permanent.
In clinical practice, massage of the salivary glands and oral mucosa, exercise of the tongue, jaw, and lips, and administration of lemon candy promotes salivary gland secretion as preventive measures of disorder . Aromatherapy may also be indicated for patients with decreased appetite or trismus due to functional decline associated with hormone withdrawal.
Source: A Randomized Controlled Trial for the Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Decreasing Salivary Gland Damage following Radioactive Iodine Therapy for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:9509810. doi:10.1155/2016/9509810
Essential Oil Blend for Fatigue in Hypothyroid Patients
Background: This randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial identifies the effect of an aromatherapy blend of essential oils on fatigue, which is one of the most commonly unaddressed symptoms of hypothyroidism, by evaluating the effects of daily aromatherapy inhalation.
Methods: Participants included women aged 18-55 with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Women who had a history of thyroid cancer were excluded, due to the confounding effects of cancer on fatigue as the outcome of interest. Participants were randomized into two groups: the aromatherapy group, treated with inhalation of the essential oil blend, and the control group, treated with an odorless vegetable oil blend. The primary outcome was change from baseline in fatigue scores as measured by the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory (MFSI), a validated instrument which measures multiple patterns of fatigue.
Results: After adjusting for baseline scores, no significant difference was found between the aromatherapy group and the control group at midpoint. Both groups experienced a reduction in symptoms during the first week of the intervention. At the endpoint, participants in the aromatherapy group had improved fatigue scores across all ten subscales, as compared to the control group. Not all improvements achieved statistical significance, indicating that the aromatherapy treatment has a greater effect on the subscales of global, affective, and general fatigue.
Conclusions: This is the first study to evaluate the effects of aromatherapy on fatigue among women with hypothyroidism. These findings provide evidence that regular inhalation of an aromatherapy blend may reduce fatigue among women with hypothyroidism, particularly in the areas of global, affective, and general fatigue.
Notes on This Study:
The blend contained mainly peppermint, but also clove, black pepper, white grapefruit, and bergamot oil were mixed in.
The participants used an inhaler stick with three drops of the blend in which they inhaled daily for 15 minutes between 1-3 pm for 14 days. The researchers used a validated symptom questionnaire.
Source: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Complement Integr Med. 2019;17(1):/j/jcim.2019.17.issue-1/jcim-2018-0229/jcim-2018-0229.xml. Published 2019 Aug 22. doi:10.1515/jcim-2018-0229
Full text: https://sci-hub.st/10.1515/jcim-2018-0229
Clary Sage for Mood, Cortisol, and Thyroid in Menopausal Women
The purpose of this study was to examine the antidepressant-like effects of clary sage oil on human beings by comparing the neurotransmitter level change in plasma. The voluntary participants were 22 menopausal women in 50’s. Subjects were classified into normal and depression tendency groups using each of Korean version of Beck Depression Inventory-I (KBDI-I), KBDI-II, and Korean version of Self-rating Depression Scale. Then, the changes in neurotransmitter concentrations were compared between two groups. After inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels were significantly decreased while 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) concentration was significantly increased. Thyroid stimulating hormone was also reduced in all groups but not statistically significantly. The different change rate of 5-HT concentration between normal and depression tendency groups was variable according to the depression measurement inventory. When using KBDI-I and KBDI-II, 5-HT increased by 341% and 828% for the normal group and 484% and 257% for the depression tendency group, respectively. The change rate of cortisol was greater in depression tendency groups compared with normal groups, and this difference was statistically significant when using KBDI-II (31% vs. 16% reduction) and Self-rating Depression Scale inventory (36% vs. 8.3% reduction). Among three inventories, only KBDI-II differentiated normal and depression tendency groups with significantly different cortisol level. Finally, clary sage oil has antidepressant-like effect, and KBDI-II inventory may be the most sensitive and valid tool in screening for depression status or severity.
Source: Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil [published correction appears in Phytother Res. 2014 Dec;28(12):1897]. Phytother Res. 2014;28(11):1599-1605. doi:10.1002/ptr.5163
Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
Thanks Pixabay and Canva.