Metabolism is a series of complex processes by which the human body converts food, water, and oxygen into tissue, energy, and waste products. It is a continuous process and goes on in every cell of the body. Metabolism is controlled by the endocrine glands.

Endocrine glands are those organs whose function is to secrete into the blood or lymph, a substance which plays an important role in relation to general chemical changes or to the activities of the other organs at a distance. The chief endocrine glands are the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pituitary body, parathyroid glands, pancreas, ovaries, and the testes.

The thyroid gland is situated in the front of the neck and produces a hormone thyroxine, which plays a very important role in regulating the general metabolism of the body.

Disorders of the Thyroid Gland.

1. Hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis

In which the gland secretes excess of hormones. This condition is more common in women than in men whose age ranges from 30 to 50 years.Thyrotoxic individuals become tremulous, irritable, anxious and even hysterical. Because the metabolism is raised, they experience rapid heart rate and palpitation, rapid shallow respiration.

Frequent bowel motions and diarrhoea, Flushing, heat intolerance, sweating, menstrual disturbance and sometimes bulging of the eyes. Such people suffer the paradoxical situation in which they feel fatigue and lack of energy and yet are compelled to move about, talk and do things. They are constantly fidgeting and the slightest remark may set off an inappropriately angry response.

2. Hypothyroidism

Here the thyroid is underactive, producing too little thyroid hormone. This condition is far more common than hyperthyrodism and can be caused by iodine deficiency or thyroid failure brought on by pituitary dysfunction, inflammation and scarring. By far the majority of cases are mild or borderline, unrecognized by the medical establishment. Yet these mild cases can be the cause of vague, but persistent, disorders such as fatigue, depression, loss of vitality and overall hormonal imbalance.

More severe problems from hypothyroid are the result of failure to develop properly such as cretinism and juvenile myxodema. Long term hypothyroidism, such as adult myxodema, which is characterized by swelling of skin and subcutaneous tissues dry, cold and slightly yellow skin, puffy face, loss of eyebrows, anginal pain, bradycardia, anorexia, constipation, and anemia.

Ayurvedic View.

In Ayurvedic Literature the thyroid problems are well known as Galaganda.

According to Ayurveda the thyroid is located in the 6th tissue level or Majjadhatu. Majja is controlled by Kapha dosha. According to Ayurveda the thyroid function is controlled by Pitta dosha. Pitta is responsible for all of the metabolic actions carried out by the thyroid gland.

From the treatment perspective the 6th dhatu is hard to treat with food and herbs as it is a "deep tissue" or existing at profound level of the body. Majjadhatu can be modified through herbs and food, but only when the metabolism of the previous 5 dhatus are functioning correctly. If the dhatu metabolism of the first five tissues is not functioning correctly then it is very hard for herbs or food to modify Majja. we should choose to treat either the structure (dhatu) or the function. This represents two different therapeutic approaches and two different dosha as per Structure or Function - Kapha or Pitta.

The therapist needs to diagnosis the patient well enough to be able to decide if they should target either the Structure or Function. After they need to decide which dosha to treat as the CAUSE. In some cases both structure and function may be treated together.


Thyroid problems need to be treated as soon as possible the longer the pathology develops the harder it is to treat them the treatments are long in duration due to the depth of Majjadhatu the person needs to be treated to cure the problem - not only the symptoms the dhatu metabolism needs to be corrected through diet and lifestyle before tying to give Ayurvedic treatments in most cases diet and lifestyle alone will correct early manifestations of thyroid malfunctions.

Ayurvedic treatments should target the dosha that is controlling / causing either the STRUCTURE or THE FUNCTION or in some advanced cases BOTH.

Ayurvedic Cure for Thyroid Disease.

Ayurveda offers a very different approach to understanding the cause and the treatment for the disease with its emphasis on treating the whole person not just focusing on the specific part that has disease. It is a comprehensive approach that addresses mind, body, behaviour, beliefs and environment.

Ayurveda is all about food, herbs, lifestyle, yoga, and meditation, which promotes physical as well as psychological health. Ayurveda teaches us how to live in harmony with Mother Nature.

Diet Regimen & Medications.

Thyroid disease is mentioned in detail by Charaka, one of the writers of the Ayurvedic materia medica. There is a mention that milk, barley, green grams, Bengal grams, sugarcane juice, cucumber and milk products are good for thyroid health.

Sour products, on the other hand, aggravate thyroid conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Eating goitrogenic foods such as rapeseed, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, maize, lima beans, soya and pearl millet should be limited.

The Ayurvedic cure for specific thyroid problems involves the use of a potent herb, Kaanchanara ( Bauhinia veriegata ). Another herb known as Guggulu ( Commiphora mukul ) is widely used.

Among other herbs, jatamansi, shilajit ( purified asphaltum ), gokshura and punarnava,Mukta-pishti or Pravaala-panchaamrit, Arogyavardhini Vati,Ashwagandha,Shatavari,Triphala,Trikatu,Tulsi,Bala and Naagbala are also used for their curative properties and the management of symptoms associated with thyroid malfunctioning.

Iodine deficiency affects both people with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism so consuming iodized salt & foods which are rich in iodine is advisable. Drinking water stored overnight in a clean copper vessel is believed to improve this condition.


Another important factor in the treatment of hypothyroidism is exercise. Exercise increases tissue sensitivity to the thyroid hormone and stimulates thyroid gland secretion. An exercise regime of half an hour per day benefits hypothyroidism.

Physical and emotional stress inhibits thyroid gland secretion due to reduction of thyrotrophin output. So reduction of stress is essential for proper functioning of the gland.

Yoga for Thyroid diseases

As with all disease, the importance of the effect of stress on the body cannot be denied and meditation can be very effective. Yoga stimulates and normalizes the function of the thyroid, pituitary, pineal and adrenal glands. It limbers and stretches the neck as well as strengthens and tones the nervous system. Long before medical science ever knew about the existence of thyroid glands, yogis had devised practices, which not only maintained healthy glands and metabolism, but also were part of a system of enlightenment.

Sarvangasna (shoulder stand) is the most suitable and effective asana for the thyroid gland. After sarvangasana, matsyasana and halasana are very useful. Other effective asanas include Surya Namskara, Pavamuktasana with emphasis on the head and neck exercises, yoga mudra, Suptavajrasana and all backward bending asanas.


Deficient flow of energy through the nadis manifests as hypo activity of mind, fatigue and dullness of senses. According to Ayurvedic concepts there are 72000 nadis in the living body. Of these, Pingala is with its energy of the sun and Saraswati nadi branching out from the throat chakra supplying prana to the mouth and throat area are of importance to the thyroid.

Pranayama techniques that focus on these nadis are useful to the thyroid gland. The most effective pranayama is ujjayi. It acts on the throat, and its relaxing and stimulating effects are most probably due to stimulation of ancient reflex pathways within the throat area, which are controlled by the brain stem and hypothalamus. All these practices positively result in better health of the thyroid gland.

HEALTH ARTICLES by Dr. Padarabind Patra


These Health Articles are only to improve your knowledge / awareness regarding Health & Ayurveda.

But it is always advisable to consult an Ayurvedic Doctor before taking any of the Ayurvedic Medications. Thank you


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