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Originally Posted On: https://qigonghub.com/health/essential-oils-for-thyroid-nodules/
There are dozens of options when it comes to essential oils, and each brings its own set of benefits. Some stimulate, others relax, and their specific chemical makeup can provide relief from symptoms that range from congestion to digestive upsets
The thyroid gland is a powerful component of the endocrine system, located in the neck directly above your breast bone. It produces hormones that impact critical bodily functions related to your metabolism, which is your body’s ability to use energy efficiently.
Among other things, your thyroid hormones influence how fast your heart beats and how quickly you burn calories, so when something goes awry, you feel the effects immediately. That could mean constant fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog when hormone levels are too low – a condition called hypothyroidism. Alternatively, you might feel anxious, jittery, and constantly on edge if your thyroid hormone levels are too high – a condition called hyperthyroidism.
It’s not uncommon to develop lumps on your thyroid, better known as thyroid nodules. In fact, by the age of 60, nearly half of the population has them.
In some cases, the nodules are filled with fluid, and in other cases they are solid. However, in either scenario, they are unlikely to be cancerous. Many times, you will have no symptoms at all, and they will only be discovered by chance.
Once nodules are discovered, your physician will take a thorough medical history, conduct a physical exam, and order tests of the thyroid function to gather more information. In certain situations, a biopsy may also be recommended. From there, you will be offered a variety of treatment options to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of symptoms developing.
If you do experience symptoms related to thyroid nodules, there are several ways to reduce the effects. You have a choice between standard medical therapies, alternative therapies, or a combination that offers you the best of both worlds.
These are some of the options you can consider if you have been diagnosed with thyroid nodules.
How Do You Treat Thyroid Nodules?
If your nodules are in the rare group that are cancerous, your physician may recommend decisive treatment like removing part or all of the thyroid and replacing the hormones through medication. However, that is a worst-case scenario.
Benign nodules are typically only removed through surgery if they are interfering with your ability to breathe or swallow.
In most situations, treatment is far less invasive and may include some or all of the following:
- Regular monitoring of nodules through physical exam and ultrasound to ensure no significant changes
- Hormone replacement therapy when thyroids are underproducing
- Radioactive iodine taken by mouth to shrink nodules causing overproduction of hormones
Of course, these options aren’t right for everyone, and some patients prefer a more natural approach to managing thyroid nodules. These are some of the alternative treatment options your practitioner may recommend:
- Is spirulina good for thyroid? Research has shown positive effects of Spirulina, one of the blue-green algaes
- Does curcumin affect thyroid? Use of Curcumin, a chemical produced by Curcuma longa plants has been shown to produce positive results too; it is found in turmeric and is a member of the ginger family
- Boswellia resin, a tree in the Sapindale family; the same tree responsible for frankincense
- Use of customized herbal combinations developed by experts in Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Use of essential oils with properties that reduce the symptoms associated with underactive and overactive thyroids
- Dietary changes
Research on the effectiveness of these alternative treatments is limited, however there is anecdotal evidence to suggest some or all may be worth trying. Many individuals have reported success with relieving symptoms and/or shrinking nodules through these methods.
Benefits of Essential Oils for Thyroid Nodules
Adding use of essential oils to your wellness routine may have whole body benefits in addition to relieving symptoms caused by thyroid nodules.
When used in aromatherapy applications, there is evidence to suggest they boost your mood by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. That’s always a plus, as your emotional state can impact all of your body’s systems.
Many apply essential oils to the skin by mixing a few drops with a carrier oil. Examples of popular carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil. The essential oil-infused creation is then massaged into the skin over the targeted muscle, organ, or system that is causing an issue.
There are dozens of options when it comes to essential oils, and each brings its own set of benefits. Some stimulate, others relax, and their specific chemical makeup can provide relief from symptoms that range from congestion to digestive upsets – and everything in-between.
Some are noted for their impact on symptoms associated with an overactive or underactive thyroid, particularly when these conditions are caused by thyroid nodules.
5 Essential Oils for Thyroid Nodules
These are five essential oils that have been reported to relieve symptoms caused by thyroid nodules.
- Frankincense – The resin produced by Boswellia trees has been shown to support healthy thyroid function. This is in part due to anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. This essential oil is particularly potent, so be sure to dilute properly before use.
- Lavender – The soothing effect of lavender essential oil has made it a popular choice for all sorts of symptoms, including those that come along with too much thyroid hormone. Choose lavender essential oil to offset feelings of anxiety and restlessness.
- Lemongrass – Strong anti-inflammatory properties make lemongrass essential oil useful when the area around your thyroid is swollen. Apply it mixed with carrier oil the skin of your neck.
- Sandalwood – The use of sandalwood essential oil is recommended to reduce feelings of anxiety, and it is one of the few that have been studied in the scientific community. The most effective methods of getting benefits from sandalwood essential oil include scenting your living area with an aromatherapy diffuser and applying diluted sandalwood essential oil to key pressure points.
- Wintergreen – There is a reason wintergreen is used throughout the traditional and alternative medical communities. It contains the chemical methyl salicylate, which has proven pain relieving properties. This essential oil is helpful when massaged into the skin to ease muscle aches and joint pain caused by thyroid conditions.
These five are just the beginning when it comes to managing symptoms caused by thyroid nodules. There are a number of other options that may work well for your unique needs. You may also wish to try a combination of two or more essential oils to amplify the effects.
How Long Do the Effects of Essential Oils Last?
The key to gaining lasting benefit from essential oils is to buy quality products derived from the desired plant. Synthetic versions might smell nice and the scent may last longer, but they do not offer any health benefits.
How long the effects of essential oils last depends in part on the concentration you use when mixing with carrier oil. You have to find balance between diluting too much and leaving the concentration so high that you experience skin irritation.
In general, the essential oil itself will only stay in your body for about 30 minutes before natural processes expel it. However, the effects tend to last quite a bit longer.
When used for purposes of relaxation, you can expect the process to begin while the essential oil is in your body and then continue for hours afterwards. If you are using essential oils to address pain and discomfort, some find the effects last for days, while others discover they need to reapply every few hours to maximize symptom relief.
Ultimately, there is a lot of variability in the length of time you will experience effects from essential oil. Pay close attention to your body’s response, and adjust your therapy accordingly.
Risks and Side Effects of Essential Oils for Thyroid
The most common side effects that come with essential oils are itchiness, redness, and irritation of the skin. This may occur due when you are sensitive to a particular essential oil, or it may be that the concentration of essential oil in your carrier solution is too high.
In rare cases, users have experienced nausea, digestive upset, and breathing issues. This may be caused by an allergy to the essential oil. If you have these symptoms, discontinue use immediately and see your physician right away.
The most important point to remember when it comes to essential oils is that they are intended for external use only.
The fact that they are extracted from plants and barks can give a false sense of safety, when the truth is that ingestion can be deadly. Make sure to apply essential oils as directed, so you get the benefits without the risks.
Thyroid nodules are a common condition, and they rarely require dramatic interventions. However, they can still cause you discomfort that affects your ability to enjoy your favorite activities. Essential oils may offer a non-invasive solution for relieving the symptoms associated with thyroid nodules.