Hypothyroidismaccording to TCM

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The deficiency of these hormones can slow down metabolism, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and depression. The condition can have significant impacts on various bodily functions and overall health.

How Does TCM View Hypothyroidism?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perceives hypothyroidism not as a singular disease entity but as a manifestation of an underlying imbalance.

Unlike the Western focus on hormone levels, TCM looks at the body's energy flow or Qi, the harmony of Yin and Yang, and the function of the organ systems.

Identifying the correct disharmony pattern is crucial in TCM, as hypothyroid symptoms could arise from multiple potential imbalances.

Causes of Hypothyroidism According to TCM

In TCM, hypothyroidism is often attributed to Kidney Yang Deficiency or Yin Deficiency, leading to an imbalance that disrupts the body's natural processes. The Kidney is considered the foundation of all Yin and Yang energies in the body, and its deficiency can manifest as metabolic sluggishness seen in hypothyroidism.

Another common TCM diagnosis is the accumulation of Phlegm and Dampness within the body, which can block the flow of Qi and lead to symptoms reflective of hypothyroidism.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Hypothyroidism

TCM tailors treatment to the individual's pattern of disharmony.

For hypothyroidism stemming from Yin Deficiency, Ba Wei Di Huang Wan is often prescribed, centering around the herb Prepared rehmannia to nourish Yin and support the Kidney and Liver.

If the root lies in Yang Deficiency, Shen Qi Wan with its key herb Prepared aconite may be used to warm and tonify Yang, benefiting the Heart, Kidney, and Spleen.

Additionally, Zhen Wu Tang, also featuring Prepared aconite, is utilized to transform Water and Dampness, indicative of TCM's nuanced approach to treating hypothyroidism.

Each formula is carefully chosen to correspond with the specific TCM diagnosis of the individual.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address hypothyroidism, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that warm yang and tonify
  • Formulas that warm and transform water and dampness

TCM Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address hypothyroidism, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold
  • Warm/Acrid herbs that release the exterior