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Ashwagandha and Thyroid Disorders: A Novel Therapeutic Approach

Monday March 12, 2018

An Indian plant extract may hold promise for those suffering with under-active thyroid. According to a new study, ashwagandha, a traditional herb in Ayurvedic medicine, may exert therapeutic benefits in individuals with hypothyroidism.

In the UK, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is fifteen times more prevalent in women, according to the NHS (1). Suffering from hypothyroidism may contribute to weight gain, tiredness, hair loss, muscle cramps, cold intolerance and fertility problems. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones (namely TSH, T4 and T3) that are crucial for metabolic and cellular function. 



Recent research conducted in India reveals that ashwagandha, a traditional herb in Ayurvedic medicine, may exert therapeutic benefits in individuals with hypothyroidism (2).


Kumar et. al investigated the efficacy of ashwagandha root extract supplementation on thyroid hormone levels in subclinical hypothyroidism patients (2). Individuals with subclinical hypothyroidism may not experience any symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid. The trial involved administering a daily supplement of 600mg of ashwagandha root extract for a period of eight weeks. 


This randomized, double-blind, single-centre placebo-controlled study was performed at Sudbhawana Hospital, Varanasi, India between May 2016 and September 2016.

It was found that ashwagandha significantly improved serum TSH, T3 and T4 levels by 19%, 45% and 21% respectively. These results are in line with research conducted in 2014, where ashwagandha supplementation increased T4 levels in participants (3).


In conclusion, ashwagandha supplementation may potentially support the treatment of thyroid disorders, particularly in individuals with hypothyroidism. However, as this area of research is quite novel, further human studies are required to support the promising findings observed by A. Kumar et. al (2).

Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.


1) Hypothyroidism, NHS, available at:

2) Sharma Ashok Kumar, Basu Indraneel, and Singh Siddarth 2017. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

3) Gannon, J. M., Forrest, P. E., & Roy Chengappa, K. N. (2014). Subtle changes in thyroid indices during a placebo-controlled study of an extract of Withania somnifera in persons with bipolar disorder. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 5(4), 241–245.


The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


TAGS: Health TrendsThyroid, Energy, Ashwagandha


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