Our world is quite hard on the thyroid. Food and water that are full of pesticides and hormones. Radiation from microwaves, . Heavy metal exposure. Cleaning products, beauty products, and sunscreen. Birth control pills and other hormone regulators or enhancers. Excess soy products. Caffeine. Continual high stress levels. Low fat diets. All of these things drain and tax the thyroid. All of these are also a huge part of our current daily culture. The thyroid governs so many functions in the body, so having an imbalanced thyroid has lots of implications. It regulates blood sugar, bone health, energy level, metabolism, menstrual cycle, cholesterol, heart rate, organ function, and stress hormone response. It is definitely a vital part of balancing the entire body.
The thyroid is located in the part of our body that corresponds to the throat chakra. The throat chakra is the center of energy in the body that is about speaking and hearing your inner truth and the truths of others. It is the center of communication, listening, and creativity. The thyroid will mirror an imbalance in this chakra and vice versa. Throat chakra imbalances are evidenced through lying, gossip, criticism, and verbal abuse. More subtle energetic imbalances are apparent through misalignment of thought and action, not opening to the communications from others, and inability to speak from your true inner self. We all encounter moments where it is difficult to speak your truth. It's hard to say “no” when you know it would be best for you. It's hard to speak your thoughts when they are contrary to what others are saying. Quieting all the outside noise to find time to really listen to yourself and speak from that place can be a very difficult task. It also can be a struggle to really open up to others wherever they might be on their journey and be open to listening to their inner truths. All of these struggles correspond to the throat chakra as well as to an imbalanced thyroid. Therefore if we nourish our thyroids we will also be nourishing our throat chakras. There are multiple ways to work on balancing both the throat chakra/thyroid. Interestingly enough, many of the herbs and practices that are beneficial to the thyroid will energetically also nourish and re-balance the throat chakra.
As a queer, trans person I often struggle in listening to and speaking my inner truth. I think this is true of many people in the LGBTQIA community. The process of coming out to myself to family, friends, and people I meet everyday is not just a one time thing but often an ongoing process. Knowing who I am and advocating for that in a world that assumes heteronormativity and a gender binary is a continual process. It has been somewhat unsurprising to also notice symptoms of thyroid imbalance. In the last number of months I have been working on nourishing my thyroid and rebalancing my throat chakra through herbs, food, yoga, and meditation. I am happy to say that my work has been paying off! The symptoms of thyroid issues have calmed down and I feel as though my throat chakra is becoming more balanced.
It is possible to have thyroid function that tests normally in a blood test, but is still very slightly imbalanced and thus will have some of the physical manifestations of that imbalance. Herbs can help if your thyroid is strongly out of balance (diagnosed with hyper or hypothyroidism) or if you simply have a subtle imbalance.
If you have a slightly over-active thyroid you might find you are overly hyper (ADHD), have an unusually high metabolism, have high blood pressure, have a hard time sitting still, and have an ongoing sense of anxiety that heightens if you are not constantly on the move. If you have a slightly under-active thyroid you might find you feel somewhat fatigued, have low metabolism, after having a stressful moment have a hard time shaking it off, have bone issues (bone spurs, bones that easily break, etc.), and have low blood pressure.
There are many herbs that are helpful for the thyroid. If you know that you struggle with hyperthyroidism, then you need herbs that will tone down the over activity of the thyroid and provide relaxation. The following herbs are helpful:
Lemon balm is relaxing and will encourage an uplifting mood. Motherwort will help relieve heart palpitations and high blood pressure. Bugleweed is a wonderful herb for hyperthyroidism and is often combined with lemon balm with lots of success.
However, if you struggle with hypothyroidism, then there are several herbs that can raise thyroid functioning:
Ashwagandha helps regulate sex hormones, balances sleep cycles, and nourishes the adrenals. Reishi feeds the heart/mind connection on an energetic level, builds immunity, and nourishes the adrenals. Maca powder helps balance hormones. Burdock aids in the digestion of fats, thus providing the thyroid with the fats needed in order to produce hormones. Nettles is a deeply nourishing tonic to the whole body, especially the kidneys. Queen anne's lace balances hormones and aids in weight loss. Black walnut is rich in iodine which nourishes the thyroid and will also treat candida, leaky gut, and parasites.
Eating a healthy diet is essential to thyroid health. In particular it is important to avoid sugar and caffeine. Eating an alkaline diet (rich in vegetables with moderate amounts of sugar, dairy, red meats, and grains) is healing to the thyroid as well as to your system as a whole. Certain foods help nourish the thyroid. Sea salt, which is rich in iodine, supports thyroid function. A diet with good, healthy fats is very important so your thyroid can produce the hormones which signal so many of the body's functions and processes. Coconut oil is especially healing. Seaweeds are a wonderful source of iodine. Snacking on dulse and other seaweeds (dulse is probably the most palatable and makes excellent chips when baked!), taking kelp capsules, and incorporating kelp and other seaweeds into soup stocks and other dishes are wonderful ways to increase intake of this mineral rich, detoxing, and nourishing food.
Herbs and nutrition will aid in healing obvious physical manifestations of an imbalanced thyroid and thus will also help balance the throat chakra. There are other more energetic means of balancing the throat chakra/thyroid. Since the throat chakra houses the voice, any sort of work that incorporates the throat or voice will benefit the throat chakra. Singing, chanting, mantras, prayer, and breath work will all have strong benefits on the throat chakra. I am someone that when in a spiritual space I have a hard time accessing language. I naturally gravitate more to images. However, I have found that using a simple mantra while meditating is extremely powerful. Just saying in my mind the mantra “love” while breathing in and again while breathing out has felt very deeply transformative, especially when I repeat this practice daily. I also do daily breathing exercises daily which feels very purifying. These practices not only benefit the throat chakra, but also your entire body, mind, and spirit.
A few yoga poses are beneficial to opening the throat chakra by compressing and opening the throat area, thus squeezing out toxins and letting them be released and open up to receiving new energy. Some poses that compress the throat chakra are bridge pose, shoulder stand, and plough. Poses that open up the throat chakra are camel and fish pose. Lion's pose is another great pose for activating the throat chakra.
Finally anther practice that can benefit the throat chakra is to do a healing meditation focusing on your throat chakra. Sit comfortably with good contact with the ground. Notice your breath. Feel the nourishing and releasing that happens with each breath. Then begin to focus that breath to your throat chakra. Think about this energy space that circles throughout the entire throat area, emanating from the front and back of your body. Allow your breath to sink into your throat chakra. Feel the nourishing and releasing, as if your throat chakra is breathing, and not your lungs. Notice if you feel any warmth or sense any light. Meditate like this for at least 5 minutes a few times a week. You will notice a distinct shift in your energy.
There is a lot of ideas here about how to approach throat chakra/thyroid healing. Feel free to just take one idea and put in into practice for one week. Everyday drink nettle tea, or do fish pose, or spend 10 minutes meditating with a mantra. See what happens. Notice any shifts? Perhaps you'll notice an ease in speaking. You might find you are listening more sincerely to others. Perhaps you will even listen to the gentle voice of your own spirit...