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Essential Oils for the Thyroid

By Jodi Cohen

A close-up of a woman with her hand on her neck.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated in the front of your throat that produces and releases hormones. Your thyroid helps regulate your metabolism, your emotions, your brain function, and almost all the other processes in your body.

Thyroid issues, including hypo-thyroid, hyper-thyroid and auto immune thyroid conditions like Hashimotos, can present as symptoms like:

  • Fatigue, Low Energy or sleeping challenges
  • Brain Fog, Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness and lack of focus
  • Dry Skin
  • Poor quality hair and nails
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Unexplained weight changes
  • Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders


Essential Oils for the Thyroid

Supporting the underlying issues related to thyroid challenges can help balance the thyroid.

  1. Support Organs of Detoxification – Healing the thyroid mobilizes toxins that need to leave the body so they are not reabsorbed.
  2. Reduce Stress – Stress triggers a hormonal cascade that can throw off the thyroid. Reducing stress levels helps to manage hormones.
  3. Balance the Brain – Brain function impacts thyroid function and helping to balance the brain helps to balance the thyroid.
  4. Heal the Gut – Systemic inflammation can impede the ability of the thyroid to heal.



How to Use Essential Oils for the Thyroid

Essential Oils can help support these underlying issues. Topically applied and inhaled essential oils can help return organ systems and regions of the brain that support the thyroid to balance, so it can repair and heal.  Essential oils are an ideal remedy when digestion is compromised, as they are quickly absorbed into the blood stream.  Essential oils are also fat soluble and the brain is comprised primarily of fat so essential oils can easily cross the blood brain barrier and support the brain.


Start with Detoxification Support

Supporting the liver and organs of detoxification is an important first step in thyroid support.  Here’s why:  when you start to heal the gut, you often kill off bad bacteria and bugs that then need to leave your body.  When your liver is sluggish and not able to remove toxins as quickly, these toxins don’t leave the body.  Instead, they can recirculate in your system and create more problems.

Similarly, when you reduce stress levels, you allow your body to drop into a healing state where it can release toxins.  Those toxins then need to be eliminated from the body, and supporting the liver and other organs of detoxification as a first step ensures that the elimination pathways are open.

Finally, a healthy liver allows for healthy assimilation of thyroid supporting foods and supplements.  A sluggish or congested liver can make you more sensitive or reactive to food and supplements that otherwise might support your thyroid healing.  So supporting the liver as a first step opens the door to additional thyroid supporting options.


Essential Oils for Detoxification

In order to support the thyroid, it is important to make sure your body can eliminate released toxins as quickly as possible so they are not reabsorbed back into the body and experienced as die-off symptoms.   Essential oils can be topically applied to support the following drainage pathways. Using the Detox Support Kit™ can help supply drainage in the body.

Liver™: Your liver plays a critical role in balancing the hormones in your body, including your thyroid hormone.  The liver develops and metabolizes the level of thyroid hormones.  It is necessary for converting T4 to the active T3 hormone, and regulates their effect on the endocrine system.

The liver is also your primary organ of detoxification, helping to rid the system of excess thyroid hormones.  If your liver is overwhelmed, overburdened or otherwise impaired, it can lead to toxic backlog and compromise the function of the thyroid.  For example, poor liver detoxification hinders the conversion of T4 to T3 and causes estrogen to recirculate contributing to an over-abundance of thyroid-binding proteins that transport thyroid hormones through the bloodstream. Excess thyroid-binding thyroid hormones prevent thyroid hormones from getting into the cells and hypothyroid symptoms ensue.  Apply 2 to 3 drops of Liver™ directly over the liver (right side of the body, under the breast) two to three times daily.

Gall Bladder™The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile which helps us emulsify fat for digestion and carries toxins out of the body. Ideally, the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine where it is then eliminated from the body in the stool. When we eliminate the bile, we eliminate toxins with it.  Unfortunately, stress, toxicity, hormones, and thyroid issues like hypothyroidism cause the gallbladder to become sluggish and congested and impede the ability of bile to leave the body.  If toxins, do not exit the body they can be reabsorbed. Applying Gall Bladder™ on the right side of the body under the bra under-wire or along and slightly under the right rib cage two to three times daily may help support optimal flow of bile.

Skin:  Our skin is our largest organ and can be a powerful channel for sweating out toxins either in a sauna or an Epsom salt bath.  The addition of Parasympathetic® oil can further increase heat levels, which will help you to sweat out toxins.

Lymph™: The lymphatic system removes toxins from every cell in the body. It works as the body’s septic system, removing the byproducts and wastes created from metabolizing nutrients. Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system does not have a central pump—it only moves as the muscles squeeze it along. So the lack of movement makes the lymphatic system stagnant, with waste accumulating and excessive toxins building up.  Lymph™ blend helps keep lymph flowing to move toxins out of the body. Liberally apply 2 to 3 drops of Lymph™ to both sides of the neck, the lymph nodes under the arms, over the clavicles and around inguinal ligament (bikini line area) to ensure optimal drainage and health.


Essential Oils to Reduce Stress

Chronic stress can contribute to thyroid issues.  Our bodies are designed to manage short bursts of acute stress, where the short-term inflammatory   response temporarily boosts the immune system, giving the body the energy to support an immune  response.

Unfortunately, the chronic stress state that most of us live in does not allow us to drop into the Parasympathetic “rest and digest” state where the body can rest, recover and repair.  As a result, your body continuously cycles through periods of high inflammation, which can damage the gut lining, suppress the immune system and create the perfect breeding ground for auto immune conditions like Hashimotos   The following essential oils can be great tools to help the body to return to balance so it can heal:

Parasympathetic®: The “Rest and Digest” parasympathetic state of the nervous system allows the body to regenerate, repair and heal.   The stress response throws the body into the Sympathetic “fight or flight” state.  To reset the body into the parasympathetic healing mode, apply a drop of Parasympathetic® oil to the vagal nerve (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone) before meals.

Adrenal®: The adrenal glands help determine and regulate the body’s stress response. The health and resilience of these key stress response organs determine our tolerance to stress.  To keep your   adrenals in top shape and help the body adapt to stress, smell or apply Adrenal® blend on the adrenal glands (back of body, one fist up from 12th rib).

Hypothalamus™: The hypothalamus in the brain initiates the stress response by triggering the adrenal glands to secrete stress hormones.  It controls all messages sent to and received from the body.  It is constantly assessing and adjusting cortisol levels via signals to the adrenals.  Chronic and prolonged stress can damage the  hypothalamus’s ability to  receive clear messages which impacts all outgoing signals (i.e. cortisol levels). Apply Vibrant Blue Oils Hypothalamus over the third eye to reset the  hypothalamus to receive clear messages.


Essential Oils to Balance the Brain

Thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s can contribute to brain inflammation that can impair brain function.  Thyroid antibodies can bind to brain tissue, triggering the immune system to attack and destroy the brain tissue.

The inflammatory response in the brain is activated via glial cells.  There is no off switch for brain inflammation so this can contribute to systemic inflammation and damage the blood brain barrier (BBB).  With the integrity of the BBB compromised, blood-borne factors can enter the brain triggering edema, greater inflammation and hyper-excitability.

Unlike an inflamed body part, your brain may not feel physical pain when it’s inflamed. Instead, the brain communicates inflammation in the way it makes you feel.  When the brain is inflamed, it slows down its processing speed which in turn slows down your ability to focus.   This can lead to symptoms like brain fog, memory issues, low brain voltage, anxiety or depression.

Topically applied essential oils can play a huge role in helping deactivate inflammation in the brain so it can repair and heal.  Essential oils are fat soluble and the brain is comprised primarily of fat so essential oils can easily cross the blood brain barrier and support the brain.

Anti Inflammatory™ supports the anti-inflammation mechanisms of the brain and body.

Anti Inflammatory™ is designed to reduce inflammation and encourage regeneration of damaged or stressed connective tissues that have been chronically inflamed or acutely inflamed.  Apply 2-3 drops along the back of the head – from the back of the neck up midway on the scalp to help anti inflame the brain.

ParasympatheticThe thyroid is strongly influenced by the parasympathetic nervous system.  In fact, research has linked abnormalities in the parasympathetic nervous system with a reduction in levels of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones.  Stimulating the vagus nerve with a stimulatory blend of essential oil, like our  Parasympatheticblend of clove and lime can help the body drop into the parasympathetic “rest and digest” state.  Clove oil can help regulate your thyroid hormones and their functions and is especially helpful in the treatment of hypothyroidism.  Clove Oil is also a potent anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-viral and anti-fungal oil shown to inhibit bacteria and toxins that can contribute to thyroid issues.

Release Negative Emotions:  As you may know, stress can often stem from deep seated emotions like fear, worry, anger or trauma and their resulting thought patterns.  This emotional and thought driven stress can trigger your amygdala in your limbic system to initiate a stress response.  If the limbic system is on high alert, it can alter the way that the brain and body interpret, encode and react to sensory or emotional stimuli that it would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body.

To calm the limbic system, it is important to calm your thoughts and release negative emotions.  This helps to reset the volume on threat perception, and help calm the over-firing of protective mechanism of the Limbic System (Learn More Here).  Your sense of smell links directly to the amygdala in the Limbic Lobe of the brain, which stores and releases emotional trauma. Smell has a direct route to the limbic system, as it is physically located near the olfactory bulb, and often can mobilize long forgotten memories and emotions.  (Learn More Here)  To help address the emotions at the root cause of stress, consider Emotion Support blends.


Essential Oils to Heal the Gut

Healthy gut flora is needed to convert T4 to T3.  An overabundance of bad bacteria can crowd out healthy bacteria and hamper the production of active thyroid hormone. Studies show that bacterial gut infections reduce thyroid hormone levels, dull thyroid hormone receptor sites, increase the amount of inactive T3, decrease TSH, and promote autoimmune thyroid disorders.   Anything that damages the healthy bacteria in the gut, including leaky guts or pathogens, disturbs good bacteria and allows opportunistic organisms to grow unchecked.  Gut Repair Kit™ can help heal the microbiome and support healthy gut flora.

The cells lining the small intestine are connected by semi-permeable tight junctions that serve as important gatekeepers.  They block the undigested food, bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites and other toxins while selectively assimilating and absorbing the vital nutrients the body needs.  Gut inflammation from food allergies, stress or infections can compromise these tight junctions, leading to increased permeability and allowing harmful pathogens and undigested food to pass, or “leak”, into the body.  This triggers an immune response where toxins or undigested foods are tagged by the immune system as “foreign invaders”, preventing vital nutrients from being properly digested, absorbed and assimilated and can lead to food allergies/intolerances.

Support Optimal Digestion: Impaired digestion can contribute to inflammation.  One of the most         important elements of healing the gut is to eat in the optimal “rest and digest” Parasympathetic state.  You can do this by really taking time to sit down, relax, and breathe before eating.  We also recommend   applying a drop of Parasympathetic® oil to the vagal nerve (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone) before meals to trigger optimal digestion.   You might also consider Pancreas Oil to support digestive enzymes and  Gall Bladder to support optimal fat digestion.

Reduce Inflammation: In order for the gut to heal, you need to remove the source of damage. This could include inflammatory foods, medications,     alcohol and intestinal infections. Consider a strict elimination diet that removes all grains, sugar, dairy, corn, soy (and in some cases nuts, eggs and nightshades).  You can also help to reduce inflammation through topical application of  Anti-Inflammatory™ or Histamine Balance™ rubbed clockwise around the belly button 2 –3x daily.

Repair Intestinal Mucosal Lining: Healthy gut flora and mucosal lining are critical for absorbing nutrients from food and neutralizing toxic substances.  To    repair both, it is important to add in nutrient dense whole foods, supplements and essential oils to     support digestive weaknesses, including Intestinal Mucosa blend rubbed clockwise around the belly button 2 – 3 x daily to help restore the balance of healthy intestinal flora.

Heal Infections by Fortifying Boundaries:  Gut Infections like yeast, candida, parasites, fungus and  bacteria all contribute to gut inflammation, so it is important to help address and neutralize these infections when attempting to heal the gut.  In addition to upholding physical boundaries, the small intestine plays a discerning role with emotions.  When you have weak energetic boundaries, you open yourself up for all sorts of infections.  Conversely, when you improve energetic boundaries, pathogens are no longer an energetic match and often dissipate.  To help support energetic boundaries, consider Small Intestine Support either to the small intestine or the ears several times daily.



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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.