That unpleasant swelling at the base of your neck? Well, it can be goiter. Not to worry; goiter is not a life sentence. It is a condition associated with the thyroid gland. When the gland grows in size, it is known as goiter and usually occurs due to hypo- or hyperthyroidism. Generally, goiter is not accompanied by pain, but you will have to deal with other symptoms like bouts of cough and difficulty swallowing or breathing. The size of goiter varies – the bigger the goiter, the more severe the symptoms.
Can I Get Goiter?
Anyone can experience goiter. But if you are over 50 and are a woman, your chances of getting this disease increases manifold! If you notice the following symptoms, it is quite possible that you have goiter:
- Coughing for no reason
- Having a constricted feeling in the throat
- Hoarseness of voice
- Discomfort or pain while swallowing
- Mood swings
- Visible swelling at the base of your neck
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
Please remember: many of these symptoms are also associated with other health conditions. So do not assume you have goiter without getting a confirmed diagnosis from your doctor.
Causes for Goiter:
While researchers still do not know the exact cause for goiter, research shows that there are several factors that can lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Some of the causes of goiter are as follows:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease
- Radiation therapy for cancer
- Deficiency in iodine
- Certain medications
Effective and Best Remedies for Goiter:
Thankfully, if you are diagnosed with goiter, surgery or drugs are not the only solution. You can try several goiter remedies to reduce the size of the thyroid gland and get relief from the symptoms.
1. Dandelion Leaves:
Make a paste of dandelion leaves. Mix clarified butter (ghee) into the leaves and heat the mixture until it becomes lukewarm. Apply the paste on your neck and let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off. Use this home remedy every day for about 2 weeks and you will notice a marked difference in the size of the goiter.
Grind flaxseeds and make a paste with a little bit of water. Apply the paste on your neck and let it stand for 20 to 25 minutes. Wash and pat the area dry. It will help reduce the swelling, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties contained in flaxseeds.
3. Neck Exercise:
Stretching exercises for the neck are also known to help treat goiter. If you do these exercises, they will help stretch the muscles that are connected to the thyroid gland and help to reduce the swelling.
4. Barley Water:
Drink barley water once a day to reduce the swelling and alleviate other symptoms. Barley is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that build up the body’s immunity and help fight diseases. Barley water also cleanses toxins from the body.
5. Kachna (Bauhinia variegate):
Also known as Kanchanara, Kachna is indigenous to India and is one of the herbal remedies for goiter and also treats several other ailments. Take 2 tablespoons of Kachna bark powder and dissolve it in 160 ml water. Boil the concoction until it reduces by 40 percent. Strain and divide the concoction into two and add ginger powder. Drink one portion early in the morning, before breakfast and drink the second part in the evening.
6. Cold Shower:
Take a cold shower twice a day. This is supposed to stimulate the thyroid gland and help it work properly. This is one of the most effective home remedies for goiter.
Watercress is high in iodine and also contains many other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help in curing goiter. Make a paste of watercress and apply it on your neck. Let the paste stand for about 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off. You can also crush the leaves to extract the juice. Dilute the juice with a little bit of water and drink it three times a day for about six weeks.
Pineapple is rich in vitamins and minerals. It can help with the symptoms of goiter, particularly the coughing. Make pineapples a part of your everyday diet and you’ll see a difference pretty soon.
9. Sorrel Leaves:
Make a paste of sorrel leaves and add a little olive oil to it. Apply the paste on your neck and let it stay for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to lie down while applying the paste!
Garlic is known for its many medicinal properties and is used to treat several health conditions. Garlic stimulates the production of glutathione in the body, which is required for the healthy functioning of the thyroid. Chew 3 to 4 cloves of garlic every day in the morning. If you do not want to have a garlicky breathe, you can also make a salsa with raw garlic, tomatoes, onions and olive oil.
11. Green Tea:
We all know that green tea is replete with antioxidants and that is why it is considered extremely healthy. Daily consumption of green tea can not only cure goiter, but it can also prevent it. Green tea also contains high amount of natural fluoride, which helps in supporting the healthy functioning of the thyroid. If you find the taste of green tea too bland, you can always spruce it up with some honey.
There is a reason why the Japanese are mostly goiter free! Kelp is a seaweed and helps to normalize the functioning the thyroid gland, thanks to its high iodine content. You can buy kelp from a Japanese food store. It can be dry or pickled. As kelp is naturally salty, you can use it instead of salt in your meals. You also can add a tablespoon of dried kelp powder to smoothies and consume. Kelp is used in many Japanese dishes, such as sushi and dashi. So learn these dishes to give yourself some variety.
Bugleweed (Lycopus virginicus) is indigenous to North America and has been used since time immemorial to treat hyperthyroidism, breast pain, weak heart and edema. It is high in flavonoid, phenolic acids and tannins. It can inhibit thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), but be sure to consult your doctor before you start using it to treat goiter. You can make bugleweed tea and consume it with honey. Drink the tea three times a day for best results.
14. Lemon Balm:
Another best herbal remedies for goiter, lemon balm tea is known to help treat goiter by slowing down the functioning of the pituitary gland and lowering the levels of TSH. It is available in the form of a tincture and can be brewed into a tea and consumed three times a day. Be sure to keep the lid on while making the tea, as it will prevent the aromatic oils of the balm from escaping with the steam.
Many people suffer from palpitations and fast heartbeat because of hyperthyroidism. These symptoms can be alleviated with motherwort. It is rich is flavonoid, tannins and alkaloids and can help reduce the size of your goiter. Motherwort is available dry and can be brewed into a tea and consumed with a little bit of honey. Drink motherwort tea twice a day for best results.
16. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil contains high levels of lauric acid and when you consume it, this acid is converted into monolaurin, which has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-protozoa properties. You can use coconut oil for cooking to help treat goiter. Alternatively, add a little bit of coconut oil into your smoothies and consume every day.
17. Water Spinach and Almonds:
This Indonesian and Malay vegetable goes by many names, including water morning glory, swamp cabbage and kangkong. Extract one tablespoon juice from water cabbage. Boil 2 almonds in about a cup of water and strain. Grind the almonds and add the water cabbage juice to it. Consume this paste every day for about a month to help reduce goiter.
18. Bentonite Clay:
As strange as it may sound, bentonite clay can help treat goiter. Make a paste with the clay and apply it on your neck. Let the paste dry before washing it off. This will help to suck out the toxins and reduce the swelling.
19. Iodine-rich Diet:
If your goiter is caused due to iodine deficiency, you need to replenish your body with an iodine rich diet. Try using iodized salt or consume more cabbage, kale, seafood, cod fish, tuna, eggs, natural yogurt, milk, navy beans, baked potato with skin and cranberries. Adults should consume about 150 micrograms of iodine every day to keep goiter away.
20. Selenium-rich Food:
Your thyroid gland requires selenium to function at its optimal. There are some foods that are naturally rich in this mineral like kidney, liver, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, shellfish, onions, mushrooms wheat germ, barley, meats, poultry, eggs and fatty fish. Make these foods a part of your daily diet to help cure goiter.
This seaweed is rich in iodine and another best goiter remedies. You can brew a tea with dried bladderwrack or check with a health food store, as bladderwrack is also available in the form of capsules. Take the capsules as recommended on the label.
22. Oak Bark:
Make a paste of dried oak bark with some water. Apply it on your neck and let it stay overnight. This will help reduce the size of your goiter and alleviate many of the symptoms.
23. Limit Goitrogenic Foods:
Goitrogenic foods are those foods that hinder normal functioning of the thyroid gland. As a result, the gland is unable to synthesize iodine properly. So, there are some foods that you should be looking to eat in moderation and these include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Mustard greens
- Soy beans
- Sweet potatoes
You can cook goitrogenic foods to negate their effect on your thyroid. While it is not necessary to eliminate them from your diet completely, you should be looking to consume goitrogenic foods in limited quantities.
24. Coleus Leaves:
Though coleus is an ornamental plant, its leaves are also used in salads in Asia. You can consume coleus leaves in salads to help reduce the size of your goiter and ease the symptoms that come with it.
25. Self-Heal Herb:
Self-heal’s botanical name is Prunella vulgaris. This is a perennial plant that has anti-inflammatory properties. It also is known to regulate the functioning of the thyroid gland. Self-heal is available as a tincture, which can be brewed into a tea and consumed to reduce the swelling of the thyroid gland.
While these home remedies for goiter will help, you should ensure that you use them in conjunction with the medications prescribed by your doctor. Also, make it a point to be extremely careful about your diet. You should be looking to eat foods rich in iodine and selenium, while eating limited quantities of goitrogenic foods. And don’t forget the neck exercises!
Did you find this article helpful? Have you ever tried any of these remedies for goiter? Please leave a few words, we love hearing from you!