Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by an overactive thyroid gland, which produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. In the realm of Chinese medicine, hyperthyroidism is typically classified as a pattern of disharmony known as "Yin deficiency with hyperactivity of Liver Yang."
According to Chinese medicine principles, the thyroid gland is associated with the Kidney, Spleen, and Liver meridians. The condition of hyperthyroidism is believed to arise from an imbalance in these meridians, particularly involving the Kidney Yin and Liver Yang energies.
In Chinese medicine, the goal of treating hyperthyroidism is to restore harmony and balance within the body. Herbal medicines are commonly used to address the underlying pattern of disharmony associated with hyperthyroidism. Here are some key categories of Chinese herbs that are often utilized:
Nourishing Yin herbs: These herbs are used to replenish the Kidney Yin energy and cool the excessive heat associated with hyperthyroidism. Examples include Rehmannia root (Shu Di Huang), Ophiopogon root (Mai Men Dong), and Anemarrhena rhizome (Zhi Mu).
Calming Liver Yang herbs: These herbs help to pacify the hyperactivity of Liver Yang, which is often associated with symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, and rapid heartbeat. Some commonly used herbs in this category include Uncaria stem (Gou Teng), Scutellaria root (Huang Qin), and Chrysanthemum flower (Ju Hua).
Harmonizing Spleen herbs: The Spleen is responsible for transforming and transporting nutrients in Chinese medicine. When treating hyperthyroidism, herbs that strengthen the Spleen function are often employed to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. Ginseng root (Ren Shen), Atractylodes rhizome (Bai Zhu), and Poria fungus (Fu Ling) are examples of herbs commonly used to harmonize the Spleen.
Additionally, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and lifestyle adjustments may be recommended as part of the holistic approach to managing hyperthyroidism in Chinese medicine. These complementary modalities aim to support overall well-being, improve energy flow, and rebalance the body's internal systems.