Thyroid diseases from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine

Recently, it has become a sort of bad tradition in our regions that more and more women are being treated for various thyroid disorders. An interesting fact is that the overwhelming majority of patients are women, the occurrence of the disease in men is as low as the chance to see a yeti in the Sahara. Why is that so? Hormones are always to blame, how could it be otherwise when it comes to women.

All hormones are produced by the kidneys and liver, from where they are distributed throughout the body through the blood to the places of destination – says traditional Chinese medicine. This simple principle must always be kept in mind for any other hormonal disorders that do not affect the thyroid gland, but also the ovaries, etc.

From the point of view of traditional Chinese medicine, every woman is destined to be a carrier of the family and is naturally adapted to it. According to Chinese medicine, women predominate in the yin component. Yin here represents all the liquid parts in the body, including blood. According to Chinese medicine, blood is a carrier of hormones, which we can imagine just like fish in water, ie hormones in the blood. Blood is produced in the path of the spleen, stored in the path of the liver, and its circulation is ensured by the path of the heart. All that is the “responsibility” (or even better: all that is supervised) by the path of the kidneys, which supervises to all the beneficial processes in the organism, provides missing energy from its reserves, and manages and controls the right steps and operation of the organism.

From the above, it follows which paths are involved in thyroid problems – the paths of the kidneys, liver, spleen and heart and the blood as such.

Decreased thyroid function

This condition corresponds to a state of insufficiency in Chinese medicine, especially in the path of the kidneys SHEN, spleen PI and liver GAN. We can imagine it as an engine that barely runs and has little gasoline. Due to the lack of a “fire of life”, water in the body is not evaporated enough and accumulates in the form of swelling, doughy skin, obesity, mucus and often the first symptom is the sudden appearance of snoring in women. The Chinese claim that “water does not go the way of water” – it is missing where it should be, on the contrary, it settles where it is not desirable and where it is not needed. According to Western medicine, hormonal tablets are usually recommended, which supplement the missing hormones, but these are put in a small amount of water, which causes their subsequent death and accumulation of rotting residues in the riverbed. In addition, hormones do not strengthen the path of the spleen and kidneys, so they only “heat” the engine at idle without supplying the necessary energy, ie gasoline and oil. That’s the Chinese view of things.

  1. Insufficient yang of the kidney and spleen PI/SHEN YANG XU, which insufficiently warms the engine to “operating” temperature so that all its functions can work properly. According to this, the symptoms look as follows: fatigue, chills, slowness, cold hands and feet, paleness, bags under the eyes, soft stools, bloating, weakness, exhaustion, indifference, doughy skin, which seems to be soaked with water, pain and cold in the shoulders or knees, shortness of breath, tendency to lie down, dizziness, loss of appetite, menstrual problems, swelling of the body, morning stools before breakfast, paleness, frequent urination of abundant pale urine, weak voice, slow speech and thinking, slow pulse, low blood pressure and a pale swollen tongue. Herbal mixtures which are suitable in this case are Secret of Golden Case (code 171)Dancer from Pear Orchard (code 022) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (code 900). Among the recommended foods that reinforce the insufficient yang of YANG XU are e.g. kidneys, mutton, venison, lobster meat, sardines, shrimp, star anise, red and black dates, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, fennel.
  2. Insufficient energy of qi and blood QI/XUE XU when gasoline is missing in the engine and therefore it is not possible to go far with it. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, reluctance to speak, slowness, palpitations, paleness, softer stools, dry skin, cold limbs, loss of menstruation in women, and pale tongue. In this case, herbal mixtures are used e.g. Tiger Spring (code 152)Lingzhi Root of Life (code 200) + Beverage from True Ginseng (code 822). Recommended foods that increase insufficient energy qi and blood QI / XUE XU include for example beef, rabbit, goose, liver, red lentils, white beans, barley (pearl barley), couscous, corn (polenta), natural rice, oats, boulevard, chickpeas, trout, , mackerel, salmon, squid, raisins, dates, beetroot, chicken eggs – egg white.
  3. Insufficient yin of the kidneys and liver SHEN/GAN YIN XU when there is a lack of “oil in the engine”, which then has insufficient performance. Symptoms include fatigue, afternoon and evening feelings of heat, night sweats, hip pain, dizziness, tinnitus, hand tremors, blurred vision, dry throat, and red and uncoated tongue. Herbal mixtures which are suitable in this case are Unwinding a tangled Ball (code 068)Elixir of Heavenly Emperor (code 121) + Beverage of Heavenly Grace (code 888). Recommended foods include e.g. black list, chives, pork, lard, liver, kidneys, mussels, oysters, cuttlefish, calamari, perch, eel, all nuts and seeds, root vegetables (celery, parsley, but also carrots, pumpkins, zucchini …), Spelled wheat, gooseberry, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, watercress, grape wine, chicken eggs – yolk, tofu, milk, cottage cheese, fresh cheese, royal jelly, lettuce and Chinese cabbage, black Chinese mushroom MU ER (Judas’ ear), olive oil.

Increased thyroid function

As the name suggests, according to traditional Chinese medicine, this mostly corresponds to a state of excess, especially in the path of the liver GAN, heart XIN and stomach WEI. We can think of this condition as an overheated engine that is still running at full speed and, due to constant overload, starts to run out of oil, because an overheating engine “eats up” a lot of oil and cannot be quickly refilled. Over time, the engine seems to “jam”, “overheat” and block, which can lead to the so-called exophthalmic goiter or thyrotoxicosis. This is already an alarming situation that needs to be addressed intensively, but even this can be handled with Chinese herbs. We will now look at the condition that precedes this hormonal imbalance. In our example with fish, it is a matter of creating a dam on the river, where on the one hand lots of fish and energy from pressurized water accumulate and on the other hand, under the dam, there is a weak stream with almost no fish or only with a small fish fry. Of course, this condition is unnatural and unsustainable and it is only a matter of time before the dam breaks and the so-called thyrotoxic crisis or thyroid hormone poisoning occurs with all its consequences.

  1. Stagnation of qi energy in the liver GAN QI ZHI when emotions cause “engine overheating due to fast driving”. Symptoms include the initial stages of increased thyroid function – nervousness, restlessness, intolerance to heat, fatigue, palpitations, irritability, mental restlessness, depression, moodiness, feeling of stretching on the abdomen, irregular menstruation and premenstrual tension in women, tongue is slightly red on the sides. Herbal mixtures which are suitable in this case are Calming of Rough Water (code 062) + Uplifting the Heavy Heart (code 081) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (code 900).. Among the recommended foods that stimulate the stagnation of qi energy and cool the heat are, for example. pumpkin, beans, beef, basil, mustard seed, cumin, chives, cardamom, dill, turmeric, saffron, oregano, ground pepper, radish, tangerine, orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon and orange peel.
  2. Heat in the liver, heart and stomach GAN/XIN/WEI RE which means “fast burning of both gasoline and engine oil”. Symptoms include thirst, excessive hunger, weight loss, irritability, hot headedness, insomnia, vivid dreams, hot flushes with redness, itching of the whole body, palpitations, fast to chaotic speech, bulging eyes, tendency to anger outbursts, mental restlessness, red eyes, the tongue is red with red edges and a yellow coating, an excess of vigour and energy in the early stages of the disease, bitter in the mouth, headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure and fast pulse, in short it is a woman called hellebore and this word also best describes her state. It is not easy for her or her surroundings, so it is necessary to release excessive heat as soon as possible – Herbal mixtures which are suitable in this case are Pill of Gentian (code 014)Overcoming of Fire Covern (code 016). Recommended foods that cool the heat of the liver include bananas, chicory, arugula, dandelion leaves, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, melon, black mushroom (Judas’ ear), salt, spinach, strawberries, chard, mint, mung beans, cabbage, celery, lettuce, adzuki bean sprouts, wheat sprouts, eggplant, millet, Chinese cabbage.
  3. Insufficient yin of the kidneys and liver with empty heat SHEN/GAN YIN XU + RE XU when “there is no oil in the engine” and the engine then overheats. Symptoms include mental restlessness, evening heat, weight loss, nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, hot flushes with reddened skin, bulging eyes, shoulder pain, dizziness, blurred vision, dry eyes, tinnitus, night sweats, tongue is red, uncoated or partially uncoated. Herbal mixtures which are suitable in this case are Shade of Brocate Weil (code 012)Elixir of Heavenly Emperor (code 121)Joy of coming sleep (code 127). Among the recommended foods that strengthen the kidneys and liver, include. black list, chives, pork, lard, liver, kidneys, mussels, oysters, cuttlefish, calamari, perch, eel, all nuts and seeds, root vegetables (celery, parsley, but also carrots, pumpkins, zucchini …), Spelled wheat, gooseberry, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, watercress, grape wine, chicken eggs – yolk, tofu, milk, cottage cheese, fresh cheese, royal jelly, lettuce and Chinese cabbage, root vegetables , parsley, but also carrots, pumpkins, zucchini…), black Chinese mushroom MU ER (Judas ear), olive oil.
  4. Hot mucus in the liver GAN TAN RE when an overheated engine “thickens” its dirty and cloudy gasoline, which then blocks the nozzles. Symptoms include mental restlessness, feeling hot, weight loss, nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, palpitations, hot flushes with redness, itchy body, bulging eyes, blurred vision, goitre, coughing up mucus, thirst, sticky feeling in the mouth, feeling of pressure on the chest, the tongue is red with a yellow sticky coating. Herbal mixtures which are suitable in this case are Conopy Chamber (code 036) + Birth of the Phoenix (code 009) or Shade of Brocate Weil (code 012) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (code 900). Recommended foods that dissolve hot mucus include, for example. bamboo shoots, celery, eggplant, radish, horseradish, mustard seed, kohlrabi, bananas, pears, lemon and orange peel, green tea, shiitake mushroom, thyme, oregano, pepper, olives, tofu.

If in doubt about the choice of our herbal products, we recommend our TCM Test Tongue Analysis.