Graves Disease - McDowell's Herbal Treatments


Herbs have traditionally been used to assist a person to come back to a healthy state of well being. Individual herbs, specifically prescribed for a particular situation may assist the body to come back into balance, thereby allowing a healthy homeostasis to be reinstated as nature intended. The herbalist looks to the whole person, their values and attitudes as well as their circumstances and physical condition along with other aspects of their individuality. This is in marked contrast to the allopathic medicine approach.

Below you will find an example of selected herbs for a particular condition. Herbal support can take a variety of forms and combinations, so it is vital that each person consult directly with a qualified holistic practitioner to gain the full benefit of immunity and health building support.

Phyto-prevention of Thyroid Imbalance.

Iris versicolor (Blue flag iris root), Commiphora mukul (Guggul lipid),Fucus vesiculosis (Bladderwrack), and Phytolaccadecandra (Pokeweed) are all beneficial in supporting healthy thyroid activity.
Blue flag root was used as far back as 1898 as drug treatment for the cure of goiter (enlarged thyroid). It is known as a detoxifier of the thyroid gland (thyroid chemistry is disrupted by environmental toxins).

Guggullipid increases iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and promotes conversion of T4 to T3 (active thyroid hormone) in the liver.
Fucus/Bladderwrack (Seaweed of North Atlantic) has also been used historically in the treatment of goiter. It contains approximately 600mcg of iodine per gram. Fucus may also contain trace amounts of diiodotyrosine, T3, andT4.

Phytolacca increases circulation through the thyroid and improves lymphatic flow through the thyroid.

Do not diagnose yourself- its best to discuss these symptoms with your GP or Herbalist, and do not self prescribe these herbs.

I am happy to discuss your personal situation in detail, so please contact me directly.

The Hyper--Thyroid:

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Accelerated heart rate or palpitations
  • Muscle weakness and trembling
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness, agitation and anxiety
  • Changes in menstruation, including scantier flow and increased cycle length.

Graves' disease

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. In this case a malfunction of the immune system is the cause.. In a person with Graves' disease, the immune system manufactures antibodies which behave like TSH and stimulate the thyroid uncontrollably. Less than one per cent of the population has Graves' disease. Eight times more women than men have this condition. Children and adolescents can be affected, though Graves disease primarily affects people who are middle-aged.

Causes of Graves' disease

No one really knows what causes Graves' disease because the causes of autoimmune issues are not fully understood. Stress, both physical and emotional, is known to affect the responsiveness of the immune system and there appears to be some association between stress and the onset of autoimmune conditions - including Graves' disease

It is likely that some people's genetic inheritance could predispose them to Graves' disease. Another cause is excessive iodine intake..

Symptoms of Graves' disease

As well as the general symptoms of hyperthyroidism, a person with Graves' disease shows particular symptoms including:
Thyroid eye disease, causing inflammation and protruding eyes in 50 per cent of cases
Eye swelling (50 per cent of cases)
Coarsening and reddening of the skin on the shins


Treating the Thyroid that is "overactive" is not really that much more complicated than treating the under-active thyroid.

I still want to support the Thyroid by de-toxing with a herb like Blue Flag, and support the Axis. Clearly you don't give Kelp in this situation, so it's important for people with this condition to avoid foods like Sushi, which can provide too much Iodine rich food.

Hawthorn is an excellent herb to use in this situation, for the heart health and the axis support.

What is more difficult is settling the Auto-Immune system reaction such as in the case of Graves's disease.

Auto Immune conditions are very complex, and not much is understood about them. In a way you could describe the immune system as "attacking itself".

Please provide me with more personal information and I can make a specific mix for you.


Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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