Do Essential Oils Help Treat Thyroid Problems?

Essential oils are believed to help a number of ailments, including insomnia, indigestion, swollen joints, muscle pain, headache, anxiety, depression, and respiratory problems.

Essential oils are thought to alleviate some symptoms of thyroid conditions, but more research is needed.

Essential oils

 KADImages / Getty Images

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated extracts that come from different parts of plants. This can include the:

  • Bark
  • Seeds
  • Roots
  • Leaves
  • Twigs

To extract oils, parts of a plant are either distilled, steamed, or mechanically processed.

Essential oils are used in cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, food additives, and are also used for some medicinal and healing purposes. Over the years, aromatherapy has become a popular use of essential oils.

Essential Oils for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a health condition that occurs when a person's thyroid is underactive, meaning the thyroid gland is not making enough of certain important thyroid hormones required for it to function properly.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Weight gain
  • A swollen face
  • Dry skin
  • Decreased sweating
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • A slower heart rate
  • Acne
  • Muscle weakness

Myrrh Oil

Myrrh is known for having many medicinal benefits but is most widely known to aid in treating the following:

  • Inflammation
  • Aches
  • Pains
  • Chest ailments


Cedarwood is known to help a lot of skin ailments—some of which can occur in hypothyroidism. It helps to add cedarwood oil to carrier oils (oils that are used to dilute essential oils), such as jojoba oil.


Spearmint has vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is popularly known to help with indigestion and nausea.

Preliminary research shows that spearmint oil can reduce pain, but more clinical trials are required to confirm the safety and effectiveness of this oil.

Wild Orange Oil

Along with its invigorating scent, wild orange oil is known to help:

  • Increase mood
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Relieve pain

A 2019 study showed an increase of weight loss in mice. More studies need to be conducted to confirm if wild orange oil is effective when it comes to humans and weight loss.

Essential Oils for Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is overactive, making more of the hormone thyroxine than the body needs. Because the thyroid hormone affects many systems within the body, it can create problems if it is not controlled.

Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Mood swings

Hyperthyroidism also can cause your thyroid gland to enlarge, forming a goiter, which can affect your ability to breathe and swallow.

Along with following your current treatment plan, you may wish to consider using the following essential oils to help ease some symptoms.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is known to have a calming effect. It is used to help reduce stress and enhance sleep.

Since a hyperactive thyroid can cause anxiety and lack of sleep, lavender oil may relieve these symptoms.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil aids in digestion, reduces anxiety, enhances sleep, and is known to help with inflammation and proper digestion.

Wintergreen oil

Wintergreen oil relieves pain in muscles and joints. This is due to the ingredient methyl salicylate.

Lemongrass oil

Lemongrass oil is known to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and pain.

Sandalwood oil

Sandalwood oil helps with reducing anxiety. Using this oil in a diffuser can help calm nerves.

How to Use Essential Oils

There are different ways that essential oils can be used. These include:

  • Diffusing: Placing a few drops of essential oil into water inside a diffuser, a device that sprays a mist into the air, to be inhaled.
  • Topical: This can include creams, lotions, and, when mixed with a carrier oil, rubbing the oil directly onto your skin.


Some essential oils can be dangerous to children, pets, and women who are breastfeeding and/or pregnant.

If you have a thyroid condition, it is essential to take your medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you want to use essential oils for additional therapy, it is important to speak with your practitioner so they can give you the plan that fits your needs.

A Word From Verywell

Essential oils are becoming more popular as a healing alternative. People use them for different reasons. It is important to speak with your healthcare professional before you use essential oils for additional therapeutic purposes.


13 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Babar Ali, Naser Ali Al-Wabel, Saiba Shams, Aftab Ahamad, Shah Alam Khan, Firoz Anwar. Essential oils used in aromatherapy: a systemic review, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Volume 5, Issue 8, 2015, Pages 601-611, ISSN 2221-1691. doi:10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.05.007

  2. Michigan State University Center for Research on Ingredient Safety. Essential oils-an overview.

  3.  MedlinePlus. Hypothyroidism.

  4. Su S, Duan J, Chen T, et al. Frankincense and myrrh suppress inflammation via regulation of the metabolic profiling and the MAPK signaling pathway. Sci Rep. 2015;5:13668. Published 2015 Sep 2. doi:10.1038/srep13668

  5. Shenefelt PD. Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. Chapter 18. 

  6. Mahboubi M. Mentha spicata as natural analgesia for treatment of pain in osteoarthritis patientsComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2017;26:1-4. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.11.001

  7. Li D, Wu H, Dou H. Weight loss effect of sweet orange essential oil microcapsules on obese SD rats induced by high-fat dietBioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 2019;83(5):923-932. doi:10.1080/09168451.2019.1578640

  8. MedlinePlus. Hyperthyroidism.

  9.  John Hopkins Medicine. Aromatherapy: do essential oils really work?

  10. Al-Yasiry AR, Kiczorowska B. Frankincense--therapeutic properties. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2016 Jan 4;70:380-91. doi:10.5604/17322693.1200553

  11. Higashi Y, Kiuchi T, Furuta K. Efficacy and safety profile of a topical methyl salicylate and menthol patch in adult patients with mild to moderate muscle strain: a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Clin Ther. 2010 Jan;32(1):34-43. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2010.01.016

  12.  Goes T, Ursulino F, Almeida-Souza T, Alves P, Teixeira-Silva F. Effect of lemongrassaroma on experimental anxiety in humansThe Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2015, Dec 21(12): 766-73. doi:10.1089/acm.2015.0099

  13. Trambert R, Kowalski MO, Wu B, Mehta N, Friedman P. A Randomizedcontrolled trial provides evidence to support aromatherapy to minimize anxietyin women undergoing breast biopsy. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2017 Oct;14(5):394-402. doi:10.1111/wvn.12229

By Yvelette Stines
Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.