Do Essential Oils Help Treat Thyroid Problems?

Essential oils have been known to help a number of ailments, including insomnia, indigestion, swollen joints, muscular 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 plant extracts that come from different parts of the plants. This can include the:

  • Bark
  • Seeds
  • Roots
  • Leaves
  • Twigs

To extract oils, they 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

When an induvial has hypothyroidism, it means that their thyroid is underactive and the thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormones for it to function properly and meet the needs of the body.

Some symptoms 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 treatments of:

  • Inflammation
  • Aches
  • Pains
  • Chest ailments

Cedarwood

Cedarwood is known to help a lot of skin ailments—some of which can occur in hypothyroidism. This oil can help with adding carrier oils such as jojoba oil.

Spearmint

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 happens with the thyroid is overactive and makes more hormones than the body needs. Because the thyroid hormone affects all aspects of the body, it can create issues 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

Some symptoms could cause your neck to look enlarged which can cause trouble with breathing and swallowing.

Along with certain medications prescribed by your doctor, essential oils are known to help some of the 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 lack of sleep and anxiety, lavender oil is thought to help relieve some of those symptoms.

Frankincense Oil

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

Wintergreen oil

Wintergreen aids in the relief of pain in muscles and joints. This is due to the ingredient methyl salicylate that is in the oil.

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 the nerves.

How to Use Essential Oils

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

  • Diffusing: This spreads the scent of the essential oil in the air.
  • Topical: This can include lotions.

Warning

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

If you have a thyroid condition, first, it is essential to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you want to use essential oils for additional therapy, it is important to speak with your doctor 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.

 

Was this page helpful?
Article 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. Updated November 21, 2019.

  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; 2011. 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. Updated August 20, 2018.

  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