Lyme Disease patients: you may not be aware, but there are many antimicrobial herbs that suppress thyroid function.

Do your best to support your thyroid function, as it is usually suppressed by our infections and medications. Here, we learned about why healing cannot take place without a healthy thyroid. Healing the thyroid generally requires a multi-tiered approach, but today let’s look at some things you may be doing that can add insult to thyroid-injury.

Dietary considerations:

  • Gluten intolerance is a commonality in Hashimoto’s patients. Gluten has a molecular structure similar to your thyroid hormones. If gluten gets into the blood stream, your immune system tracks it to get rid of the intruder. But since it resembles thyroid molecules, your immune system attacks these, as well.
  • Tryptophan suppresses the thyroid so minimize it. Gelatin contains no tryptophan.
  • Get adequate protein, selenium, and tyrosine in your diet.
  • Tyrosine is found in eggs, saltwater fish, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, hard cheese, pork, gamey meat, beef, and sea vegetables.
  • Polyunsaturated fats also suppress thyroid function. Boost both thyroid function and your metabolism with saturated oils like coconut oil and ghee.
  • Be aware that goitrogens, some herbs, and toxins such as bromine, chlorine and fluoride prevent iodine absorption needed for proper thyroid function.
  • Iodine absorption is more important than iodine supplementation. Actually, supplementing with iodine can be really dangerous. Limit goitrogenic foods, as these block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine. Goitrogens are in broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, canola, millet, tapioca, mustard, strawberries and more. You can cook these in water and dump the water to reduce goitrogens.

Some herbs to consider:

  • Ashwagandha is good for the thyroid and HPA axis. I take this every day.
  • Nettle assists with T4-T3 conversion.
  • Since 80% of thyroid hormone conversion takes place in the liver, herbs that support the liver like milk thistle can be used.
  • Bacopa increase T4 though it may not improve conversion to T3.
  • Guggul improves T4-T3 conversion, cholesterol and metabolic rate.

Herbs that suppress thyroid function:

  • The antimicrobials Japanese knotweed, isatis, and sida acuta.
  • Curcumin, possibly.
  • Sleep herbs valerian root, passion flower, motherwort.
  • Cannabis, possibly.
  • Green tea, due to ECGC and fluoride content.
  • Quercitin in large doses.

It’s okay to incorporate these foods and herbs into your life, but be prudent, and when in doubt support your thyroid.

Have you noticed thyroid suppressing effects with any of the above?



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12 thoughts on “Lyme herbs that suppress thyroid function”

  1. “curcumin, possibly”

    more info please? I use curcumin (fresh turmeric tea, daily) as a primary herbal anti- inflammatory. The dried culinary powder used in curries seems to have little medicinal value, from my experience. A nearby farmer who grows turmeric asked me if I was adding black pepper to the tea — she said that it enhances the effectiveness of the turmeric. Several farms here grow black pepper in close association with vanilla, as companion plantings. Vanilla is related to orchids, which attract an interesting range of pollinators. These have an impact on flavor and probably nutrition as well. So there are many factors that may influence the effectiveness of any herb, and I wonder what form of curcumin is causing reservations.

    1. Here is a link about the inhibitory effects of curcumin on liver enzymes. I gather, that it is not curcumin itself, but it’s inhibitory effects that can cause a ripple effect throughout the body. That said, this is really speculative, and I could have sourced where I got that info – which was from Dr.Kharrazian’s “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms.” I do notice anti-inflammatory effects with curcumin, personally, supplementing with it occasionally. There is always the issue of drug-to-drug interactions, so mixing it up or taking breaks is a good way to see what works, and to remind your body to do it’s own work. Check out this article, if you haven’t already.

  2. Hello, I bought your book and learned a lot about metabolisme which I think is very very important. My thyroids and adrenal are both low. I’m doing the Bhuner protocol. Do you think its possible to do both? I mean support my thyroid and adrenal but also take Japonese Knotweek? Or would that be not productive? Thank you

    1. Tom, I think you can take Japanese Knotweed and still get results. While it may affect your thyroid function, so too will eating broccoli or cabbage. I still eat these, I just don’t eat five servings a day of either vegetable. You can also be doing or taking things to increase thyroid function to offset your herbs. I know I mentioned a few herbs for T4 to T3 conversion (nettle, guggul) but you can just try using food and adequate sleep as a baseline. Test your temperature as you go – this will probably increase into a normal range if it isn’t already if your thyroid and adrenals are improving. For me, I take the amino acid Tyrosine in the morning, sort of as a thyroid-pill-substitute. I also tested my hormones – found estrogen to be too high – and started taking chaste tree (a herb that boosts progesterone). You may want to test your testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. Balancing out the thyroid, adrenals and hormones, in my opinion is equally important with taking antimicrobials for maintenance. I don’t think the Knotweed alone is causing your issues. Could be a conjunction of what you’re taking, what you’re not taking, inflammation created from a present infection or autoimmune disease, and hormone/nutrient/etc levels that you can investigate with simple blood tests.

  3. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I was wondering how can I find out more about herbs and supplements that suppress thyroid function and which ones may help or perhaps have a neutral effect (I assume dandelion root is good because it supports liver function)? Like how would I go about researching this? I was about to get ready to do a parasite cleanse and then I read in your book about how some herbs have thyroid suppressing effects. I do not think I have Lyme, although I don’t know for sure. I’m trying to treat myself for candida and gut dysbiosis (I have klebsiella oxytoca and enterobacter cloacae complex) and possible parasites. I believe I have hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance as well. Do you know anything about artemisia annua (sweet wormwood)? I wanted to use that specifically for dysbiotic bacteria. Thank you!

    1. Hey Christi, first “there are no dumb questions” lolz

      A half decent way to find out which herbs sepress thyroid function is to good “herbs for HYPERthyroidism. You’ll see a list of herbs that are generally sleepy, and warnings against using Gotu Kola, coffee, etc, which are better for people with hyPOthyroidism.

      Keep in mind, thyroid problems aren’t always a cause of a weak thyroid – but a symptom of something else. You can do your best to avoid thyroid-suppressing herbs, but actually – don’t fret over it. If you are interested in trying artemisia for parasites, I think that’s grand and like all things in life, if you don’t try you will never know. Your body is a complex web of interconnected puzzles. And you may actually improve your thyroid function by dealing with a potential parasite. You may make it worse if what you actually have going on is a non-parasite autoimmune issue. But I don’t think artemisia/wormwood will do much to a thyroid short-term. Nor do I think you should stop eating broccoli just because it’s goitrogenic. Everything has good and bad and it’s about balance. Me, I used artemisia quite religiously at one point, and it is one of the first herbs I would try again if I felt like I was dealing with Lyme or parasites again. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and at least for me, it didn’t make me feel crummy. And if you read my book then you know I’m not a fan of da’ Herx xD

  4. “Tryptophan suppresses the thyroid…”

    Do you have a source or any further information on this?
    Would 5-HydroxyTryptophan (5-htp) also suppress the thyroid?


    1. Hey Jason..this is actually a big controversial topic! I got my source from Ray Peat but you can find other publications about this topic. I think Ray Peat is a bit wonky but I do appreciate his theories. Some people of course take SSRI’s for depression but Ray Peat can provide lots of reference points to disprove this.

      Although several amino acids can be acutely or chronically toxic, even lethal, when too much is eaten, tryptophan is the only amino acid that is also carcinogenic. (It can also produce a variety of toxic metabolites, and it is very susceptible to damage by radiation.) Since tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin, the amount of tryptophan in the diet can have important effects on the way the organism responds to stress, and the way it develops, adapts, and ages.

      When an inflammatory disease (eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome) was noticed in people using tryptophan tablets (1989-90), there was an intense campaign to exonerate the tryptophan itself by blaming the reaction on an impurity in one company’s product. But the syndrome didn’t occur only in the people who used that company’s product, and similar changes can be produced by a high-tryptophan diet (Gross, et al., 1999).

      And someone else will have lots of reference points to prove it. If you are looking for a thyroid supplement like tryptophan tyrosine is a nice solution. Thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in the colloid of the thyroid are derived from tyrosine. Plus, tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, and at least according to Ray Peat, it’s dopamine not serotonin that many lethargic/drained/depressed people are lacking, not serotonin.

      I’d say the verdict isn’t out, but there are plenty of case studies where SSRI’s and tryptophan have royally messed people up. I stick with tyrosine.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply.

        I am taking 5-HTP (5-HydroxyTryptophan) to help with sleep and it is one thing that has actually been helpful with that.

        However I do have thyroid issues and also reoccurring iodine deficencies. I’m not really sure what to do. I’m not really happy about taking it (or anything else) long term but I have already been taking it for many years now.

        I’m assuming 5-HTP and Tryptophan would be considered much the same in regard to the potential issues.


        1. The good news is you’ve been taking it for a long time and you haven’t found it to cause any obvious symptoms. I’m by no means a medical expert! But my logic goes that if you function well for many years on something, it’s not affecting you negatively the way it affects someone who feels “off” immediately or even after a few months of taking something.

          Of course, there are always concerns when taking 5-HTP long term, I’m sure you’ve done some research. For me my crux was/is? DHEA. I have taken this compound for years now, and every once in a while I ween off it, redo blood work and see how goes it with my DHEA levels. While I ween off this, I will take a stimulant like maca to compensate. You can try a similar ween-and-compensate regime, reducing 5-HTP, taking some tyrosine in the morning (which will up your dopamine levels and boost your mood) and a touch of melatonin (0.5mg), magnesium and B6 at night.

          Or maybe you have preferred sleep support. I love ZzzQuil…buti please try to stay away from this one…it’s TOO good if you know what I mean. Long term use is dangerous.

          1. Thanks for the reply.

            While I can’t pinpoint any specific problems associated with taking it, I do have a lot of chronic health issues and would prefer to be taking nothing. However I’m very reluctant to stop taking it and go back to poor sleep. I already take 5mg of melatonin and have stopped other supplements due to digestive issues. I guess I’m going to have to ‘experiment’ again.

            You mentioned DHEA which reminds me every time I have my blood tests taken my DHEAS levels are elevated outside of range. The doctor has never explained why this might be or whether it is an issue.

          2. It depends how far out of range your DHEA is. DHEA in the high-normal range is highly sought after especially in men. Bodybuilders would be jealous. As for getting back to experimentation, it’s not a necessity. You can also choose to continue with 5HTP and melatonin and set a due date to think about it later. Sometimes it’s nice just to feel normal, no matter what it takes to get there. It’s hard for me to judge – going to take some DHEA right now!

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