Words by TCM Dr. Peter Haxell.
Hypothyroidism, or ‘underactive thyroid’ as it is commonly known, is a condition where the thyroid gland stops producing and releasing sufficient hormones into your bloodstream that play a pivotal role in your metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature.
Hypothyroidism can be characterised by a symptom pattern of a slow metabolism; fatigue, weight gain, fluid retention or puffy face, constipation, sensitivity to cold, cold extremities, depression, thinning hair, slow heart rate, muscle, and joint pain and stiffness.
It can also lead to changes in your cycle as a female; usually heavier or irregular cycles and thus can also impact on fertility.
In TCM terms, an underactive thyroid condition will present as a yang deficiency of the Spleen and Small Intestine (digestive system) and the Heart and Kidneys. By this, we mean that the gut, adrenals and circulatory system are all impaired in their ability to function normally. As the gut is unable to digest and absorb nutrients adequately this leads to weight gain. Then, with poor gut motility and slower food transit through the gut – there is more likely to be constipation, bloating and inflammation. A yang deficiency also refers to the vital core temperature or the warmth of the body – our body is designed to function optimally at approximately 37 degrees Celsius. If our body temperature dips, then body function slows down and there is more sensitivity to cold. This then leads to cold extremities, as the circulation of warm blood to the extremities is impacted by a slowing heart rate.
With the heart rate slowed also, less warm blood can be pumped to the joints and muscles, leading to pain and stiffness. The Heart in TCM also houses the Shen (the heart-mind/spirit) and with this working harder (without the support of an optimal digestive system) the ability to feel joy and security is reduced. Thus depression is more likely to be prevalent.
The digestive system also plays a critical role in the metabolism of fluids in TCM. When the gut function decreases, this leads to the creation of Damp. Damp is essentially fluids that aren’t circulating properly through the body. This can manifest as swelling or edema, puffiness under the skin, in the face, or as cellulite throughout the body.
Energy Tea is a balanced blend designed to assist the function of the digestive system and kidneys in TCM terms in order to support better digestion and increased energy levels.
Ren Shen Hua is the flower from Panax ginseng, which helps tonify energy levels in a gentle and balanced way by supporting gut function. It is supported by Chen pi (dry-aged mandarin peel) which is used to promote better digestion in the stomach. It also intends to support the intestines to increase energy production and better regular bowel movements, as well as clearing damp or fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Du Zhong is a warming kidney tonic that assists in promoting fluid metabolism to resolve fluid retention and better circulation to assist with cold sensitivities. Lemon and Bo He assist in their action of regulating the liver to assist in better digestive function.
Yours in balance,
Image via @marta__sierra