Conventional medicine, also called allopathic medicine, use drugs to treat a disease. These drugs produce the "opposite effect of the disease when given to an afflicted individual." For example, conventional thyroid medications attempt to either suppress the production of excess hormones or administer additional hormonal to supplement naturally low levels.
Alternative therapies are based on an entirely different philosophy and perspective of a disease. The basic philosophy is the same for all treatments including thyroid treatment .
- Homoeopathy – This line of medicine believes that treatment requires analysis of minute personality traits of the patient along with the prevalent symptoms to arrive at the final diagnosis.
- Ayurveda - The ancient Indian system of medicine considers the body, mind and soul as factors that are responsible for sustaining body health and preventing degeneration and finally death.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): This stream of oriental medicine believes that the source of all health and ailments is the vital energy, Qi. The body remains healthy if Qi is unblocked and can flow freely in the body, but if the Qi is blocked in certain places, various health concerns can surface.
The basic commonality between all three streams of alternative medicine is that they all use herbs and natural products for treatment. Alternative thyroid treatments place more importance on improving lifestyles and nutritional diet, and providing spiritual support along with natural thyroid medication . Modern day fads and poor eating habits are considered responsible for the increased incidence of diseases. This is almost confirmed by the fact that societies that have totally shed traditional values and diets see a higher proportion of diseases that sometimes reach epidemic proportions.
Natural thyroid medication lays emphasis on these features:
- Striking a balance between rest, recreation and work
- Eating a healthy diet that is free from pollutants and chemicals
- Living close to and appreciating nature
- A positive approach to life
All of the above natural treatment therapies use different herbs for thyroid treatment. Homeopathic remedies comprise of preparations made from natural products including herbs, metals, and plants that have been diluted by a special process. The list of herbs for thyroid is elaborate and includes herbs that are natural sources of iodine, minerals, and thyroid-specific herbs like triphala, guggul and ginger.
As the alternative approach is holistic in nature, it also places a priority on improving functions of other organs that increase thyroid performance. Licorice is one such herbal remedy that helps to maintain a balance between different glands. It also helps in building energy.