Ashwaganda Vs Th1 (and Th2) balancing

This is for those advanced readers that understand about Th1 and Th2 balancing, but my question is, whilst searching for what to try next and think "right going to give that a go"... then read something off-putting. Particularly was just about to try Ashwaganda to see if felt more energetic at guessing game of adrenals flagging, then noticed it happened to be on list of TH1 foods/supplements, so take Hashimotos, we mostly presume TH1 dominant, so need to avoid some things on TH1 list?

Then why is Ashwaganda recommended for hashimotos / hypothyroid if it is likely to raise the TH1 if already dominant (bear with me on this), I am trying to make sure whatever I take isn't going the wrong way, as you know a lot of guesswork. I am not willing to risk messing with anything dubious. Any knowledge?

31 Replies

  • Maybe check out TH2 items you can take. Could it be a balancing act ? I too am often confused about TH1 as VitD is supposedly a no-no as well .....

  • M,

    We know Vit D is a very important immune system regulator. I think it only worrisome when VDR issues are present.

    VDR problems can occur either through illness or due to genetic polymorphism affecting the expression and activation of the VDR, so reducing the biologic activity of Vitamin D. Unused Vit D can then present unwanted problems.

  • I have always really stayed out of sun, doesn't suit, tried to get odd ten minutes but mainly covered, I don't do bikinis lol - but noticed last number of years I stay same colour, white. Also never used to have freckles but past number years got some AND this year rash after being in sun minutes - that is without taking VIT D - I bought some and to scared to merely take it - but waiting til winter sets in when struggle with temps of course.

  • I am so confused, you just learn about something look deeper and then indicates don't - I need to know without trying due to side effects but also as given up on DOCS right now... not sure how long til I surrender of course :-)

  • radd gave you a good reply below. We are all so individual so it is difficult to suggest a protocol ..... Just make a plan and stick with it if at all possible.

  • Yes was good reply - I am just interested in as many views as people have experienced because I am in limbo so much when it comes to finding out what effects. If stronger and hadn't had so much opposing info to start with, or better help (off here I mean) I may not be so worried and would have tried, had I known :)

  • We are all in the same boat. You could click onto my name and have a read of my journey - and still it is not over at 70 :-)

  • Ohhh so feel for you, I have come across your posts before and thank you. Will check in again, when less tired (says us) LOL. :-)

  • Not so much knowledge - but I tried taking ashwagandha for the last 2 weeks. I slept really well but it did not increase my energy levels, in fact it made me feel way more tired. So tired I cried a few times at work. Reluctantly stopped taking it. I think I may take it on the odd occasion when I really need sleep, but can't live with that level of tired.

  • You are likely right because I can get wound up reading. I vanish off here at times for months LOL - no offence peeps, but it gets too much and we need 100% answers and nobody NHS or researchers etc appear capable or interested.

  • At Dam77 Your post is so difficult to read without any punctuation and no capital letters. I would love to read it and find out what your question is but it's too confusing.

  • Thankyou, that is interesting! I am sorry it made you feel worse, but helps me when deciding, because I don't have room to feel worse. Maybe it lowers anxiety which makes a bit more leaning to depressed...suppressed? We can only guess. It is meant to help adrenals... which doesn't tie up... I cant take thyroid med so trying naturally - albeit a few years later I am still reading and going in circles wondering what to try - but also not managed to afford supplements... trying.

  • I have been totally wiped out lately and couldn't work out what was wrong then googled Ashwagandha...aha!! Stopped taking it yesterday morning but popped one last night and had a great night's kip, so it's just just going to be the occasional one at night for me.

  • Most weird isn't it hmmm

  • storm,

    It is thought that Hashi sufferers are generally TH-1 dominant but because autoimmune disease brings so many other health issues that may be TH-2 dominant, it is possible to be simultaneously either or just even TH-2.

    TH-2 conditions can include Lupus, allergies, sinusitis, gut issues and candida, ..... all common in people with Hashi. Even progesterone can influence and modify the immune system and sex hormone issues are enormously common in women with Hashi.

    It is impossible to know exactly which you are without testing (which is now available in the UK). However, as it is likely to change with your health, I would say testing this is not necessary. Also you will know if something doesn't agree with you.

    I suppose I am TH-1 dominant because I have a bad reaction to echinacea (known to enhance TH-1) every time I have tried it but have probably see-sawed at times. Pregnancy is a TH-2 dominant phenomenon and I have two (grown up) children and theoretically should have blossomed but actually had god awful pregnancies both times ....hence only two ! ! ..

    Try Ashwaganda with mindfulness and see what happens. It may help.

    If you are worried, stick to compounds that balance the whole immune system such as coconut oil, Vit E, Vit D, Omega 3 fatty acids and glutamine boosting agents such as NAC (acetylcysteine). Optimising thyroid hormones, all nutrients and eating well with help calm the immune system.

  • Thank you so much - I wondered about tests... will hunt, altho same, cant afford LOL.

    Hmmm I did catch on to the allergy part, I note hayfever is one on TH2 dominant and I used to have hayfever a lot, didn't for some years this year was bad! Maybe I have tried to hard to get TH2 side up... by diet and if both sides....

    I was told Colostrum for immune balancing but read link to cancer (whether bad article) bought it but couldn't face trying - also as I have petechial bleeding in skin, tiny spots - read it can cause it or more in my case - THEN it says it causes immune to go up, then balances it back down...crikey LOL.

    I am also wanting to know about NAC side effects and not had time to read much as I want to take that for glutathione (without knowing if need) presume as TSH been banging away at gland - good idea to take and this year got the mucin, which didn't have past few years, apparently NAC works to rid it?

    Coconut oil - another area, costly and I don't like - but could force self - I was sat thinking they just need coconut trade deal and sales hence products hahaha!

    I cant take thyroid med and bought Nutri... on advice from private nat doc / clinical nutritionist but too scared to take.. and read others did ok when mixed with levo so they could reduce but when taken on own worked for bit then no longer see.. so hard to know..but also shakes or heart palps put me off... I am a wuss I know but very sensitive and as on own need to function a tiny bit to live.

  • I have hashimoto's and take ashwagandha and feel confident in it. I never read about th1 or anything such but I follow a programme by Dr. Izabella Wentz who had hashimoto's herself and focuses purely on treatment of hashimoto's and she recommends it. She helped many people get into remision. And recommended to take "daily stress formula" which also contains ashwagandha. Go ahead. Try it

    Good luck.

  • I love her writings I was still mindful incase a lovely clever seller as some products are own brand related to her pharmacy... I know, shouldn't think that way but I doubt most things easily - cautious :)

    I even bought her book approx. 2011, glanced thru and not read as the turmoil I'm in...

    Think you are convincing me to go for mixed product - may be good idea.

    is it a face the USA Megafoods? or is that a good one, the reviews from USA are good, it costs too much for someone like me - if can get cheaper that works. It sounds too good to be true ie from real food? really?

    I can see I will have to do something over nothing as diet alone isn't fixing though I did get better at one stage, not sure what I did wrong this year.

  • I'm sorry. I wrote a reply but then something happened and it disappeared so..a late one now.

    I know what you mean about the products. Maybe a clever marketing? Don't know. But I've found them on UK website and some were expensive some not. Then went to the health shop and different make products that appeared to be just as potent and pure were the same price. I'd never buy holland and Barrett stuff for instance as there are so many additives. And as I'm taking a lot of supplements I prefer to have as little of what I don't need in a pill as possible. Their iron supplement is cheap and very good. Went from 34 to 94 in ferritin in 3 months. Probably there are cheaper supplements that are great. I just haven't tried many. I'll also gradually go to cheaper as all adds up. I have her book and bought her course. Its so good. Incredible amount of information. I decided to get as was at witts end. Diet alone isn't fixing much for me unfortunately.

    Good luck with it all

  • Hi thank you, don't worry about timing of replies, I am slow LOL.

    Yes a lot is marketing and worries me when they are selling anything, but admit that one is seeming to come across as more genuine, either that or clever LOL. But I wouldn't have started thinking outside box so deeply without such info, also a lot as you say of free access info. Some withhold and put some random rubbish on a site where have to buy.

    I am in that stage (been ages) where just don't trust any supplements but probably do need.

    I am bad with Bld tests but wish GPs would use urine / saliva tests more and show more interest in getting to bottom of things.

  • I tried Ashwagandha on the recommendation of my naturopath. I only took it two days as I had such an extreme reaction of heart pounding that it scared me. I then found the following information on Web MD.

    High or low blood pressure: Ashwagandha might decrease blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low in people with low blood pressure; or interfere with medications used to treat high blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications for your blood pressure.

    “Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using ashwagandha.

    Thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha might increase thyroid hormone levels. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously or avoided if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications.

  • Thank you so much - yes heart symptoms are scary and puts me off things - the immune mustn't get worse, espec as I am not on thyroid meds.. as cant take - did and disaster...T4 that was as doc wont give T3 or nat.

    I have severe agoraphobia and panic attacks - not brief but whole duration and cant walk without feeling like collapse.

    I am very tired but worse after being up a few hours - same pattern, drops later so thinking adrenal - not afforded test...still... maybe wise to save up to get some... strain LOL.

    it sounded too good to be true and I almost tried it... for adrenals....until read it is TH1 .... and I have taken vit c as well as good diet... which is meant to help adrenal... I guess I am on wrong track...

  • When the ashwagandha did not work for me I switched to desiccated adrenal. I take it without any problem.

  • Is that the common make, Nutri Adrenal, I read lots of people had the shakes from it and palps?

    Good it worked for you without those issues, thank you so much, it will help me decide to brave...eventually LOL :)

  • And did you get where you obvs get up in morning tired but get so tired as day goes on, like SOMETHING drops? Because my kind of tired later is to barely stand or struggle at top of stairs to put first foot on because feel unsteady or cant make cuppa or cook - yet next day get up, back to normal level standard tired :) Wondering if adrenal but as say need to save to afford test.

  • I am taking Dr. Ron's Ultra Pure Adrenal with Adrenal Cortex & Liver. I purchase it at a local pharmacy/vitamin shop. I think it has helped a little but I am still having adrenal issues. Yes, sometimes I wake up tired. Sometimes I feel fine but as soon as I exert myself, even walking up a flight of stairs, I am drained of energy. I recently asked for an increase in my thyroid hormone but I don't think it is helping. I think the problem is with my adrenals. Two years ago I had extreme adrenal fatigue where all I could do was sit in a chair all day. Even brushing my teeth was too much trouble. I slowly recovered from that but never totally. I'm working up to taking the saliva adrenal test sometime in the next few months.

  • Sounds very familiar symptom wise.

    Hmmm not heard of that supplement, suppose there are lots.

    I have taken on board iron, B Vits, C.....everything but don't believe it is just taking thyroid meds, it has to be whole processes which are complex.

    I also think body should be able to heal itself if put what it needs in...just a matter of what precisely :)

  • Storm,

    Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb in the nightshade family of plants which some Hashi sufferers may be intolerant to . I haven't tried Ashwagandha before as have had positive effects from optimal thyroid hormone, iron, nutrients and low thyroid antibodies but read it influences the function of the HPA- Axis (hypothalamus-Pituitary-Arena) and can have positive effects in some people..

    Ashwagandha provides a direct benefit to the thyroid gland when combined with Bladderwrack, in helping to stimulate the production of thyroid hormone as contains iodine. However, many Hashi sufferers are reluctant to supplement iodine (including myself) because of possible Hashi attacks.

    Taking Ashwagandha will not give you well being if thyroid hormone and nutrients are not optimal. Vit C is excellent in nurturing the adrenals, as is found in the highest concentration in these glands.. Post any recent thyroid hormone test results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.


    Ashwagandha and Thyroid Hormone.

  • Thank you so much. I have consumed what I thought was a lot of Vit C - but was it. That is diet but various supplements, altho not health store, supermarket / effervescent - so might be wrongs ones. Money etc.

    I looked at Bladderwrack and other seaweeds (yucky thought) but prev read toxins cant recall if mercury etc from sea...

    Same as kelp - I was told it wont work so never tried it.

    I was lacking iodine, last tested - private so cant afford another YET.

    The earlier tests, when under doc (limited) I posted some time back, not within reach at mo.

    Then a private test indicated T4 and T3 in range albeit mid not high, along with iodine deficient - but I started out WAYYYYYYY OUT with standard doc tests. The TSH went over hosp lab...oops! I was damaged more from taking T4 Levo and felt it - had to come off it! Cutting story short as so knackered! LOL! :-)

    I will see about using both Ashwagandha and Bladderwrack, one thing is for sure I have to try something. Blind trial lol.. as truly I am torn over docs but had to give up, for now. Cant be doing with constant needles and no help for what ask for ie lack of tests refusing this that other.


  • Ashwagandha is best avoided by anyone suffering from auto immune diseases. This includes Hashis and Graves. Nightshade family can aggravate symptoms.

  • Thank you, this is all so tricky. I have seen bits on nightshades, yet always seem to want tomatoes, potatoes etc, in fact would be hard to give them up.

    I cut so much out of diet already.

    It is meant to balance one or two of the iL inflammatories, but similar to reading other articles, not something to play with alone, so all answers here are appreciated, until can afford more private tests for various things. :-)

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