Potentilla alba, also known as white cinquefoil, is a plant native to Central Europe where it has been used in folk medicine for centuries. But recent research shows it may hold particular promise in the treatment of thyroid issues.
Russian researchers found through their work within a lab setting and through documentation of traditional local herbalism that white cinquefoil can be successful in the treatment of hyper-and hypothyroidism, goiter, and thyrotoxicosis.
A Quick Note on the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland, located at the front of the neck, produces numerous hormones responsible for things like cell metabolism and calcium production. If there is an imbalance between these hormones – calcitonin, triiodothyronine (T3), or tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine, also called T4) – then you could experience issues like weight gain, depleted energy levels, feelings of sadness, or increased sensitivity to cold.
For a very brief overview: hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid while hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid. Thyrotoxicosis is when the gland is damaged by toxins or is infected. Goiter is similarly related to an unbalanced thyroid, and is characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland.
Treating Thyroid Issues with Potentilla Alba (White Cinquefoil)
For their research, the scientists used 92 patients who had been diagnosed with nodular or multinodular euthyroid goiter. There was also a group of 36 similarly-diagnosed patients used in a control group. The test group was given a Ukranian-approved herbal drug made from the plant.
Of those given the drug, goiter node size decreased one-half in 63% of test subjects. In 20% of the patients, goiter size decreased by 1.5 times. In 17%, goiter size remained the same. In the control group, 89% had no change while 11% saw an increase in goiter size.
“Investigation has shown, that phytodrug of Potentilla alba could be recommended for monotherapy and for combine conservative therapy of diffuse and mix benign euthyroid goiter, and also for complex treatment of toxic and hypothyroid goiters,” said the researchers.
In Russia and throughout Central Europe, Potentilla alba—and more specifically, the roots of the plant– has historically been used for digestive issues, abscesses, cysts, hemorrhoids, eczema, and gingivitis. No doubt it’s wealth of saponins, flavonoids, iridoids, and tannins have something to do with its effectiveness.
As modern medicine becomes more aware of the public’s desire to use natural alternatives, Big Pharma will be making their use of plants more public. But make no mistake, they are not doing it in order to give the people access to their own healing, but to mimic the plants in their labs and sell their “plant inspired” wares at a significant mark-up.
To avoid contributing to the riches of Big Pharma, do your own research and grow or buy organic and local healing herbs when possible.
For more solutions for thyroid issues, check out these 7 natural treatments for hypothyroidism.