Discussion Topic

Lemon Balm, Motherwort and Bugleweed

Posted on 07/11/09, 11:45 am
I have a book called "Living well with Graves' disease" by Mary J. Shomon, and I highly recommend the book. I am glad that I picked it up, because there is a wealth of advice in there that has helped me to feel my best while ill. I have been using an organic Lemon balm and Motherwort tincture from Herb Pharm, as a complementary therapy for my Graves' disease after reading through her book. I decided to go ahead and give them a try, and they have both been helpful for me while I was hyper, and mostly helped with anxiety and insomnia. I had tried Lemon balm in pill form, and in tea as well, but have found the tincture form to be the most effective. When I combine the Lemon balm with the Motherwort, it helps me fall asleep when I have insomnia. The Motherwort should absolutely not be used by women who are pregnant. If I am close to my menstrual cycle, or having a light cycle, when I take Motherwort, it makes my period come on really heavy, and it shortens my cycle to a few days.

Here is a link to possible side effects of Motherwort:

http://www.health-care-tips.org/her...

Here is more information on Motherwort from wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother...

I have also tried a tincture form of Bugleweed, Motherwort, Lemon balm and Cactus stem together (It was from Herb Pharm, and was $64.00 for 4floz! Expensive stuff!!) It helped me feel better when I was really hyper, but I found warnings about using Bugleweed online, and decided to use the Lemonbalm and Motherwort instead.

Here is a link to possible side effects of Bugleweed, and a warning about not stopping it abruptly once you start on it:

http://earthnotes.tripod.com/buglew...

Here is another warning about bugleweed:

http://www.drugs.com/npc/bugleweed....

Here is a link to a discussion on Lemon balm, Motherwort and other alternative and complimentary therapies from "Living well with Graves' disease"

http://books.google.com/books?id=f3...

Here is a link to a discussion on alternative and complimentary therapies from Elaine Moore:

http://www.elaine-moore.com/MyArtic...


Showing 9 Replies
  • Reply #1 07/15/09  10:58am
    I am SOOOO not a tea person lol, if it's not coffee i just can't drink it, but i will have to look into that book, i need to get a book on grave's to look at some other therapies.
  • Reply #2 07/16/09  2:32am
    I LOVE coffee, too! I make myself a present of it everyday (when I am not massively hyper). I wake up earlier than my boyfriend, put on my soft pink bunny slippers and robe, go to my coffee pot, and pour in some cold filtered water and fill up the coffee filter with my favorite coffee of that week, and then I make myself a perfect cup of coffee and drink it by myself outside, enjoying the peace and quiet.
  • Reply #3 07/26/09  3:04am
    Thanks for sharing the warnings about the herbs... I will have to read up on that, since I've been treating my Graves since May with ThyroSoothe - a mixture of Lemon balm, Motherwort and Bugleweed. Last week I saw a natruopath who gave me a new mixture to take - it has Smilax, Lycopus (Bugleweed), Melissa (Lemon Balm), Leanorus (Motherwort), and Lithosperma (Lemonweed).

    I'm also doing weekly acupuncture sessions and seeing a Chinese herb doctor, who prescribed some mixture that includes ground oyster shells and ground turtle shell, among other things. I feel bad for the turtle...

    I have been reading Mary J. Shomon's "Living Well with Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism" too... It is a really good book. I haven't finished it yet, but I really like what I've read so far. I've learned so much from the book.

    One thing that the book got me thinking of is the "cause" of my Graves Disease. I know they say you can't find the cause, but I'm looking anyway - at least to rule out anything and everything that could possibly exacerbate things. My theory is that if I remove all possible antagonists (parasites, foods that I may be allergic to, exposure to mercury or other harmful elements, etc.) my body will be able to calm down, get out of auto-immune mode and "reset" itself (a.k.a. go into remission). That's my theory anyway, and so far I'm making good progress at identifying possible triggers/causes and trying to elminate/remove them, while simultaneously treating my issues with natural medicine.

    It's an expensive approach. Unfortunately my insurance will only cover the "mainstream" meds of PTU or methimizole and beta blockers. But I don't want to take those unless I really really must... So I'm paying out of pocket for the alternative treatment. But to me it's worth it... And since I'm avoiding iodized salt at all costs, I don't eat in restaurants anymore, so I'm saving money there and diverting it into my alternative care. (at least that's how I'm looking at it to not stress over the cost factor!)

    Thanks for starting this discussion... I'm eager to learn of other things I can try to get better.
  • Reply #4 07/26/09  9:18pm
    Hi Jeruti!
    I want to go into remission, too. How are you doing with diet? I have been feeling really good since eliminating wheat and gluten. I am also eating a low Iodine diet that is full of antioxidants, and taking vitamins. Selenium seems to be really important to people with Grave's and so is vitamin D and Coenzyme Q10. I am taking 100mcg of Selenium a day (part of a multivitamin from trader Joes), 1200IU of vitamin D and 200mg of Coenzyme Q10. Copper is also supposed to be helpful and I am taking 5mg/day. 4mg of the copper come in the form of copper gluconate, and the other is in a multivitamin that I get from Trader Joes. I'm also taking evening primrose oil and MSM to help my hair and wild yam because it is supposed to help with getting our copper and zinc levels normalized.
  • Reply #5 08/04/09  1:14pm
    Hi Hannahbee! I agree diet is super important in keeping symptoms at bay... As are vitamins and supplements. I am slowly discovering the various vitamins/supplements that I need to add to my diet, and a lot of that is thanks to this support group. I also read the chapter of the "Living Well" book that talked about what vitamins/supplements are helpful to take. I am also taking selenium, Coenzyme Q10, copper, acetyl L-carnitine, magnesium, calcium, vitamins D & E, iron and a multivitamin. And I'm avoiding iodine as much as possible, as well as caffine.

    In addition to diet/supplements, I've also been trying to rule out ofther things that might have triggered it or might be exacerbating the issue... In doing so I found out that I have two parasites that I must have brought back from my time in the Peace Corps 11+ years ago. I took medicine for the one (shistosoma), and I'm working with a doctor at the University of Washington on the other one (strongyloides stercoralis). Hopefully by this time next month I'll be parasite-free, and on my way to recovering. Until everything else is in order, my body will have trouble going into remission...

    What is MSM? What brand of wild yam are you taking? And what multivitamin are you taking? Thanks for sharing!
  • Reply #6 08/04/09  10:36pm
    Hi!
    I think having a parasite would absolutely be a trigger! i help feral cats and wonder if I picked something up? My Graves' seems to be going into remission right now, so I hope it stays this way. MSM is Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (1000mg) from Trader Joe's. It is supposed to help with hair, joints and muscles and skin. I figured I probably needed help with all of those, but I don't take this vitamin everyday, because I noticed that I started to get a little hairy in unwanted places, so I take it every other day.
    The Wild yam is from Nature's way and i take 2 capsules, which ends up being 850mg/day.
    The mutlivitamin I am taking is from Trader Joe's and it is called the Women's once daily multivitamin and mineral dietary supplement. this one doesn't have Iodine in there, according to the ingredients, but doesn't say "Iodine free". It has:
    Vit A 5,000IU
    Vitamin C120mg
    Vitamin D3 800IU
    Vitamin E 100IU
    vitaminK 100mcg
    Thiamin 25mg
    Riboflavin25mg
    Niacinamide 25mg
    Pyridoxine HCl 25mg
    Folic Acid 800mcg
    Cyanocobalamin 25mcg
    Biotin 150mcg
    Pantothenic Acid 25mg
    Iron 6mg
    Magnesium 100mg
    Zinc 10mg
    Selenium 200mcg
    Copper 1mg
    Manganese 2mg
    Chromium 200mcg
    Molybdenum 75mcg
    Choline 20mg
    Inositol 20mg
    Boron 1mg
    Citrus bioflavonoids 25mg
    Women's Nourishing blend: 125mg (has Dong Quai, Spirulina and Red clover leaf)
    Vegetable Juice complex: 10mg (kale, spinach, dandelion and beet juice)
    Protease 664HUT
    Amylase 226DU
    Lipase 2LU
    Cellulase3CU
    Lactobacillus Sporogenes 25,000,000CFU
    Betaine HCl 10mg

    Whew! That's a lot of stuff in there!
    Hannah
  • Reply #7 10/26/09  1:07pm
    What a great discussion - hello! I was recently diagnosed with Graves' and don't want to take any kind of meds. if I don't have to. I have a visit with a naturopath this afternoon, first visit, also paying out-of-pocket, but so worth it. Coincidentally, my "regular" doctor just sent me a message today saying that I need to start taking Methimazole. I so don't want to go that route.

    Mary J. Shomon's book has been pretty enlightening for me too.

    It sounds like alternative methods have worked. That's refreshing to hear when most of the literature out there says that you can't beat this unless you go on meds. Glad I found this group.

    - lisa
  • Reply #8 10/26/09  1:28pm
    Hi Lisa - Welcome to the group, and I'm sorry to hear you have Graves, too. It's not pleasant, but as I always tell myself, it could always be worse... and the good news is that there's hope of going into remission! I was diagnosed in March and despite my doctors saying I had "severe Graves" and needed to go on the medicine right away, I waited and tried the alternative route. The mix of things I'm doing has helped in a BIG way with managing and reducing my sypmtoms. Unfortunately though my last blood test was much worse than before, so I decided to start on a very low dose of Methimazole - 5 mg once a day. Hopefully the combo of the medicine and everything else I'm doing will get things moving in the right direction. According to my acupuncturist, he said that it takes longer to get better when going the alternate route, as in his words "You didn't get this way overnight... It took many years for your body to get like this and it will take time to get it back into balance." I believe it. My endocrinologist is willing to work with me on the program I want to follow, thank goodness. I had two other endos before, but each one wanted to push the drugs, RAI or removal of my thyroid - I couldn't get away from them fast enough. I've been with my current endo since May, and she's wonderful. I'm so fortunate to have her and all the alternative therapies so close at hand.

    Good luck with your progress and please keep us posted on things. This is a wonderful resource and support network. It's great that you found it!! :)

    Take care!
    Jill
  • Reply #9 10/26/09  1:33pm
    Thanks for the welcoming response, Jill! I'll certainly hang in there (not much else to do with this!) and let everyone know what route my naturopath has me take.

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