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Lycopus and hyperthyroid.

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These rat research results on Lycopus are fascinating.

The Herbal Science Research blog collects gems from various sources. Here's one they found in medline:

Vonhoff C, Baumgartner A, Hegger M, Korte B, Biller A, Winterhoff H.: Extract of Lycopus europaeus L. reduces cardiac signs of hyperthyroidism in rats.. Life Sci. 2006 Feb 2;78(10):1063-70. Epub 2005 Sep 16.

Vonhoff Baumgartner et al are pharmacy researchers in Germany, and the Germans still use herbs as herbs (instead of trying to cash in on single constituents sold as pills).

It's research on rats, but still, this particular bit is fascinating:

"The raised body temperature was reduced very effectively even by the low dose of the plant extract, whereas the reduced gain of body weight and the increased food intake remained unaffected by any treatment. No significant changes of thyroid hormone concentrations or TSH levels were observed. Lycopus extract and atenolol reduced the increased heart rate and blood pressure. The cardiac hypertrophy was alleviated significantly by both treatment regimes. beta-Adrenoceptor density in heart tissue was significantly reduced by the Lycopus extract or the beta-blocking agent showing an almost equal efficacy. Although the mode of action remains unclear, these organo-specific anti-T4-effects seem to be of practical interest, for example in patients with latent hyperthyroidism."

Woot. I've used lycopus (and leonurus) to calm an overactive thyroid, as in the irregular heartbeat brought on by stress or menopause ... but these guys suggest that it's a good idea to give it for the high blood pressure of hyperthyroid in general.

And that's one of those things which make me go "hmmm". Cos I know a few folks who might just need lycopus (or leonurus, which works pretty much the same way) for their high blood pressure.

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