Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Thyroid Gland

The Thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland found at the base of your neck. The "wings" stretch out on either side of your windpipe. Normally you can’t feel it. This gland is not well understood by science, but we do know it plays an important role in regulating metabolism. If the thyroid is slow, the metabolism slows down., and you feel tired, always cold, may have thinning hair, dry skin, may gain weight or not be able to lose weight. The brain tries to make the gland work the way it should by putting out more of the hormone that stimulates it (TSH). If blood tests show high levels of TSH, that can mean the gland is not working right. Even high but still normal levels of TSH can mean a problem for some people. The best way to prevent Thyroid trouble is to keep the gland wewell nourished well nourished so it can stay in balance.

The thyroid needs an element called iodine. This is not the same thing as a medicine people put on wounds, but it is similar. It used to be that we could get iodine by eating fresh dark green vegetables grown locally, but the soils have become depleted of iodine, so it is no longer generally generally in most vegetables. Iodized salt is another source, but this salt has been treated chemically with iodine so is missing trace ingredients which may help us absorb it. The best source of iodine is found in edible seaweed. You can get it in capsules or dried at most health food stores, but the most cost effective way is to buy it in bulk from a Maine harvester, Larch Hanson. He sells a “soup pack” which is 3 lbs of dried seaweed crushed up. 3 lbs is a LOT of dried seaweed, but it will keep for years in a cool dry place You just add a handful to any soups, chili or stews, while they are cooking. It doesn’t affect the taste, but is very rich in many minerals and elements, including iodine.

Call or write Larch to place an order.

“The best source of iodine is found in edible seaweed”
Larch Hanson
Maine Seaweed, LLC P.O. Box 57, Steuben, ME. 04680
Ph/Fax: 207 546 2875

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