Emerging therapeutic role of Prunella vulgaris in thyroid disease

Chin Herb Med. 2022 May 24;14(3):403-413. doi: 10.1016/j.chmed.2021.12.005. eCollection 2022 Jul.


Thyroid disease is characterized by unusual levels of thyroid hormones, which results in either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The pathology of a particular type or stage of thyroid disease is very complicated, and always linked to a variety of biological functions. Although the mortality rate is not high, thyroid dysfunction could lead to metabolic and immunological disorders that can subsequently cause discomfort. To date, many drugs are suggested to have curative effects on thyroid disease, however, drug toxicity and long treatment periods encourage the search for more promising ones. Prunella vulgaris L. (Labiatae) is a popular herb that has shown great potential for improving human immunity and organ protection. It has been extensively used in the treatment of many diseases but its ability to treat specific diseases has not been fully reported. In this review, a literature search regarding herbs and herbal recipes for treating thyroid disease were carried out, organized, and summarized. In addition, this study conducted a literature search on the current situation and progress of P. vulgaris treatment for various diseases. Finally, this study discussed studies regarding P. vulgaris treatment of goiter, and the mechanism of treatment through the regulation of apoptosis. Accordingly, a combination therapy of herbs and Western medicine can provide significant therapeutic effects in the clinical treatment of thyroid disease. Furthermore, the association between P. vulgaris and various diseases suggests that P. vulgaris is rich in a variety of active substances that can fight oxidation and participate in the regulation of apoptosis, thus having a protective effect on the thyroid. Here, a comprehensive literature review regarding the application of herbs or herbal recipes in the treatment of thyroid disease was presented. It is concluded that there is strong evidence for further research regarding the use of P. vulgaris in the treatment of thyroid diseases.

Keywords: Prunella vulgaris L.; TNF-α; apoptosis; herbal recipes; thyroid disease.

Publication types

  • Review