A goitre (sometimes spelt "goiter") is an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland that causes a lump to form in the throat.

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just in front of the windpipe (trachea). It produces thyroid hormones, which help to regulate the body's metabolism (the process that turns food into energy).

The thyroid gland is not usually noticeable. However, if it swells it produces a lump in the throat known as a goitre.

The size of a goitre can vary from person to person. In most cases, the swelling is small and does not cause any symptoms. However, in more severe cases, the swelling can increase so dramatically that breathing and swallowing are affected.

This disease is chatecterised by the enlargement of the thyroid gland resulting in a swelling in the front part of the neck. Depending upon the nature of morbidity it is divided into several types .In ayurveda this is called gladanda.

IT is usually manifested because of lack of iodine in food and drink. According to ayurveda this is caused by the aggravation of Kapha and diminution of pitta.

The swelling of the gland in the neck becomes visible and the gland at times becomes exceedingly large, thereby causing difficulty in respiration and swallowing of foods and drinks.



Kanchanara is the drug of choice for the treatment of this condition. The bark of this tree is given to the patient in the form or a decoction. It is administered in a dose of 30ml,twice daily on an empty stomach. Kanchanara Guggulu, which contains this drug as an important ingredient, is popularly used for the treatment of this disease. It is given in a dose of four tablets three times a day followed by milk or warm water


What causes a goitre?

Goitres can have several possible causes including:

  1. an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  2. an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
  3. pregnancy
  4. a lack of iodine (a trace mineral found in milk and fish) in the diet


Treating a goitre

The treatment for goitres depends on the underlying cause. If the goitre is small and not causing any problems, a wait-and-see approach is usually recommended.

Other possible treatments include thyroid hormone replacement, dietary supplements and, in the most severe cases, surgery. Although most goitres are usually benign (non-cancerous) it is estimated that in 1 in 20 cases they may be a sign of thyroid cancer.


Who is affected

Goitres are a common condition, affecting an estimated 4% to 7% of people. However, in most cases, the swelling is so small it can't be seen. Goitres are more common in women than men.