Bugged by ringing in your ears? After doctors have ruled out possible serious causes, for example the presence of a tumor, there is really very little else that they can do for you. Whether the sound in your ear is ringing, whistling, clicking or hissing; loud or soft; intermittent or incessant; mildly annoying or downright infuriating, one of the following natural remedies could be the answer you seek.
Some Chinese herbalists recommend the use of sesame seeds for treating tinnitus. You could add these seeds to the foods you consume or use tahini, the bread spread made from sesame seeds.
Ginkgo biloba has been shown in many studies to be helpful for many health ailments related to aging, including memory loss, poor circulation and tinnitus.
As ginkgo improves blood circulation, it could help with cases of ringing in the ears which are associated with lack of circulation to the inner ear. While it may not work for every single case of the condition, James Duke, PhD, wrote that it would be the first herb he would try.
In his book The Herbal Handbook, David Hoffmann, a British herbalist, wrote that goldenseal could be helpful for some cases of tinnitus.
Tinnitus could be linked to a deficiency in B vitamins, and some people have found relief from the ringing by taking a B complex supplement.
Dr. Michael Seidman, an ear, nose and throat specialist, recommended higher supplementation levels of three specific B vitamins — thiamin, niacin and vitamin B12. According to him, thiamin supplements could help relieve tinnitus by “stabilizing the nervous system, especially the nerves of the inner ear.” He added that niacin could help by boosting circulation to the inner ear.
Some research has linked a deficiency of vitamin B12, which plays a role in stabilizing neural activity, to tinnitus.
Dr. Siedman’s recommendations on the dosages of these vitamins, taken with your doctor’s approval, were:
• Thiamin — 100 to 500 mg a day
• Niacin — 50 mg twice daily; if no improvement is experienced after a fortnight, raise dosage by 50 mg every fortnight until 500 mg twice daily is reached
• Vitamin B12 — 1mg daily for the first 6 months; thereafter, 0.1 mg daily
Tinnitus is also linked to a deficiency in zinc. Zinc supplementation could thus be useful, as could the consumption of zinc-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, pecans and oysters.
Magnesium could help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus sufferers. Dr Seidman recommended supplementing with 400 mg per day.
It should be noted that taking high doses of aspirin could be a contributing factor to tinnitus. Consequently, herbs with aspirin-like properties, such as willow bark, wintergreen and meadowsweet, should be avoided.
Sources for this article include:
Duke, James A., PhD. The Green Pharmacy. New York, NY: Rodale, 1997. Print.
Stengler, Mark, ND. The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies Medical Doctors Don’t Know. New York, NY: Prentice Hall Press, 2010. Print.
Murray, Michael T., ND. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996. Print.
Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems. Rodale, 2000. Print.