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 Tinnitus  Holistic-online.com

Alternative Medicine for Tinnitus

Herbal Medicine

A number of herbs are useful in managing tinnitus. For best results use herbs that stimulate circulation with a nutrient-rich diet.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo has been found useful in minimizing the distress of tinnitus. Two studies have found an extract of ginkgo standardized to contain 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones in the amount of 120 mg per day useful for tinnitus sufferers, although other studies have failed to find ginkgo beneficial. Hundreds of European studies have confirmed the use of standardized ginkgo extract for a wide variety of conditions associated with aging, including tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss and poor circulation.

Ginkgo does not work in every case of tinnitus. But it has practically no side effects and it has benefits such as effects on memory. So, this would be a herb to try first.

Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain, which is one cause of tinnitus. Make sure that you're getting enough ginkgo to be effective. Take 40 mg of the dried herb or take a dose of 120 milligrams daily (I to 2 tsp of the liquid extract three times a day) of a concentrated, standardized ginkgo extract known as GBE (Ginkgo biloba extract). Ginkgo works slowly, and it may take several weeks or even months before experiencing any relief.


Sesame seeds have been used by Chinese herbalists for the treatment of tinnitus, blurred vision and dizziness. It is also used in Indian Ayurvedic treatment. You can add it to foods. Other forms of sesame are tahini, the peanut-butter-like spread made from sesame seeds, and halvah, a popular sesame candy.

Black cohosh

There are anecdotal evidence that black cohosh is useful in alleviating tinnitus. Use in the form of a decoction two to three times daily, three ml of tincture, or two capsules of the crushed root. Many herbalists recommend that black cohosh be used in combination with ginkgo for best results.


Goldenseal may help some cases of tinnitus. Do not use goldenseal if you are pregnant. Herbalists recommend the use of goldenseal and black cohosh in combination (1:1).

Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

The lesser periwinkle contains a compound known as vincamine. Extracts containing vincamine have been used in Germany to help decrease tinnitus and Ménière's syndrome. Take 20 milligrams of dried herb three times a day. 

There are some severe side effects noted with overdosage of this herb. Severe drop in blood pressure was reported. In animal tests, changes in blood counts were observed. If toxicity is suspected, gastrointestinal emptying is one treatment. We recommend that if you take this herb, you should be under the care of a professional.

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and other foods containing zinc.

Zinc deficiency is often associated with tinnitus and certain kinds of hearing loss (sensorineural). So, taking spinach and other foods containing zinc may be beneficial in the treatment of tinnitus. Good sources of zinc include spinach (the best), papaya, collards, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, string beans, endive, cowpeas, prunes and asparagus.

Sunflower Seeds

An old Chinese remedy calls for eating sunflower seeds and drinking a tea brewed from their hulls for tinnitus.

Fenugreek Seed Tea

Drinking a cup of fenugreek seed tea each morning, noon, and night is reported to abolish disturbing ear noises.

Castor Oil

Folk remedies for tinnitus include putting three or four drops of castor oil in each ear once a day and inserting a cotton plug.

Onion Juice

A folk remedy for tinnitus is using 1 drop of onion juice three times a week until relieved, then once each week or 10 days for maintenance.

Passion flower

Passion flower extract regulates neurotransmitters and circulation.

Ramson juice

Sometimes, tinnitus is related to constipation. In this case, taking 1 tbsp. of ramson juice daily to clear the large intestine may help.


Supplementation with vegetal silica, an aqueous extract from horsetail, has been found to decrease tinnitus. Take 3-4 capsules daily.

Mistletoe tea

Mistletoe tea increases blood circulation. Mix 3 cups of cold water and 3 tsp. of mistletoe herb. Let stand overnight. Next morning strain, warm up and drink 3 cups daily unsweetened.


Fresh plantain extract is an excellent remedy for the ears. Drink 2 tbsp. of juice three times daily for six weeks.

Regularly rinse ears with plantain or calendula infusion. Dry ears well with a cotton swab and place dry cotton in ear to avoid chilling.

Chinese Herbs

bullet Coptis and Rhubarb Combination (San-huang-hsieh-hsin-tang): Prescribed for tinnitus due to hypertension.
bullet Major bupleurum: Recommended for the obese.
bullet Rehmannia eight: Choice for the elderly.

Herbs to Avoid

If tinnitus bothers you, avoid aspirin or aspirin-like herbs--willow bark, meadowsweet and wintergreen. High doses of aspirin may cause ringing in the ears. Other herbs that are suspected to aggravate tinnitus include cinchona, black haw and uva ursi.

See Also:

Herbs for Stress Management

Herbal Medicine Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

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