Monday, September 30, 2013
Natural Remedy of the Week: Tinnitus
If your ears are ringing, hissing, buzzing, roaring, whistling, chirping or clicking or you probably have Tinnitus, from the Latin word, tinnire, which means "tinkle like a bell." An estimated 50 million Americans do, which means you hear sounds in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present. Tinnitus can be caused by loud noises, medications that damage the nerves in the ear (ototoxic drugs) impacted ear wax, middle ear problems (such as infections and vascular tumors) and aging.
Turn Off the Noise with Herbs & Supplements
Ginkgo biloba helps tinnitus by improving nerve signal transmission as well as increasing the brain's utilization of oxygen. Other herbs to help diminish the sounds of tinnitus include astragalus, elder flowers (opening to the channels of the body), oregano (moves blockage), black cohosh (antispasmodic), violet leaves (used since ancient times to open the ears) and chamomile (to calm inflamed nerves). Look for combinations of some of these herbs at natural food or herbal stores and take a dose three times a day.
Niacin supplementation may also help by improving circulation to the ears and moving blockages. Try 50 mg. three times daily. (Will make you feel hot, red and prickly for up to ten minutes as it improves circulation). Drink some water and rest or take with a meal.
To safely remove earwax, which may cause tinnitus, add several drops of mullein flower oil into the ears every night for a week.
These practices can help too:
Soothe with Sound Therapy. Wear a hearing aid type device or use the white noise of table top sound machines or even a fan to mask the sound of tinnitus. You create even your own custom soundscapes on-line at the American Tinnitus Organization.org, whether it is rain, crashing waves, waterfall or birds chirping to distract you from your condition.
Change how you react with biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy. Having tinnitus can be anxiety producing and stressful because you feel like you don’t have control over your environment. The noise is in your head or your ears and you just can’t make it go away. Biofeedback helps you manage stress by learning how to change your reaction to it. Cognitive Behavioral therapy helps you identify negative behaviors and thought patterns and then change them so they are more positive.
Focus on the Present Moment. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can help you feel better both physically and emotionally. Research conducted using Mindfulness Meditation devised by Jon Kabat-Zinn shows that when people become more mindful of the present moment, they don’t focus on the tinnitus as much and as a result, feel less stressed. Visit the American Tinnitusorganization.org for more helpful information.
You'll find plenty of useful natural remedies in my latest book: Scent to Kill. A Natural Remedies Mystery. Visit www.chrystlefiedler.com to find out more!