Alternative Treatments for Tinnitus

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

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Tinnitus is the ringing, buzzing, crackling, or hissing sound heard inside one or both ears. Sufferers of tinnitus can experience a wide variety of noise, the severity of which ranges from minor annoyance to debilitating pain.

Tinnitus may be caused by allergy, high or low blood pressure (blood circulation problems), a tumor, diabetes, thyroid problems, injury to the head or neck, as well as a variety of medications including anti-inflammatory medicines, antibiotics, sedatives, antidepressants, and aspirin. Colds and flu, noisy environments, and allergy flare-ups can increase the intensity of tinnitus noise. Other tinnitus irritants include high salt intake, sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, various medications, tobacco, and caffeine.

Causes and Symptoms of Tinnitus

The American Tinnitus Association estimates that 50 million people in the United States have experienced tinnitus. Here are the common causes and symptoms:

  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Hearing loss
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Brain or head injury
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Otosclerosis
  • Poor circulation
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Stress
  • Kidney Yin Deficiencies
  • Lyme Disease
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders)
  • TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)

Suggested Treatments

Each sufferer of tinnitus has personal experience with the condition. What brings relief for one person may not work for another. There are a variety of natural treatments available, but tinnitus sufferers should seek a physician's care before pursuing a course of treatment.

Alternative Therapy

Acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, magnet therapy, hyperbaric oxygen, and hypnosis are among the alternative treatments that holistic healers have employed to manage the discomfort and pain associated with tinnitus. Although some tinnitus sufferers have found these treatments helpful, research on the effectiveness of these treatments has been inconclusive.


In cases where problems with blood circulation are symptomatic of tinnitus, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies recommends four essential oils: rosemary, cypress, lemon, and rose. Oils can be administered with a head massage, a vaporizer, or an aromatherapy diffuser.


Living with tinnitus can be an emotionally taxing experience. Talking with a counselor or joining a support group can offer emotional support.


  • Ginkgo Biloba. According to a study done by the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, ginkgo leaf extract may be effective for the treatment of tinnitus. Ginkgo extract is widely prescribed by holistic healers as a treatment for a range of health issues including memory and concentration problems, confusion, depression, anxiety, dizziness, tinnitus, and headache.
  • Black Cohosh. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants categorizes tinnitus as a nerve condition that can benefit from black cohosh. Additionally, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies suggests black cohosh as an herbal remedy for blood congestion or pressure in the head.
  • Hawthorn. It is also suggested that hawthorn is used as a remedy for tinnitus due to it being a tonic for the circulatory system.
  • Melatonin. To address tinnitus related sleep disturbances, melatonin combined with Sulodexide is a viable treatment option for patients suffering from central or sensorineural tinnitus, according to a study conducted by the University of Chieti-Pescara in managing tinnitus.


Homeopathic remedies suggested as natural treatments for tinnitus by homeopathic practitioners. However, medical research has not shown the effectiveness of homeopathy for tinnitus relief. Below are the remedies suggested by homeopathic professionals:

  • Calcarea carbonica
  • Carbo vegetabilis
  • Cinchona officinalis (China)
  • Chininum sulphuricum
  • Cimicifuga
  • Coffea cruda
  • Graphites
  • Kali carbonicum
  • Lycopodium
  • Natrum salicylicum
  • Salicylicum acidum

Relaxation Therapies

Stress relief and relaxation therapies are helpful in easing the discomfort and pain of tinnitus. These may include:

  • Biofeedback, meditation, and yoga.
  • Massage therapy. Massage applied to the head, neck, and chest is suggested.
  • Sound therapy. Sound therapy is used as a way to mask or distract from the annoying noises associated with tinnitus. This can include white noise machines and sound tapes that play sounds that mimic rainfalls, ocean waves, humming, chants and wind sounds.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a counseling technique used to teach tinnitus sufferers how to refocus their attention away from the ill effects of tinnitus. Results from clinical study overseen by the Department of Veteran Affairs indicated that TRT was significantly more effective in comparison to traditional counseling or non-treatment.

TMS Healing

Tinnitus is among the many conditions identified as possibly manifested by TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), a psychosomatic disorder. Steven Ray Ozanich, the author of The Great Pain Deception, says his own ear ringing was silenced with TMS healing.

  • Magnesium and potassium. According to The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies, deficiencies in magnesium and potassium have been linked with tinnitus. Vitamins A and C, and bioflavonoids promote healthy circulation.
  • Zinc. Zinc deficiency is also associated with some people experiencing tinnitus, especially the elderly. Four out of five small studies indicated that administration of zinc had a beneficial effect on relieving tinnitus. However, researchers concluded that a follow-up study with larger samples was required for confirmation.
  • Vitamins A, B, and C. Rich in vitamin B. E, and folic acid, sesame seeds are prescribed by herbalists as a nutritional supplement for people with vitamin deficiencies associated with ringing in the ears.
  • Bioflavonoids and Melatonin

Note: If you are taking prescription medications, check with your pharmacist or doctor, or other health care provider before taking an herbal supplement.


  • American Tinnitus Association
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies by C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.
  • The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Service National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Randomized clinical trial: Group counseling based on tinnitus retraining therapy, JRRD Volume 44, Number 1, 2007
  • Mahadevan S, Park Y. Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts - Multifaceted therapeutic benefits of Ginkgo biloba L.: Chemistry, Efficacy, safety, and uses. J Food Sci. 2008 Jan;73(1): R14-9
  • Birks J, Grimley Evans J., University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine - Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia. 2007 Apr 18;(2):CD003120
  • Coelho CB, Tyler R, Hansen M. Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Iowa - Zinc as a possible treatment for tinnitus. 2007;166:279-85
  • Neri G, Baffa C, De Stefano A, Poliandri A, Kulamarva G, Di Giovanni P, Petrucci AG, Castriotta A, Citraro L, Cerrone D, D' Orazio F, Croce A., Basic and Applied Medical Sciences Department, G. d Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara. Management of tinnitus: oral treatment with melatonin and sulodexide. 2009 Apr-Jun;23(2):103-10

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.