Natural Medicine can successfully treat tinnitus-constant or intermit-tent ringing in the ears. Most people with tinnitus visit an osteopath or chiropractor for neck or jaw manipulation, but this only occasionally works (Stoddard A. Manual of Osteopathic Practice. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1974: 230). So what else can sufferers do?
Make sure you're not hypersensitive to salicylates.Lots of foods contain salicylates (see box), and avoiding them can lead to improvement or even complete relief (Am J Otol, 1989; 10: 256).
Reduce saturated fats in your diet.In patients with high LDL ('bad') cholesterol levels, persistent ringing in the ears is often reduced or even eliminated completely (Southern Med J, 1981; 74: 1194-7).
Supplement your diet with vitamins A and E(Acta Vitaminol Enzymol, 1985; 7 Suppl: 85-92).
Check your mineral status with a sweat test and hair mineral analysis(in the UK, contact Biolab Medical Unit in London, tel: 020 7636 5905; in the US, Dr Jonathan Wright, tel: 206 631 8920). Supplementing deficiencies of zinc, magnesium and potassium can help too (Am J Otol, 1986; 7: 476-7; Med Hypotheses, 1983; 10: 353-8; Am J Otol, 1989; 10: 256).
Visit a qualified homeopath,who may prescribe one of the following proven remedies: Abroma augusta, Atrax robustus, Antipyrinum, Cannabis indica, Carboneum sulphuratum, Glycosmis pentaphylla (Atista indica), Hydrophis cyanocinctus, Melia azadirachta, Ocimum sanctum, Salicylicum acidum or Terminalia arjuna (Boericke W. Materia Medica with Indian Drugs. New Delhi, India: B Jain Publishers, 1990; Julian OA. Materia Medica of New Homoeopathic Remedies. Beaconsfield, Bucks: Beaconsfield Publishers, 1997).
Take Ginkgo biloba extract.In one double-blind study of 33 patients, 12 were cured and five were significantly improved (F"unfgeld EW, ed. Rokan (Ginkgo biloba). Recent Results in Pharmacology and Clinic. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1988: 245-50; "Arztliche Praxis, 1986; 12: 938-40).
Reduce your daily intake of salt to 150-400 mg, especially for tinnitus that hasn't responded to other natural therapies (J Appl Nutr, 1988; 40: 750-84).
Reduce your toxic metal load,especially if you carry high levels of aluminium and/or lead (as demonstrated by scientific hair mineral analysis) (Townsend Letter, Feb/Mar 1985: 31; Yannik P, Clark JG. Tinnitus and Its Management. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas, 1984).
Replace refined commercial sugarwith complex carbohydrates or, better still, naturally occurring non-fermentable sugars such as xylitol, as some tinnitus sufferers have high insulin levels and abnormal glucose tolerance tests. A low-carb, high-protein diet is also likely to help (Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, 1981; 90 [6 Pt 1]: 615-8).
Supplement with O-(beta-hydroxy-ethyl)-rutoside, a bioflavonoid related to rutin(Otolaryngol Pol, 1989; 43: 214-7). Available online as Venoruton, like Ginkgo biloba this works particularly well if your tinnitus is due to a circulatory problem.
Foods with salicylates
.Most culinary herbs, particularly mint, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, dill, sage, marjoram, basil, oregano
.Celery seed, sesame seed
.Most spices, particularly aniseed, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, fenugreek, kummel, mace, mustard, paprika, turmeric
.Most fruits, except bananas, peeled pears, pomegranates, mangoes and paw-paws (papayas)
.Most vegetables, except cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bean-sprouts, celery, leeks, lettuce and all types of peas
.Cucumbers, gherkins, olives, endive, potato skins (but not white potatoes themselves)
.Sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamias, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, coconut, water chestnuts
.Coffee, black tea, colas, peppermint tea, fruit juices, most alcoholic drinks (but not gin, vodka, white rum, cachaca or cane spirit), honey, liquorice, peppermint, yeast
.spreads (Marmite), stock cubes, yeast-rich products (champagne), tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, peri-peri
.Most processed foods and instant meals.
.Foods low in salicylates
.Unprocessed meat, fish, shellfish and other seafood
.Milk, cheese, eggs
.Wheat, rye, oats, barley, maize, quinoa, rice
.Certain fruits and vegetables (as mentioned above).
October 2012 vol. 23.7