Overview of different Natural Remedies for Vertigo
Vertigo (sometimes considered a subtype of general dizziness) is typically described as a sensation of faintness or inability to maintain normal balance while in a standing or sitting position.
Sometimes associated with states of giddiness, mental confusion, nausea, motion sickness, or general weakness (in more severe cases), vertigo typically results from a sudden change in the functioning of the balance mechanisms of the inner ear (technically, the vestibular system) or in the balance structures’ connections to the brain.
Of two varieties, geocentric (the feeling that the room is spinning) and egocentric (the feeling that the individual is him/herself spinning), vertigo is known to affect 20—30% of the population at one time or another to varying degrees, and can manifest in individuals of any age and for a variety of reasons.
While a number of conditions can bring on bouts of vertigo including inflammation of the inner ear, Meniere’s disease (caused by the buildup of excessive fluid in the inner ear), a vestibular schwannoma or “acoustic neuroma” (a noncancerous, benign growth manifesting on the vestibular nerve), or a condition called “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” (triggered by a sudden shift of the head position), vertigo is generally a temporary condition that corrects itself with time.
However, except with more serious cases, there are a number of natural remedies for vertigo that can be quite effective in lessening the severity, restoring balance, and reducing recovery time.
Remedies and Curatives
As one of the oldest recorded maladies known to humankind, a number of natural remedies for vertigo—both of a physically-manipulative and herbal nature—have been utilized for treating vertigo.
It should be noted, however, that since vertigo is not one but a variety of related conditions with varying symptoms and origins, not all remedies work effectively for all conditions. Even so, there are a number of natural remedies for vertigo that have been in common use for centuries—as well as some more recently discovered.
The Epley Maneuver
In treating “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” (the most common type of vertigo), the so-called Epley Maneuver has proven quite beneficial for many individuals. To perform this maneuver, the individual begins by placing a pillow on the bed lengthwise.
The individual then sits on the lower end of the pillow, extends the legs straight out in front of them, and then slowly rotates the head to each side—stopping when dizziness occurs. Next, the individual lies down on top of the pillow so that the top edge of the pillow is located just behind the nape of the neck, causing the head to be tilted slightly back and the chin protruding forward. This position is maintained for a few minutes; usually until the entire body fully relaxes.
While in this reclined position, the individual then rotates the head to either side, holding the non-affected side for perhaps 20 seconds, the affected side at least three minutes.
The general goal of this position is to allow gravity to draw the otoconial structure (organs in the ear sensitive to changes in horizontal movement and particularly active in situations such as riding in an elevator) out of the inner ear. The individual then rolls their entire body onto the non-affected side (while keeping the head as stationary as possible) with the arms folded at the sides, holding this position for three minutes. Then turning their face so that the nose touches the mattress, this position is held for three minutes more.
Returning to a supine position (on the back, face up), the individual then brings the chin to the chest and slowly sits up (with assistance, if necessary). Swinging the legs over the side of the bed, the individual then sits up with the chin still touching the chest, and remains in this position for a few minutes (while the inner ear adjusts).
If the procedure has been successful, vertigo will be gone upon standing.
Although a great many herbal concoctions have been tested through the centuries for their ability to relieve the symptoms of vertigo naturally, four herbs in particular have proven reliable above the others: turmeric, cayenne, ginkgo biloba, and ginger root.
While infusions of the fresh, dried herbs are relatively easy to prepare, in that dosage is difficult to accurately compute by this method, dried prepared capsules are generally suggested in the following dosage: turmeric, 500 mg twice daily; cayenne, 300 mg twice daily; ginkgo biloba, 60 mg twice to thrice daily; and ginger root, 500 mg twice daily (with a strong cup of ginger root tea twice daily said to be quite effective as well).
For those unfamiliar with homeopathic methodology, this ancient science of like-cures-like connects naturally-occurring substances with specific symptoms, rather than general disease. For example, for individuals experiencing vertigo when tilting their head forward, prepared borax is prescribed.
To treat nausea and vomiting associated with vertigo, nux vomica (seeds of the strychnine tree) is recommended.
Similarly, for vertigo accompanied by nausea and a cold, clammy feeling, tabacum (from the tobacco plant) is proven effective.
Interestingly, while homeopathic remedies are seldom endorsed by the medical community at large, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine presented evidence that when 105 patients were given the homeopathic remedy Cocculus indicus (fruit of the Anamirta cocculus plant) or the conventional vertigo drug betahistine in double-blind tests, both treatments proved equally effective. And when patients were given the option of using a synthetic or natural remedies for vertigo, nearly half chose the homeopathic natural remedy.
(Note: Vertigo/dizziness can be a symptom of much more serious conditions such as anemia, epilepsy, heart trouble, and diseases of the inner ear, so individuals experiencing persistent or chronic bouts of vertigo should seek professional medical help for testing.)