Best Natural Remedies For Vertigo
Best Natural Remedies For Vertigo
Vertigo is the sudden feeling of dizziness and spinning of the head experienced often due to an underlying neurological condition. It causes one to feel off balance even though one may be on solid ground. Vertigo is when there is change in the balance mechanisms within the inner ear or in the balance structures within the brain. The symptoms may last few minutes or may continue for few hours and may have a recurrent pattern. In some severe cases, it may also cause the person to experience nausea and actually cause the person to lose balance.
Vertigo is a symptom in itself and not a diagnosis. Some mild forms of vertigo can be caused as a result of dehydration in the body or certain medications such as steroids as well. Certain inner ear infections or fluid buildup within the inner ear can also give rise to a feeling of vertigo.
Severe symptoms associated with vertigo such as slurred speech, double vision, weakness in arms or legs, splitting headaches can often be the indications of a brain tumor, a mini stroke or multiple sclerosis and a consultation with a neurologist may be required.
It has also been found in clinical studies that high blood sugar and cholesterol levels also result in giving rise to vertigo. Controlling blood sugar and keeping a tab on cholesterol levels has caused in providing significant relief from recurrent episodes of vertigo.
However, it becomes quite necessary to ascertain the specific cause of vertigo, whether it is caused due to deranged blood sugar, lipid levels, dehydration or some underlying neurological condition. Finding the cause can help tackle the issue of vertigo quite effectively.
There are various strategies to resolve vertigo once the factor causing it is ascertained. Following are few of the strategies used in managing vertigo effectively.
Herbs & Nutraceuticals for Vertigo
Administering various herbs or their decoctions have been found to be effective in curing vertigo episodes.
Gingko biloba is a Chinese herb which has beneficial effects of increasing the blood flow to the brain and head thus improving memory, concentration, sense of taste and smell, preventing or treating macular degeneration and also treating tinnitus. This herb is available in capsule, tincture or solution forms. One study has shown that gingko biloba is as effective as the prescription medication given to treat vertigo (1). Taking high quality gingko containing gingko heterosides and gingkolisides upto a dosage of 250 mg / day can help in maintaining good balance.
Ginger root has been found quite effective in reducing incidences of vertigo and nystagmus (2). Also, it has been found to have more efficacy than manual positioning techniques (3). It has been suggested that drinking ginger tea twice a day can also help improve associated symptoms of vertigo such as nausea and vomiting. A dosage of upto 600-700 mg / day can be quite effective, but needs to be used with caution since high dosages can cause heartburn or stomach upset.
Essential Oils for Vertigo
Several essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, frankincense, cypress, ginger, peppermint and rose have soothing properties which help relax the strained nerves in the brain and also helps to relieve anxiety and inflammation.
They have anti-inflammatory properties beneficial for infections in the balance structures within the brain. These oils can be employed in various ways for their aromas such as in room diffusers, steam inhalers, bathing water, topical application on chest, neck and temples.
The use of herbs and nutraceuticals need to be done with caution since none of the herb supplements found in the market today are FDA approved, hence if one thinks of beginning to consume these supplements, it should be under the supervision of a trained physician or healthcare professional.
Physical exercises involving various postures such as yoga asanas or Tai Chi, a graceful form of exercise from Chinese tradition can help relieve stress as well as improve balance and flexibility. Tai Chi improves muscle strength and also enhances good quality sleep. It involves constant gentle motion of extremities with stretching. Its often described as meditation in motion.
Simple yoga asanas such as child’s pose or the corpse pose can be practiced to find relief from vertigo. However, caution needs to be maintained regarding sudden bending movements while performing these exercises since it may cause increase in vertigo symptoms.
Mild forms of vertigo are experienced usually when has had long hours of hectic work schedule compromising on adequate sleep. Sometimes, lack of adequate sleep play a role in contributing to cause vertigo.
Also, the head placement and positioning while sleeping can play a role in causing vertigo. Poor head position in sleep can worsen dizziness in sleep. Finding time to give 7-8 hours of proper sleep to the body can help or short naps during work breaks can also help.
Dietary Strategies For Vertigo
Dietary measures for dealing with vertigo is to distribute the fluid intake in proper proportions through the day. Its necessary to anticipate the fluid losses in hot weather and during exercise and consume fluids accordingly to compensate for the fluid losses during such conditions. Intake of beverages and foods high in simple sugars can be avoided or minimized and can be substituted with foods containing complex carbohydrates such as legumes, whole grains.
Sodium intake also affects the regulation of body fluids levels, hence need to keep a tab on them. Keeping a tab on caffeine intake can help since it’s a diuretic and causes loss of body fluids and the dehydration may result in feeling of vertigo. Also, its important to minimize alcohol intake since alcohol changes the composition of the inner ear fluid and increases the possibility of feeling of loss of balance and vertigo.
Keeping the control blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight also can help in prevention of development of vertigo.
Any dietary supplement helping vasodilation may also help in vertigo. It is well nown fact that chopped onions cause roll down of tears. This happens because the onions contains ample amount of ammonia. This ammonia acts as vasodilator, when released from the onion, causes tears in the eyes. Smelling the sandalwood perfume or incense may also help in vertigo.
Tips for vertigo prevention:
- 3-4 liters of water per day
- Take food that is rich in potassium like tomatoes
- Add ginger to your diet
- Take nerve supporting vitamins (B12, C) and minerals (Zinc, Magnessium)
A deep breathing exercise of traditional Indian yoga is also considered to be effective for for treating vertigo symptoms. It is also called as Ujjjayi breath or Ujjayi pranayama. In Sankrit, breathing excercises are known as “Pranayama”. The term Ujjayi is known as “be victorius, or “to conquer”.
Hence this breathing exercise is also called as “Victorious breath”. The Ujjayi pranayama is practiced to calm the mind and believed to be helpful in vertigo. You can find the video guide below, created by vimalvyas on how to perform Ujayi breathing.
- L., et.al (2014) Treatment of Vertigo: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial Comparing Efficacy and Safety of Ginkgo biloba Extract EGb 761 and Betahistine. International Journal of Otolaryngology Volume 2014, Article ID 682439.
- Grontved A, et.al (1986) Vertigo-Reducing Effect of Ginger Root : A Controlled Clinical Study. ORL; 48:282–286.
- Fei-lin Ni et.al., (2016) Clinical observation on ginger-partitioned moxibustion plus manual repositioning for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 31–35.
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