- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Herbal Cures for Vertigo: Using Ginger and Other Remedies
Vertigo is a fairly common problem that affects the natural balance and equilibrium of the body. Your head may spin or you may think the surroundings are moving. You feel dizzy, nauseous and light-headed. Vertigo is not a disease but a sensation brought about by some medical conditions. While vertigo is generally not a serious condition, persistent vertigo (recurring episodes or chronic) can be debilitating as it affects your lifestyle. For instance, driving can be an issue. You may become more susceptible to falls as your balance go out of syn. Your productivity at work may be compromised. Surgery can take care of serious vertigo but there many herbal remedies that can effectively bring relief to vertigo.
What Causes Vertigo?
Mayo clinic lists three main causes of vertigo:
Benign Paroxysmal Position Vertigo (BPPV).
As the name applies, specific changes to the position of your head can bring about mild to intense dizziness—from moving your head in a certain direction to sitting up in the morning. Why? Benign Paroxysmal Position Vertigo is caused by disturbances in the inner ear—for instance, a small piece of bone-like calcium can break free and float in the fluid of the inner ear. This sends confusing messages about your body’s position, resulting in disequilibrium.
This happens after a bout of cold or flu or viral infection of the inner ear.
Another cause of inner ear problem, this disease not only causes vertigo, loss of balance but ringing in the ears.
These are the main culprits but many other conditions can cause vertigo. These include alcohol, epilepsy, diabetic complications, toxins due to kidney failure, trauma to head, shock, poisoning and stroke.
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s consider some proven herbal remedies to treat vertigo
This traditional Chinese herb is famous for treating many medical ailments from poor memory to circulatory system disorders. This miracle herb is able to flex its healing powers due to its high levels of vitamin C, carotenoids and antioxidants. A report from the Vanderbilt University in Tennessee found that gingko biloba is effective in treating vertigo and inner ear disturbances. It is reported to decrease the intensity of vertigo spells and gingko works best when taken as a daily supplement.
Ginger may make delicious cookies and tea and good Chinese food, but this knobby rhizome can do more. It is reported that ginger is a far better alternative in treating vertigo than acupuncture, according to the March 2006 issue of The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. National Institutes of Health further validates this claim—powdered ginger root significantly reduces vertigo in a double-blind crossover placebo trial.
Ginger is a great culinary spice—add sliced ginger to stir-fry, add grated ginger to desserts, cookies , soups or marinades. Make ginger tea by steeping freshly sliced ginger in hot boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, then add honey and drink to quell vertigo. Alternatively, ginger supplements can be taken.
If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you’re in good company. It is also called by a variety of other names—Jew’s Myrtle, Knee Holly, Kneeholm, Pettigree and Sweet Broom—some of which you may have heard. Butcher’s broom is part of the lily family and is quite similar to the everyday asparagus plant. Reportedly high in flavonoids such as rutin and in particular, its high concentration of steroidal saponins is believed to be responsible for its medicinal effects. Butcher’s broom has been used to improve circulation, relieve constipation, relieve water retention discomfort. It also helps to enhance blood flow to brain, legs and hands.
Butcher’s broom is often used to treat dizziness associated with low blood pressure by promoting blood circulation. It is also commonly used to treat vertigo and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) associated with Meniere’s Disease.
A native herb of Midwest United States, the blue wild indigo is synonymous to the indigo blue dye, used by the Cherokees to dye fabric. Its roots also boast medicinal properties and have been used to treat upper respiratory infections, lymphatic disorders, viral infections, as a mouthwash to treat canker sore, gum diseases and sore throats.
Although there is no clear scientific evidence to link vertigo cure with wild indigo, herbal practitioners believe that wild indigo’s immune-boosting (thanks to the active ingredients glycoproteins and polysaccharides) and antimicrobial properties can treat underlying causes that can cause vertigo, such as cold, flu and viral infection of the ear.
Currently, wild indigo is often used together with Echinacea and white cedar (Thuja occididentalis) to boost immunity.
If you enjoy adding basil to your food, you’re doing yourself a favor. Consider this string of accolades—In Africa, basil is often used in the removal of worms and in the Far East, as a cough medicine, it is also used as a soothing salve for insect stings and bites and it is touted as an aphrodisiac. A rich source of beta-carotene, estragole, eugenal, borneol and vitamin C, this delicate herb has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In addition, it is also antispasmodic and is helpful in treating headaches, migraines, vertigo and yes…colicky kids.
Basil is an excellent herb that can serve many culinary purposes. Supplements and essential oils are also available for homeopathic treatments.
The above named herbs are not all there are…other herbs used to treat vertigo include cayenne, chaparral, chickweed, cloves, dandelion root, fennel, hawthorne berry, lavender, lemon balm, licorice, peppermint and wild yam. Always consult your doctor or a certified herbal practitioner before taking any of these herbs.
Copyright @ Angeline Oppenheimer
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