Meniere’s Disease
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: September 17, 2003

A friend of mine is suffering from Menieres Disease. Are there any herbs that can help her? Thanks a lot.

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder with loss of hearing (usually only in one ear), dizziness and ringing in the ear. The cause is not well understood, but may be related to dental changes, changes in the jaw muscles or structure or to toxins in the blood from an infection or from poor bowel elimination. Other causative factors or triggers for an attack may be vitamin B deficiency, stress, poor blood circulation to the ear, menstruation and taking chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug.

Meniere’s is treated holistically. All possible causes must be explored and corrected. The diet should be high fibre with lots of fruit and vegetables, and mucus free, excluding dairy products and refined grains that can hinder bowel elimination. Eliminate constipation (see our website at http://www.richters.com, choose "Q&A" from the main menu and enter "constipation" for the search). Eat plenty of foods containing B vitamins (whole grains, green vegetables, legumes) or supplement with B complex.

Ginkgo biloba improves blood circulation to the ears, and is often helpful in dizziness and vertigo.

Alpha-lipoic acid (200 mg twice daily) may help as an antioxidant which can reach the peripheral parts of the body, like the ears.

As a nerve relaxant, Passionflower calms the nerves and dilates the blood vessels for better circulation.

Hawthorn can be used if general blood circulation support is required.

Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is useful in removing excess mucus if the cause of the problem can be related to previous infection or inflammation.

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