Powerful Natural Remedies for Tinnitus

Written by:

Dr. Hamid Djalilian

Neurotology

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MD Review of Natural Tinnitus “Cures”

As a tinnitus specialist, natural remedies for tinnitus are an important topic. When I speak of natural remedies for tinnitus, I’m referring to the full-range of non-pharmacologic treatment options available. In this scoping review, you’ll learn about the following natural treatments for tinnitus:

How can I cure Tinnitus naturally?

The quick answer is, you can’t. We have no “cure”, despite what many natural remedies for tinnitus claim. However, what you can do is make tinnitus fade into the background, instead of being loud and intrusive. 

Alternative Medicine in Perspective

When a condition has no cure, it means that we must be both optimistic and cautious when evaluating natural remedies. Most natural remedies for tinnitus have not been studied in clinical trials, but there are some exceptions. 

The medical system is flawed. No drug company will spend millions of dollars to study the effectiveness of a vitamin that is readily available. Therefore, traditional medicine is skewed towards drugs that companies can make money from.

But there are wolves on the other side of the fence as well, making wild claims of cures and quick fixes, because they’re only loosely regulated by the FDA. See our critical review of Cortexi drops, for instance.

Scoping Review of Natural Remedies for Tinnitus

The point of this review is to do a broad sweep of the most studied natural treatments for chronic tinnitus and give a quick report on its efficacy from the point of view of a physician scientist. We will publish follow up articles that will look at many of these interventions in much more detail, so stay tuned.

"I learned more about my tinnitus in the intro call than from my doctor..."

– Alice Lee

Female tinnitus patient Alice Lee

Ready for relief? NeuroMed can help.

What are the best supplements for tinnitus symptoms?

As a rule, natural supplements do NOT help tinnitus. According to patients suffering from tinnitus, supplements do not help tinnitus in 70% of cases, make tinnitus worse in 10%, and improve tinnitus in only 20% [1]. 

Nutraceuticals for tinnitus

When part of an integrated strategy, alternative treatments using supplements can be powerful complementary therapies for people with tinnitus. Here are the criteria I use to evaluate natural tinnitus remedies:

  • Scientific evidence: Supplements should have preclinical and/or clinical research supporting their efficacy in managing tinnitus.
  • Dosing and absorption: Basic information about absorption and proper dosing should already be established (its pharmacokinetic profile). 
  • Drug interactions: Potential supplement-drug interactions should be known before taking them. 

When natural supplements meet these criteria, I refer to them as “nutraceuticals” – they’re nutrients being used like pharmaceuticals.

Many supplements with antioxidant properties can have hearing health benefits. Some offer hearing protection by minimizing noise induced hearing loss or reducing age related hearing loss. They are good for long-haul daily use, but they don’t necessarily decrease tinnitus.

Herbal Remedies for Tinnitus

Many herbal remedies claim to have “anti-inflammatory properties” or “antioxidant and vasodilatory effects to improve ear blood flow”. This may be true, but there’s simply not enough research to justify their use. Without proof, it’s “pseudo-science”.

Rating Tinnitus Supplements

Here are the most researched vitamins, minerals, and supplements for tinnitus; the good, bad, and ugly in terms of scientific evidence and rationale.

😁 Good Natural Supplements for Tinnitus Symptoms

SupplementDetails
Vitamin D and TinnitusThere is strong evidence that Vitamin D deficiency is linked to tinnitus. Further, correction of vitamin D deficiency can correct tinnitus. Finally, vitamin D as a treatment independent of deficiency can reduce tinnitus symptoms.
Melatonin and TinnitusMelatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplementation can help some of the conditions that drive tinnitus, like insomnia. It also has additional benefits on the brain that can help reduce tinnitus severity, making it an effective treatment option [2]. 
Riboflavin and TinnitusRiboflavin is Vitamin B2. There is evidence linking riboflavin deficiency to tinnitus. As for clinical evidence, when combined with an integrated strategy, vitamin B2 is showing excellent results. However, there is no data on Vitamin B2 as a solo treatment for tinnitus.
Magnesium and TinnitusMagnesium is an essential mineral for many brain functions. There is strong evidence of a link between magnesium deficiency and tinnitus. Further, studies show that magnesium supplementation can correct tinnitus in these cases.
Natural remedies for tinnitus that have the strongest evidence.

😕 Bad Natural Supplements for Tinnitus Symptoms

SupplementDetails
Vitamin B12 and TinnitusThere has been a link established between vitamin B12 deficiency and tinnitus. Correction of severe deficiency may help tinnitus, but a recent randomized clinical trial shows that it did not correct the tinnitus in moderately deficient patients [3]. 
Zinc for TinnitusThere is evidence that zinc deficiency is linked to tinnitus, so there’s a good rationale for using it as a natural tinnitus remedy. However, correction of zinc deficiency has failed to improve tinnitus in clinical trials.
Hyperbaric Oxygen for TinnitusHere, oxygen is the supplement. Most studies on hyperbaric oxygen are for sudden hearing loss, where there’s a marginal benefit. Specific to tinnitus, a meta analysis of seven clinical trials found that hyperbaric oxygen for tinnitus is ineffective [4]. 
Natural remedies for tinnitus that have weak or no evidence.

😩 Ugly Natural Supplements for Tinnitus Symptoms

SupplementDetails
Ginkgo biloba for TinnitusDespite the hype surrounding Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus, the actual clinical evidence is poor. A recent meta analysis of randomized, controlled studies comparing gingko to placebo showed that it had little to no effect on tinnitus [5].
Ginseng for TinnitusA high quality looked at regular and Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) for tinnitus. All 3 groups failed to show improvement in tinnitus severity by visual analogue scale testing [6]. In short, no meaningful effect on tinnitus. 
Natural remedies for tinnitus that have weak or no evidence.

Can physical medicine bring natural tinnitus relief?

Physical medicine includes direct bodily interventions to provide natural help for tinnitus. This includes physical therapy, massage, yoga, acupuncture, and acupressure

Are physical therapy and massage natural remedies for tinnitus?

There is actually strong evidence for tinnitus benefit here, but specifically in the context of somatic tinnitus. 

What is somatic tinnitus?

Somatic tinnitus a cause of tinnitus where the perception of sound in the ear is affected by movements or muscle contractions in other parts of the body, such as the head, neck, or jaw. This means that changes in body position or muscle tension can influence the intensity or frequency of the tinnitus sound. It is believed that somatic tinnitus may be related to dysfunction in the somatosensory system, which processes sensory information from various parts of the body.

What is somatic testing?

In studies that look at physical therapy and massage for this condition, they first must respond to somatic testing. Somatic testing includes performing active or resisted movements of the limbs, neck, and temporomandibular joint, along with applying pressure to the muscles of the head and neck. If any of these procedures result in an increase in tinnitus intensity, it suggests the presence of somatic tinnitus.

Does physical therapy for tinnitus work?

Physical therapy interventions in people with somatic tinnitus related to the neck and TMJ show significant improvements in tinnitus outcomes, including tinnitus loudness, severity, and overall quality of life. This is according to multiple systematic reviews show that include multiple high quality studies (ie. randomized clinical studies) [7-8].

The specific physical medicine interventions for TMJ and tinnitus typically include:

  • Education
  • Mobility Exercises
  • Mandibular mobilization
  • Massage of masticatory muscles
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Multimodal cervical physical therapy

Does yoga work for tinnitus symptoms?

Yoga for tinnitus

There is fairly strong evidence that yoga is beneficial for tinnitus. The clinical studies to date are small and the outcome measures used are non-standardized. Nevertheless, a systematic review of the effect of yoga across multiple studies show that practicing yoga showed significant improvement in tinnitus symptoms. This including reducing tinnitus severity, alleviating stress, anxiety, and irritability, and improving quality of life [9].

Does acupuncture help tinnitus symptoms? 

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that uses small needles to stimulate specific points on the body, aiming to restore the flow of energy (Qi). Acupuncture is one of the natural remedies for tinnitus that probably doesn’t work.

One meta analysis found that Chinese studies on tinnitus acupuncture overwhelmingly reported positive outcomes, whereas the majority of English studies yielded negative findings [10]. This hints at a culture-based placebo effect, so I would say more research is needed.

Does acupressure help tinnitus symptoms?

At this point, there is not enough data. I could find only one clinical trial that used acupressure to treat tinnitus. The trial had serious methodological flaws and there was only a marginal benefit reported [11].

Is sound therapy a natural remedy for tinnitus?

sound therapy is one of the natural remedies for tinnitus

Yes! Using sound therapy is an excellent choice for people looking for natural remedies for tinnitus. It’s non-invasive and very inexpensive to get started. Nearly all forms of sound therapy show consistently positive results in terms of standard tinnitus outcomes, including tinnitus severity, loudness, and annoyance. 

Types of Sound Therapy for Tinnitus

Here is a brief overview of the different sound therapy treatment options:

Sound Therapy MethodDescription of the Intervention
Noise-Enriched EnvironmentSilence is the enemy of tinnitus. All people with severe tinnitus should aim to create an environment enriched with sound signals. This doesn’t mean loud noise; it can be a soothing sound from a fan, air purifier, or white noise machine in the background.
White NoiseWhite noise sounds like low volume radio static. It can be played on a white noise machine that has other options like nature sounds. There are many free white noise options too, on YouTube for instance.
Music TherapyOne of the most soothing sounds for tinnitus is music. Soft music alone is good for treating tinnitus, but many applications now combine tinnitus sound masking with music for greater effect.
Tinnitus Masking DevicesThese devices produce sound masking and are typically worn like hearing aids. They’re usually programed with customized sounds matched to your tinnitus frequency.
Bimodal Stimulation for TinnitusThis is when sound therapy is combined with some other form of sensory stimulation. For instance, the Lenire device combines sound therapy with electrical stimulation to the tongue.
Sound therapy interventions that serve as natural remedies for tinnitus.

Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

If you have hearing loss, getting hearing aids is an excellent way to treat tinnitus naturally. These can be worn either in the ear canal or behind the ear. However, if you don’t have hearing loss, then using the aids won’t help you and might actually hurt you if its too loud. Sometimes, hearing aids can be programmed to deliver a masking sound. This is called a combination device.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a comprehensive tinnitus treatment that combines sound therapy with cognitive behavioral exercises. TRT aims to change the brain’s response to tinnitus, promoting habituation and improving quality of life for those affected by the condition. The clinical data on TRT is strong, consistently showing a significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms.

Modified TRT can be performed online with NeuroMed. Modified TRT for tinnitus (compared with classical TRT) is much shorter and accelerated.

Can cognitive therapy provide natural relief for ringing ears? 

cbt is one of the natural remedies for tinnitus

Several cognitive-based therapies provide excellent relief for tinnitus while maintaining a natural approach. Clinically significant tinnitus is not just about the auditory system. Rather, it is a complex neurological disease that involves neural networks in several brain regions, including the areas that regulate attention, decision-making, memory, and fear. 

Cognitive-based therapies for tinnitus work by using the brain to heal the brain. By doing a variety of cognitive exercises, the brain can rewire in a way that transitions loud, annoying tinnitus to a small signal that is there, but easy to ignore. CBT is sometimes referred to as psychological therapy, but I prefer cognitive therapy as it’s much more focussed on cognition than psychology. 

Here are the two most common forms of cognitive therapy that can provide natural relief for tinnitus:

CBT for Tinnitus

There is excellent evidence for the effectiveness of CBT for tinnitus in multiple outcome measures, according to meta analysis reports [12]. CBT for tinnitus involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs related to tinnitus, while teaching coping strategies to manage emotional reactions. Research has shown that app-based CBT is just as effective as in-person CBT. 

Mindfulness for Tinnitus

Moderate to high quality studies have consistently shown a reduction in tinnitus distress scores after mindfulness-based interventions for tinnitus, according to a systematic review [13]. Mindfulness for tinnitus involves cultivating present-moment awareness and acceptance of tinnitus sensations, thereby reducing emotional reactivity and distress associated with the condition. It can be as simple as deep breathing exercises to alleviate symptoms of tinnitus.

Two other therapies that fit into this category are hypnosis and biofeedback. At this point, only preliminary clinical trials have tested their effectiveness. This doesn’t mean they don’t work, just that more research is needed. 

Which natural remedies for tinnitus are scams?

some natural remedies for tinnitus are scams

Unfortunately, many natural therapies for tinnitus are scams, designed to take money from people desperate for ear ringing relief. The biggest scams are concentrated in the supplement market. 

Here are natural remedies for tinnitus that I consider scams:

  • AcuPeace & AuriCalm Tinnitus Relief Device: Untested for tinnitus. 
  • Arches Tinnitus Formula: Zinc and Ginkgo, both ineffective for tinnitus.
  • Arsicor Ear Drops: Gingko, ginseng, and herbs untested for tinnitus.
  • CBD for tinnitus: No clinical data for tinnitus.
  • Cortexi: Ginseng plus herbs untested for tinnitus.
  • Lipoflavonoid Plus: Has vitamin B2, but dose is too low (2 mg)*.
  • Neurorise: All ingredients ineffective or untested for tinnitus. 
  • Quietum: Ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and herbs untested for tinnitus.
  • Silence Solution: Vitamins and herbs untested for tinnitus.
  • Silencil and Synapse XT: Has magnesium and vitamin B2*, but the dose is too low. Other ingredients are ineffective or untested for tinnitus.  
  • Sonofit: Herbal tonic untested for tinnitus.
  • Tinnitol: Has vitamin B2, but dose is too low (5 mg)*.
  • Tinnitus 911: All ingredients ineffective or untested for tinnitus. 
  • Tinnitus patches: Herbal patch untested for tinnitus.

*For tinnitus treatment, our vitamin B2 dosing is much higher and under medical supervision.  For additional information on scam tinnitus remedies, the British Tinnitus Association is a good resource to check out.

Which natural remedies do I use to treat tinnitus? 

Natural remedies for tinnitus

I embrace many natural remedies for tinnitus in the clinical protocols developed in my academic clinic. I use a multimodal approach for treating tinnitus; multiple overlapping strategies that achieve a common goal. Our clinical trials of this protocol are ongoing, but we’re finding success rates of 85-90% for tinnitus. 

Tinnitus and Migraine

The key insight of my research over the past decade in tinnitus research is that the underlying cause in most cases is a migraine-like process in the brain. This migraine reaction alters the way people experiencing tinnitus process sound, making it much louder.

Migraine is now being reclassified as a sensory processing disorder. A migraine headache is altered pain sensation, ocular migraine is altered vision, and otologic migraine is altered hearing and balance (i.e. vertigo and tinnitus). Headache may accompany tinnitus or may not, but the migraine process is still there.

This significantly influences the alternative medicine treatments that I incorporate into my protocols, because I borrow from those that are useful for treating the migraine reaction in the brain.

Tinnitus Trigger Avoidance

One of the most important natural remedies for tinnitus is avoidance of things that will initiate the migraine process in the brain. This includes lifestyle modifications, such as eliminating foods that trigger tinnitus, focusing on sleep optimization, and avoiding sensory overstimulation.

Natural Supplements for Tinnitus I Use:

  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin D
  • Melatonin
  • Magnesium
  • Coenzyme Q10

Natural Remedies for Tinnitus I Use:

  • Sound Therapy
  • Modified Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
  • CBT for Tinnitus
  • Mindfulness-Based Therapy

CoQ10 for Tinnitus

Coenzyme Q10 was not on the list above because only small, preliminary trials have tested it for tinnitus. However, it has been extensively studied for migraine and shows beneficial effects in terms of migraine intensity and severity, according to multiple meta analysis studies [14].

Combination Supplements for Tinnitus

A recent 2024 study used the combination of vitamin B2, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10 to treat patients with vestibular migraine, a sister condition to tinnitus. They found an impressive decrease in the number and severity of episodes. This mirrors our clinical success at NeuroMed [15]. 

Note: These nutritional supplements are for subjective tinnitus. Objective tinnitus (like pulsatile tinnitus) typically involves medical treatments, checking for health conditions like high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, blood circulation, metabolic syndrome, etc.

natural remedies for tinnitus make people happy

Conclusion: Natural treatment for tinnitus works!

Natural remedies for tinnitus work – but you must use hard evidence to guide your treatment choices. While our protocols also offer prescription medication as part of our medical treatment for tinnitus, many patients decide to go with just natural treatments first and many get excellent results.

Finding good natural remedies for tinnitus can be difficult with all of the scams out there, but the ones we use at NeuroMed have excellent scientific data to back them up.

Natural Remedies for Tinnitus References

[1] Coelho C, Tyler R, Ji H, Rojas-Roncancio E, Witt S, Tao P, Jun HJ, Wang TC, Hansen MR, Gantz BJ. Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus. Am J Audiol. 2016 Sep 1;25(3):184-205.

[2] Hosseinzadeh A, Kamrava SK, Moore BCJ, Reiter RJ, Ghaznavi H, Kamali M, Mehrzadi S. Molecular Aspects of Melatonin Treatment in Tinnitus: A Review. Curr Drug Targets. 2019;20(11):1112-1128.

[3] Berkiten G, Yildirim G, Topaloglu I, Ugras H. Vitamin B12 levels in patients with tinnitus and effectiveness of vitamin B12 treatment on hearing threshold and tinnitus. B-ENT. 2013;9(2):111-6.

[4] Bennett MH, Kertesz T, Perleth M, Yeung P, Lehm JP. Hyperbaric oxygen for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Oct 17;10:CD004739.

[5] Sereda M, Xia J, Scutt P, Hilton MP, El Refaie A, Hoare DJ. Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022 Nov 16;11(11):CD013514. 

[6] Kim TS, Lee HS, Chung JW. The Effect of Korean Red Ginseng on Symptoms and Quality of Life in Chronic Tinnitus: A Randomized, Open-Label Pilot Study. J Audiol Otol. 2015 Sep;19(2):85-90.

[7] da Silva MT, Silva C, Silva J, Costa M, Gadotti I, Ribeiro K. Effectiveness of Physical Therapy Interventions for Temporomandibular Disorders Associated with Tinnitus: A Systematic Review. J Clin Med. 2023 Jun 28;12(13):4329.

[8] Sharma P, Singh G, Kothiyal S, Goyal M. Effects of Manual Therapy in Somatic Tinnitus Patients Associated with Cervicogenic and Temporomandibular Dysfunction Domain: Systematic Review and Meta Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022 Jun;74(2):247-253.

[9] Gunjawate DR, Ravi R. Effect of yoga and meditation on tinnitus: a systematic review. J Laryngol Otol. 2021 Apr;135(4):284-287.

[10] Liu F, Han X, Li Y, Yu S. Acupuncture in the treatment of tinnitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Feb;273(2):285-94.

[11] Schlee W, Simoes J, Pryss R. Auricular Acupressure Combined with Self-Help Intervention for Treating Chronic Tinnitus: A Longitudinal Observational Study. J Clin Med. 2021 Sep 16;10(18):4201.

[12] Fuller T, Cima R, Langguth B, Mazurek B, Vlaeyen JW, Hoare DJ. Cognitive behavioural therapy for tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020 Jan 8;1(1):CD012614.

[13] Rademaker MM, Stegeman I, Ho-Kang-You KE, Stokroos RJ, Smit AL. The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Tinnitus Distress. A Systematic Review. Front Neurol. 2019 Nov 1;10:1135.

[14] Sazali S, Badrin S, Norhayati MN, Idris NS. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for prophylaxis in adult patients with migraine-a meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2021 Jan 5;11(1):e039358.

[15] Abu-Zaid A, Abu-Zaid S, Barakat M, Al-Huniti R, Khair H (2024) Effectiveness of combination therapy of magnesium, vitamin B2 and Co-enzyme 10 supplementation on vestibular migraine: a retrospective cohort study. Pharmacia 71: 1-7.

Dr. Hamid Djalilian

Neurotology

Dr. Hamid Djalilian, a tinnitus specialist and distinguished figure in the areas of otolaryngology, neurosurgery, and biomedical engineering, is NeuroMed’s Chief Medical Advisor.

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