Inner ear and brain are the main components of the vestibular system. However, disease or damage to these organs can occur due to genetic or environmental factors and can lead to vestibular disorders such as benign paraoxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, and secondary endolymphatic hydrops. Dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, nausea and blurred vision are the most common symptoms of these conditions.The treatment may involve rehabilitation therapy, medications and surgery. Certain herbs may also help treat and manage vestibular disorders. Always consult with your physician before taking any treatments or supplements.
Ginkgo is one of the most common herbs used to treat vestibular disorders. According to the book “User's Guide to Nutritional Supplements,” ginkgo can help control vertigo by increasing blood flow to the brain and by promoting accurate reception and evaluation of sensory signals. Gingko is usually obtained from the leaf of the ginkgo or Ginkgo biloba plant and is available in tablet, capsule and tea forms. Gastric disturbances and allergic skin reactions are the most common side effects. It can also increase the risk of bleeding in some rare cases and should, therefore, be used only under the supervision of a doctor.
The Sutter Medical Foundation recommends 15 mg of vinpocetine to overcome vertigo symptoms. Vinpocetine is made from an alkaloid known as vincamine that is extracted from the leaves of the periwrinkle plant Vinca minor. The common side effects include flushing, rashes and upset stomach. It may also interfere with blood thinning medications. As with other herbs, it is best to talk to a doctor before using vinpocetine to treat vestibular disorders.
Indian gooseberry is a rich source of vitamin A and C, and may help overcome dizziness associated with vestibular disorders. According to the website Home Remedies, 5 grams of the fruit should be soaked along with coriander leaves in water for 8 to 12 hours. The water should be consumed after straining the fruit and the seeds. This preparation is generally safe to use and no major side effects have been reported. However, there is no scientific data available to prove its efficacy and hence, consult a doctor before using it.
The underground stem of the ginger or Zingiber officinale plant may help curb nausea, says Phyllis A. Balch in the book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” This may benefit vestibular disorder patients with regular nausea. Ginger is generally safe to use, although mild side effects such as heartburn, diarrhea and irritation of the mouth may occur. Ginger may also interact with certain blood thinning medications. Hence, it should not be taken without consulting a physician.