Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ringing in the ears - Tinnitus

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Ringing Ear (Tinnitus) Relief

By Liana Carbón, PhD

Tinnitus is noise or ringing in the ears. The Mayo Clinic suggests that it is a common problem, affecting about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder. It involves the annoying sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present.

A number of health conditions can cause or worsen Tinnitus. In many cases, an exact cause is never found. According to the Mayo Clinic, a common cause of Tinnitus is inner ear cell damage. Tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear move in relation to the pressure of sound waves. This triggers ear cells to release an electrical signal through a nerve from your ear (auditory nerve) to your brain. Your brain interprets these signals as sound. If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken, they can "leak" random electrical impulses to your brain, causing Tinnitus.

Other causes of Tinnitus include other ear problems, chronic health conditions, and injuries or conditions that affect your auditory nerves or the hearing center in your brain. Allopathic treatments and drugs include removing ear wax, identifying any possible vascular conditions and treating them, or possibly changing a medication one may be on which may appear to be the cause of the Tinnitus. While drugs themselves cannot cure Tinnitus, they may help reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Often patients with Tinnitus are told to adjust their lifestyle, which may make the symptoms less bothersome. Stress seems to be one of the worse culprits in exacerbating Tinnitus. Finding ways to manage one’s stress, whether through meditation, exercise, relaxation therapy or other means, often provides some relief.

Reducing one’s alcohol intake will also help enormously. Alcohol increases the force of blood by dilating the blood vessels, causing greater blood flow, especially in the inner ear area.

While some alternative healing methods have been partially successful in relieving the physical distress of Tinnitus, one which has begun to yield good results is essential oil therapy. 

When the aroma of essential oils enters the nose, it immediately stimulates the olfactory nerves. This then alerts or signals the Limbic system ((the control mechanism in your brain for emotions and memory). This sets in motion a series of neuro-chemical signals and response mechanisms that create a natural healing response within the body.

Many essential oils contain healing properties that address the body, mind and spirit. They assist in natural pain relief, are anti- inflammatory, reduce stress and anxiety, support the circulatory system and assist the endocrine system. It is important to choose therapeutic grade essential oils. When working with essentials oils, it is often more effective to create a synergistic blend that will work more efficiently than a single essential oil might. There are several options for creating synergistic blends that will work for Ringing Ear, or Tinnitus. 

Four oils that are particularly helpful are Cypress, Juniper, Lavender and Helichrysum.
The first three essential oils help strengthen and revive the body. In addition, they are powerful decongestants in that they relieve or reduce congestion, vasoconstrictors that stimulate blood circulation, detoxifiers, and sedatives that calm and soothe nerves.
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) oil is distilled from the needles and cones of the evergreen Cypress tree located in the Mediterranean. It has a distinctly clean, fresh, woody aroma that has a hint of spice.  Cypress oil stimulates blood circulation and at the same time calms the nervous system. Because it has powerful astringent properties, Cypress is an effective tonic for the circulatory and nervous systems. In addition, it also relieves conditions associated with congestion of lymph or blood circulation, such as rheumatism, arthritis, and sinusitis. It is a potent vasoconstrictor and antispasmodic.
Juniperberry (Juniperis communis) has a resinous aroma with woody undertones similar to pine, but more peppery and hot. Juniper is a powerful detoxifier and an excellent blood cleanser. It is said that it helps excrete uric acid crystals, thus promoting the release of excess toxins from the body.
Lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) has a distinctly sweet floral-spice aroma that's a little woody. It is a decongestant and stimulates cellular repair and regeneration. Lavender also has sedative and relaxing actions, which soothe, tranquilize and calm nervous tension, stress, insomnia, anxiety and palpitations.
Helichrysum (italicum, spp serotinum) is often known as Everlasting or Immortelle essential oil, sometimes called the curry plant because of the strong smell of its leaves. There are over 600 species of Helichrysum, but it is the Italicum species that has many therapeutic benefits. It is known for its ability to regenerate nerves, improve skin conditions, and reduce inflammation while speeding healing. It heals physical and emotional scarring, opens the heart, connects body and spirit, and opens human beings to spiritual life.

Synergistic Blend Preparation
To a 1-oz bottle, add equal parts of the Cypress, Juniper and Lavender. Begin with 15 drops of each oil.  Once I have the three oils in the bottle, I then add 5 drops of Helichrysum. Blend well by rolling gently between your palms. In another 1-0z bottle, add a total of 15 drops of the synergistic essential blend. To that add your favorite carrier oil. I tend to use either Fractionated Coconut oil, which I find less greasy, or Jojoba Oil. Shake well. Allow the new synergistic blend (the essential oil blend plus the carrier oil) to blend for at least 24 hours, or longer if you can. Keep out of the light and store in a dark, cool spot.

Application Methods
Dispense 1-3 drops of your essential oil blend for Tinnitus into the palm of your hand, and inhale deeply. Apply to the back and front of your ear lobe and the back of your neck on the affected side(s). First massage each ear lobe, then behind the ears. Always move either in an up and down movement, or in a circular movement. Do not apply pressure, simply gently massage the oil blend into the suggested area. In the front of your ear there is a small pointed “bump,” called that tragus, that is in front of the auditory canal, the opening to your ear. Massage gently directly in front of that in an up and down movement.
Then from under the ear lobe, gently massage down and under the jaw line. The oils will enter the neurovascular gateways located in these areas to effectively trigger your relaxation and healing response.

* DO NOT put the oil in your ears! *

Other options include applying 1 drop of the synergistic essential oil blend on a cotton ball, then place it carefully in the opening of the ear canal. Leave it there overnight. Remove and discard the cotton ball in the morning and gently clean the ear with a warm washcloth. Do NOT place oils directly in the ear canal.

Another application method involves using only Helichrysum essential oil. It is recommended that you use the Helichrysum without diluting it in a carrier oil. However if you feel more comfortable diluting it, make a 10% solution with Jojoba oil. Apply 1 – 2 drops to the area in front of the auditory canal, the opening to the ear canal. Use your fingertip or a cotton swab. 

Be very careful not to put the oil inside the ear canal, or to swab anywhere other than in front of the ear. Once you have applied the Helichrysum, gently grasp the ear lobe, and firmly but gently pull in a circular motion. Do this 10 times. This will allow the oil to be absorbed and will increase circulation in the ear canal. Continue by gently stretching and massaging the ear lobe, and directly behind the ear lobe.

The following lymphatic drainage massage will reduce swelling and reduce the pain that often comes with Tinnitus.  Choose either the synergistic blend or the Helichrysum neat. With your fingertips, add 1-3 drops on the ear lobe and behind the ear. Begin by gently massaging the ear lobe, gently stretching it downward and out. Continue massaging behind the ear lobe. Be sure to spend several minutes doing this preliminary massage technique. 

Then begin to use a technique called “milking” that will increase lymph drainage in the neck and throat. This will help reduce the swelling that often comes with Tinnitus.
Just behind your ear there is a slight indentation, just under the ear and behind the jawbone. Place your finger there. In long, gentle but firm strokes, rub your finger downward under the jawbone all the way to your collarbone. There is a natural groove that your finger will fall into naturally. Repeat this motion 10 times. If you should find that your finger is begin to meet resistance, that is, not sliding down the throat smoothly and easily, apply 1 or 2 more drops of the synergistic blend or the Helichrysum, whichever you have been using. Once the fluids that are trapped in the tissues of the Eustachian tubes and inner ear are drawn into the lymphatic system and the swelling has subsided, the Tinnitus will be relieved.

For maximum effect, begin the massage with the synergistic blend, then complete the milking technique using the Helichrysum.

While these procedures will not completely eliminate the Tinnitus, they will provide relief from the pain and the noise. The most important aspect to any holistic treatment is to be patient. Because essential oils are generally so gentle, you can safely repeat the procedures every few hours. Just remember to be patient and be persistent! Allow the oils to work their magic!

Would you like to receive Dr. Carbón's bi-weekly newsletter filled with tips on using essential oils, working with energy healing protocols, and other useful life tips? Visit her at to get started today!

From Dr. Liana Carbón, The Mystical Shaman *
Dr. Liana Carbón is a certified Master Practitioner in Energy Medicine and Luminous Healing, Shamanic Spirit Coach, Author, Teacher and Spiritual Director with a private healing practice in San Diego, CA. She received certification as an Aromatherapist from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, and has been using essential oils in her healing practice for over 15 years. She teaches online and in-person classes in Aromatherapy and other energy medicine. Liana has presented at the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists’ conventions, and is a member of Alliance of International Aromatherapists.

NOTE:  I love the information that Dr. Carbón has shared and so appreciate her generosity in sharing it!  I have to take issue with one point.  In my experience and in all my research I have never found any indication that Helichrysum italicuum is more effective used neat or undiluted.  Even Dr. Schnaubelt, of the Pacific Institute recommends using it in dilutions as low as 1%, stating that for most of its intended purposes it is equally effective in a 1% dilution.   Because of my personal experience with sensitization as a result of unwise use of undiluted essential oils, I cringe when I see neat usage recommended.  I would hate to see someone become sensitized to such a miraculously healing oil as Helichrysum.  If it were MY tinnitus, I would follow the protocols suggested above, but I would be very sure to dilute the helichrysum before using.   Marge Clark, Nature's Gift.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your feedback, Marge. I understand your concern about the Helichrysum, which is why I also suggested using it diluted. I often use your Helichrysum blend in Jojoba and have had great success.

Liana Carbon

Glimmer said...

"In another 1-0z bottle, add a total of 15 drops of the synergistic essential blend. To that add your favorite carrier oil."

Could you specify how much oil to add to the EO blend? In another part of the post, a 10 pct. jojobo oil mix is suggested, to dilute the helichrysum.

I love EO's for the scent and have used a couple therapeutically that were pre-mixed. I cannot wait to start ordering/trying. Especiall for the tinnitus. So I am afraid I need precise directions in a way that more experienced people would consider silly. So, apologies and many thanks for the excellent post/resources. I used an email for Liana when I subscribed to the newsletter, but it was kicked back undeliverable.

Also, I am assuming with the heli mix, you mean 1 drop of the mix and 9 parts of oil.

All bests, Cece

Marge said...

Cece, I'm sorry... should have clarified. Fill the one oz bottle with carrier after putting in the 15 drops of blended eo's... so basically you are creating one fl oz of the diluted blend. Make sense? And, yes, Liana often uses the 10% diluton that we offer, in Jojoba.

Marge said...

ooops, sorry, I missed your last question..when she talks of using just heli, yes, it would be a 10% dilution of the helichrysum, alone, in carrier oil.. 1 to 9 proportions. as opposed to the blend of four essential oils.

Glimmer said...

Marge, thank you so much for clarifying for me. It is nothing you did/did not do. I assumed as much but as I am an absolute beginner at the mixing instead of ordering prefills I just wanted to make sure my understanding was correct.

Anonymous said...

OK I don't know if the bottle I have is one ounce or not. 15 drops of each and 5 of the heli doesn't hardly make a dent in the size of bottle I am using. So how can I determine how much to use in a bottle I don't know the size of?

Marge said...

The label should have the volume of oil in it. or compare to EO bottles that ARE labeled? Sorry, but that question confuses me.

Anonymous said...

Hello Marge,
I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I developed a horrible ringing in my left ear and stumbled on your article while researching essential oil remedies. I ordered the best helichrysum I could find, made up the blend you suggested and have been applying it (diluted of course) for the last 7 days and the ringing is almost completely gone! It was starting to drive me crazy and make me depressed...I can't thank you enough!


Marge said...

Glad it is helping you! (just a reminder... you can find what in my professional opinion and experience is the world's BEST Helichrysum italicum online at (just a modest plug.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this blend. I was using it daily for about a year, and my tinnitus had slowly gone down to almost nothing. So I stopped using it and it came back horribly! I've since made a new batch and it's been nice to use before bed and have a quiet night of sleep. I hope you keep this recipe up for tinnitus sufferers like me.

Marge said...

Thank you for sharing that! I'm going to pass your message along to Liana, tha author. We love it when we can make a difference for someone..

Su said...

I have made the blend with 30 drops of carrier I dilute again?..I am going to put it a plug in diffuser.....

Marge said...

Su... please reread the instructions, again... after blending the essential oils, 15 drops of each of the first three, then adding five drops of helichrysum. Take FIFTEEN DROPS of the mixture of essential oils, put in a ONE OUNCE bottle, and fill the bottle with your chosen carrier oil. This is not a diffuser blend, this is meant to be diluted down for safe topical use and applied optically. Please reread the formula and how it is used. (Also, I have NEVER seen a diffuser that called for carrier oils being added... for diffusing, you want undiluted...but I would NOT recommend diffusing this... dilute it properly and apply as suggested.

Smalfry - Melissa said...

HI I'm very new a this and looking in to this for a friend. If I use a smaller bottle than 1oz with carrier oil how would I reduce the other oils?

Marge said...

You would just lower the propoortions... if you are using 1/2 ounce bottle you would use half as much of the blend, and top off with carrier. it's simple math... make the correct amount of the master blend... then just use half as much for a 1/2 oz bottle.

Dau tram Hue said...

Thank you for your shared. It's useful for me.

Anonymous said...

I love this blend, I've been using it for a long time and it really helps with my tinnitus. Over the years the level of my tinnitus has gone down to a mild annoyance, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I am missing cypress oil. How important is this oil to make a blend I am also using coconut oil as a carrier for my tinnitus.....

Marge said...

If you've read the reason/actions for each oil in the blend you will see that it plays an important role. You could blend without it, but I suspect better results if you use the blend as given.

Unknown said...

Hi marge, two questions: is there a chance this could make the tinnitus worse? Also, Can I just use before bed? (Or would 2-3 applications a day help more?) thanks.

Marge said...

It *shouldn't* make it worse.... but there is no predicting strange idiosyncratic reactions. and I would suggest applying in a method that has been shown to help. I would expect that using only 1/3 as often as recommended would lower the odds of success.

Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cindy said...

Could you perhaps make the Helichrysum formula ready made? It seems way too difficult to make ourselves. It would help greatly. Thanks.

Marge said...

Cindy we do offer the Helichrysum 10% dilution in Jojoba on our website. You might want to try that, first. If not, we do upon occasion to custom blends, but I'm not sure of the ethics of blending one of Dr. Carbon's blends. Perhaps contact her first to see if she offers the blend premade to her clients?

Ada B said...

Hi, great post. I'm a huge fan of aromatherapy for ringing ears. Another great way to cure ringing ears is yoga - especially poses that invert the inner ear like the downward dog pose. People underestimate the power of this to help reduce symptoms. Great post guys! Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Your directions for new folks is confusing. I take the 4 oils, 15,15.15,5 and blend.

THEN I take another bottle and take my EO blend and put in 15 drops OF THIS BLEND in that bottle and then HOW MUCH FRACTIONATED COCONUT OIL DO I ADD IN TO THAT BOTTLE??????

Anonymous said...


I am new to this so please lets not make this complicated. What is sold through my source is 5 ml and 15 ml bottles.
I put the 15, 15, 15 & 5 EO drops into a bottle and blend

Then I put 15 drops of the EO blend into (what I have is a 15 ml empty bottle) then HOW MUCH FRACTIONATED COCONUT OIL DO I PUT INTO THAT EO BLEND??

Thanks so much Marge!

Marge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti Ching said...

in an earlier post, you say to put 15 drops of the the following blend (15 drops of cypress, 15 drops of juniperberry, 15 drops of lavender, 5 drops of helichrysum) into a one ounce bottle and fill with carrier oil. see dec. 19, 2015 post

in a later post, you write, "to a one ounce bottle add 15, 15, 15 qne 5... then after mixing those 50 drops together in the one ounce bottle, you fill the bottle with the fractionated coconut oil. (june 12, 2016 post)

so, does a one ounce bottle have 15 drops of the master blend or 50 drops of the master blend?

Marge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren Hahn said...

Hello, i got tinnitus from an anti anxiety med. does your formula only work for people that have blocked eustachian tubes/congestion etc? Im certain this drug altered something in my brain. Do you think the oils could help?

Marge said...

Lauren, I'm sorry, but there is no way to tell unless you try it. I'm sorry, but there's no way to answer that question.

Mike McDonald said...

I'm going to make the blend of EO's and carrier oil in an amber bottle. This is my first time using EO's and was wondering if I'll need to use a new bottle each time I make another batch of the blend. Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to reusing bottles? I've done some reading on cleaning and reusing the bottles the EO's come in, but can't find anything on the amber bottles and using them for the same purpose over and over.

Marge said...

Mike, if y ou are blending the SAME blend, you should be able to reuse the same bottle.