Vertigo is a sort of dizziness characterized by a sensation that you or your environment are moving, spinning, falling or tilting although there is no actual movement.
It may be accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of balance, tinnitus, temporary hearing loss or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
Vertigo itself is more of a symptom than a disease and is different from the nonspecific lightheadedness or dizziness.
The most common form of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), caused by a disturbance in the calcium particles called otoliths in the semicircular canals of the labyrinth of the inner ear. Older individuals are more prone to this problem.
It is characterized by a sensation of motion, brought on or made worse by sudden head movements or positional changes. It usually lasts for less than a minute.
Some other conditions that can lead to vertigo are labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear structure called labyrinth), Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuronitis (inflammation of the vestibular nerve usually caused by a viral ear infection), head injury and migraines.
It can also be due to problems in the brain or nerves or a side effect of certain medications.
In some cases, vertigo will improve on its own over a period of time. You can also try exercises like the Epley maneuver, and other home remedies for relief.
Consult your doctor before trying these remedies as individual cases may vary. Furthermore, some cases may require treatment by a specialist or even surgery.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for vertigo, in order of effectiveness.
1. Epley Maneuver
The Epley maneuver can be highly beneficial in treating vertigo, especially benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), without any serious adverse effects.
Research has found this procedure can help resolve BPPV effectively and rapidly.
- Sit on a bed and place a pillow behind you so that it will be under your shoulders when you lie down.
- If your vertigo is in the left ear, turn your head 45 degrees to the left. (If it is in the right ear, turn your head 45 degrees to the right and follow the rest of the procedure accordingly.)
- Quickly lie back with your shoulders on the pillow and head reclined onto the bed for about 30 seconds.
- Next, without raising your head, turn it 90 degrees to the right and wait for another 30 seconds.
- Now, while keeping your head in its current position, quickly turn your whole body another 90 degrees to the right and stay in this position for 30 seconds.
- Slowly sit up, bringing your head to the center.
- Repeat this procedure three times daily until you are without vertigo for at least 24 hours. In most cases, symptoms resolve within a week. It is best perform all the three cycles of this maneuver at night before going to sleep rather than in the morning or midday.
Check out the following video to see the procedure demonstrated.
Ginger can help deal with vertigo because it promotes blood circulation to the brain and also relieves nausea. A study of the vertigo-reducing effects of ginger found it also alleviates related issues like motion sickness and migraines.
- Simply chewing a piece of ginger on a regular basis can help alleviate this problem.
- Prepare ginger tea by steeping one teaspoon of grated ginger in a cup of boiling water for about five minutes and then strain it. You can sweeten it with honey. Drink it twice daily for a few weeks.
- Another option is to take ginger in supplement form (consult your doctor for appropriate dosage).
Note: Talk to your doctor before taking ginger as it may interfere with certain medications like anticoagulant, antidiabetic and blood pressure medications.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a wonderful Chinese traditional medicine that helps increase blood flow to the brain, thereby reducing the dizzy sensation.
Take 120 to 160 mg of ginkgo biloba extract in two or three divided doses daily for three months. You will start noticing improvement after eight to 12 weeks.
4. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds is a popular Ayurvedic remedy for vertigo.
- Soak one teaspoon each of coriander seeds and Indian gooseberry (amla) powder in a cup of water.
- Set it aside overnight.
- Strain and drink this solution the next morning. To improve its taste, you may add a little sugar or honey.
- Repeat daily for a few days.
Cardamom has a soothing smell and health properties similar to that of ginger, thus helping in the natural treatment of vertigo. Plus, the massaging action used in this remedy will help alleviate the problem.
- Slightly heat two teaspoons of sesame oil.
- Mix in one-half teaspoon each of powdered cinnamon and cardamom.
- Gently massage your head with this oil and leave it on for a few hours.
- Do this several times a week for a few weeks.
Due to its light, spicy and sweet smell, basil works as an aromatherapy remedy for dizziness and vertigo.
- Boil three or four basil leaves in one cup of milk.
- Inhale the smell and drink this healthy tonic daily before going to bed.
- Do this for at least a few weeks.