So what causes vertigo? Turns out, it’s everything from lack of sleep to a brain tumor. While that sounds scary, the most likely cause could be an inner ear infection or BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). If symptoms such as headaches, slurred speech, double vision or weakness in an arm or leg are also present, then your vertigo could be more serious. However, barring any serious neurological problems, and if your vertigo has hung around longer than that nasty cold, then maybe it’s time to try some home remedies to relieve your vertigo naturally.
1. Epley maneuver for vertigo
One of the most common types of vertigo is BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), and thankfully it’s one of the easiest to treat with simple maneuvers you can do at home. BPPV happens when small crystals of calcium become loose in the inner ear. Talk to your doctor first for confirmation that you have BPPV. You generally experience vertigo when you’re getting in or out of bed, or tilting your head up.
First, you’ll need to determine which side your vertigo is coming from. You can do this by completing a self-diagnose with the “Dix Hallpike maneuver” which helps identify the cause of vertigo – whether it is in your inner ear or your brain. If in the ear, it also determines which side is affected. This test can be uncomfortable because it may bring about your vertigo and may also cause nausea. But, it is easy and can be done as part of your physical exam during a doctor’s visit or with help at home.
So, if your vertigo comes from your left side and ear:
1. Perform the epley maneuver by sitting on the edge of your bed and turning your head 45 degrees to the left. Place a pillow beneath you, where your shoulders would rest rather than under your head.
2. Lie down quickly — face up — with your head on the bed (still at the 45-degree angle). The pillow should be under your shoulders.
3. Wait 30 seconds for any vertigo to stop. Turn your head halfway (90 degrees) to the right without raising it and wait 30 seconds.
4. Turn your head and body on its side to the right, so you’re looking at the floor, and wait 30 seconds.
5. Slowly sit up, but remain on the bed a few minutes.
6. If vertigo comes from your right ear, reverse these instructions. Do this maneuver three times before going to bed each night, until 24 hours without dizziness has passed.
2. Gingko biloba
Gingko biloba is one of the most widely researched herbs throughout the world. It is well known for increasing blood flow to the head and brain, suggests Dr. Emily Kane. It is often used to prevent or reverse tinnitus, macular degeneration, loss of taste or smell or short term memory loss. Make sure you get high-quality gingko that contains 24 percent ginkgo heterosides or gingkolisides. And begin treatment with 250 milligrams daily until vertigo significantly diminishes in severity and frequency. Then reduce dose between 40 to 60 milligrams daily — for maintenance.
3. Ginger tea
Ginger widely used for nausea also shows real benefits for combatting vertigo. Research published in the U.S Library of Medicine studied the vertigo-reducing effect of ginger root. Researchers found that ginger root significantly reduced induced vertigo better than a placebo. Steep ginger root in a cup of boiling water for about five minutes. If desired, add a little raw honey to taste. And drink twice a day to combat vertigo.
4. Coriander seeds, gooseberry powder and raw honey
Coriander seeds contain an array of phytonutrients and are a good source of copper, manganese, iron, magnesium and calcium. Gooseberry has a high vitamin-C content, enhances food absorption and nourishes the brain and mental functioning. Together with a little raw honey they help alleviate vertigo. Soak one tablespoon each of coriander seeds and gooseberry powder in filtered water overnight. Strain into a cup and add the honey. Drinking this mixture when experiencing vertigo is said to provide instant relief.
5. Almonds and milk
Almonds are rich in vitamin E and B, and apparently effective for vertigo. Soak four almonds in filtered water overnight. In the morning, grind the almonds to create a fine paste. Add the paste to a glass of warm milk and drink up.
6. Lemon balm
Lemon balm is said to help to relieve insomnia, depression, nervous tension, migraines and vertigo, and is thought to be one of the fastest home remedies for vertigo attacks. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add one teaspoon of dried lemon balm. Allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Strain liquid into a cup and drink a few times each day to relieve vertigo attacks.
7. Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables
Yes, relieving your vertigo may be as simple as eating vitamin C—rich foods. A study conducted by the Hiroshima University School of Medicine in Japan found that patients suffering from Meniere’s disease (a condition that is associated with vertigo) who consumed daily vitamin C showed positive improvement with vertigo. To incorporate more vitamin C-rich foods into your diet, consume fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, cantaloupe, green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables.
8. Change your diet
Eating poorly and consuming foods that trigger migraines? Then vertigo could be the result of your diet. So, it’s time to consider making some serious changes. Follow a consistent low-sodium diet for Meniere’s disease and avoid migraine trigger foods such as red wine, cheese and chocolate, suggests Life Extension.
9. Vitamin D
Studies have shown that vitamin D may improve positional vertigo. Researchers found that people with vertigo were often severely deficient in vitamin D compared to those without vertigo.
10. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is valuable for heart health and helps to maintain normal LDL cholesterol. It also helps circulatory health and supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle. Seventy-three percent of patients with congestive heart failure who were treated with CoQ10 reported improvement in their vertigo, according to Life Extension. It is also said to play a role in reducing the number and severity of migraine headaches.
11. Garlic and sesame oil
When combined, sesame oil and garlic relieve vertigo attacks. Add two crushed garlic cloves to a pan and add two teaspoons of sesame oil. Cook the garlic until brown in color and strain the oil into a cup. Once the oil has cooled, drip two or three drops of oil into one ear. Allow it to sit for one minute before draining. Repeat on the other ear.
12. Get enough sleep
Too little sleep could be causing your vertigo. So the solution could be as simple as getting eight to nine hours of Zzz’s each night. Be consistent with your bedtime hours and avoid napping during the day to develop better sleeping habits.
13. Change your pillow
Many people do not associate a flattened pillow with vertigo. But an uncomfortable pillow could be pinching a nerve and causing you to lose precious sleep. The result? Feeling dizzy when you wake. Experts suggest changing your pillow every six months to help improve neck posture during sleep.
14. Limit salt intake
Consuming foods and beverages high in salt can increase fluid retention that may trigger vertigo, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Your best bet is to consume no more than 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of sodium each day and spread your salt intake evenly throughout the day.
15. Manage stress
Managing your stress might lessen the severity of vertigo and help you cope better. Psychotherapy can help you identify stressors and help you develop coping strategies. You may even want to consider acupuncture, meditation or yoga, which are all said to help with vertigo.
16. Get enough water
Even mild dehydration can cause dizziness, suggests the American Heart Association. Dehydration may also cause blood pressure to drop, which can lead to feeling dizzy. In fact, mild dehydration that follows the loss of just one to two percent of your body weight can lead to dizziness. The body needs eight to 12 cups of liquids a day. While all liquids fall in this category, water is always best since it is naturally calorie-free, does not contain caffeine and isn’t a diuretic.
17. Apple cider vinegar and honey
Raw honey and unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar are best. Both are known for their curative properties that ease blood flow to the brain. Add two parts honey to one part apple cider. Consume one tablespoon of this mixture two to three times a day for the treatment and prevention of vertigo.
18. Simple head rotations
While sitting upright on a chair, lower your head forward to touch your chin to your chest and then start rotating your head clockwise — slowly yet firmly — three times. This may release spasms in your neck muscles and thus reduce vertigo. Repeat in the opposite direction.
19. Head massage
A head massage using soothing essential oil such as lavender can help calm vertigo. A good head massage will help improve blood circulation, reduce stress and simply relax you.
20. Breathing exercises
Since stress may worsen symptoms of vertigo, practice breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques including biofeedback, guided imagery and hypnosis. Breathing techniques such as bellows breath or relaxing breath may help alleviate vertigo.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) encompasses how the human body interacts with all aspects of life and the environment. Acupressure, which is part of TCM, may help alleviate the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness naturally by stimulating a specific set of pressure points located on various parts of the body. An effective acupressure point that works as a cure for vertigo is located three fingers below the wrist, on the inner forearm, between the two tendons according to Modern Reflexology.
Before attempting to remedy your vertigo, make sure to consult with your doctor first to rule out any serious illnesses.
— Katherine Marko