Tinnitus Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Lifestyle Tips

Tinnitus is feeling or hearing ringing, swishing, clicking, buzzing whistling, etc types of noise in the ear or head. Most of us suffer from tinnitus for a short period of time. But in some, it persists for longer. It is felt rather as a nuisance by the patient, than suffering.

In Ayurveda it is termed as Karnanada. Karna means ear, Nada means sound.
Ayurveda recognizes another condition of ear disease where the patient feels single kind of unnatural sound. This is referred as Karnakshweda. Both these terms are correlated with tinnitus.

Origin Of Tinnitus:
When the vitiated Vata dosha enters in different pathways or the ear, the individual feels different sounds or various frequencies. Thus the condition Tinnitus is resulted.

TinnitusTinnitus causes:
Excess cold water head bath – For a long period of time, especially in old age, causes Vata imbalance
Vata increasing food and habits – such as excess travelling, being awake at night, having excess bitter, spicy and astringent foods etc.
Stress and strain
Loss of sleep
Debility and exhaustion
Constant headache or the diseases of the scalp etc.
Improper errhine (Nasya) therapy
Tinnitus can be caused by hearing loss in elders. This can happen because of damage to cochlea. Because of aging and tissue degeneration, cochlea fails to send proper audio signals to brain, leading to buzzing sound.
External trauma
Loud noise exposure for prolonged period of time
Continuous usage of headphones
Drugs such as aspirin, Antibiotics, names ending with  mycin, and quinine
Meniere’s disease having other symptoms such as dizziness, fullness of ears / hearing loss. It is a disorder of the inner ear, causing instant vertigo.
Brain tumor – acoustic neuroma
Pulsating type of tinnitus is usually due to abnormal blood flow in the blood pipes of the ear. It is seen during pregnancy, hyperthyroidism and high BP.
Clicking type of tinnitus can be caused due to jaw joint misalignment.
In many cases, depression and anxiety patients suffer from tinnitus.
Very thick ear wax deposition, damaging the ear, can cause tinnitus.
Diseases where tinnitus occurs as a symptom: Pandu – Liver disorders (reference: Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa sthana 16)

Hearing buzzing, hissing, swishing types of sound.
Sometimes associated with hearing loss and dizziness.

Based on symptoms, there are two types of tinnitus –
1. Subjective tinnitus – Only you can hear it.
2. Objective – both you and the doctor, while examining can hear it. Usually caused due to blood pipe  / ear bone problems.

Ayurveda Acharya Videha, an expert of ENT disorders explained that, in Karnakshweda person listens the sound similar to the noise of flute.
If we analyze these two ear conditions, it appears that the Karnanada is the condition of conductive deafness. Here there will be obstruction in the pathway of the conduction of sound.
Karnakshweda is originated due to the debility or fatigue. Otherwise, it is a direct result of diminished strength of the auditory nerves. So, it can be co-related to nervous deafness.

Confusion between tinnitus and auditory hallucination:
Hallucination is hearing particular sound – as if someone is talking, some animal is making noise, bees are surrounding the person and making sound etc. It is often seen in psychiatric disorders
Tinnitus is hearing hissing, buzzing type of noise. It is seen in neurological disorders along with stress, depression etc.

Treatment for Tinnitus as per Ayurveda: 
Becaue Vata is the controlling Dosha of the ears, and because tinnitus is caused due to Vata imbalance, all measures for Vata pacificiation is indicated.
1. Ghrita Pana – Administration of cow ghee, in a dose of 1 – 2 teaspoon per day, pacifies Vata and improves the strength of the nerves.
2. Rasayana – Anti aging therapies. Especially in elderly patients, Herbs with anti aging properties and high nutrition value are administered – Amalaki (Gooseberry), Paribhadra (Erythrina varigata), Bala (Sida cordifolia) are helpful in this regard.
3. Snehana – Applying oil, around the ear and to the scalp pacifies Vata dosha and strengthens the nerves and muscles. Hence the improvement is observed. Bilva taila, Kshara taila, Ksheerabala taila etc are administered.
4. Shamana oushadha – Medicines which pacify Vata are helpful to relieve the complaint of Tinnitus.
5. Treating the underlying disease causing tinnitis – Treatment for depression, hyperthyroidism, high BP.

Single herbs useful in Tinnitus:
1. Paribhadra – Erythrina indica
2. Bala – Sida cordifolia
3. Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
4. Amalaki (Amla) – Emblica officinalis
6. Gokshura – Tribulus terrestris
7. Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra (Indian liquorice)

Formulations useful in Tinnitus:
Indu Vati
Sarivadi Vati – used in Tinnitus, hearing loss, ear infection etc.
Amalaki Rasayana – useful for anti aging treatment
Saptamrita Loha – used in the treatment of eye, ear disorders, gastritis, abdominal colic, etc.
Bilva Taila – used in the treatment of ear pain, hearing loss / difficulties and tinnitus.
Ashwagandharishta – strengthens nerves, useful in depression, stress
Balarishta – a very good nervine tonic 
Shatapaka bala Taila
Mashabaladi Kashaya – used in the treatment of paralysis, facial palsy, neck rigidity, tinnitus etc.
Shadbindu Tail and Anu tail – used for Nasya to pacify Pata in ear, nose, throat region.

Wholesome diets and habits in Tinnitus:
1. Vishrama – Rest
2. Snehana – Oleation (Application of oil to the scalp)
3. Ghrita pana – Intake of ghee along with food
4. Ksheera paka – Medicated milk
5. Kavala and Gandoosha – (Oil pulling and retention of oil in the oral cavity) etc.

Unholesome diet and habits in Tinnitus:
1. Vyayama – Heavy exercise
2. Sheeta jala snana – Cold water head bath
3. Bhashana – Prolonged speech
4. Vatala Ahara – Vatic food and habits
5. Ratri jagarana – Night awakening
6. Kashaya- Tiktatisevana – Food and beverages possessing bitter and astringent taste etc.

Lifestyle tips for tinnitus:
Avoid hearing to loud music, loud noises, and headphones. For example, while travelling in a vehicle, keep the windows closed.
When you are surrounded by loud noise, as in a sport event, club etc, wear hearing protection or some cloth band covering ears, to protect your ears from the noises.
Stress worsens tinnitus. Hence, follow relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, drinking a cup of water, talking to your friend etc, while under stress.
Caffeine may worsen it. Avoid it.
Avoid aspirin or aspirin products in large quantities.
Stress management in patients often results in decrease or cure of tinnitus.
For those who experience tinnitus while asleep, sound of fan or radio may act as counter noise, helping to relieve the buzzing sound.
Smokers and alcoholics have high risk of tinnitus, so quit them.
Sleeping problems worsen it. Hence sleep better with these tips

Pranayama for tinnitus:
Pranayama techniques that require you to hold your breath for long time or those involving heavy breathing, may worsen tinnitus. Hence, follow those techniques, such as Anulom – Vilom Pranayam.
If you are suffering from side effects of Pranayama, but are suffering from vomiting sensation etc, then avoid it and consult a Yoga therapist for advice.

Living with tinnitus:
If you have tried all treatment methods, still you are hearing that sound, then just live with, ignoring it, without being too anxious to get rid of it.

Tinnitus is a discomforting symptom, seen in more men than in women. Even though it is neglected as a simple complaint, prolonged discomfort causes depression in few individuals. So, immediate attention and treatment will help to manage the condition better.
Article by Dr Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar

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  1. I was suffering from tinnitus for 3 yrs. Tried many treatments in vain. At last “oil pulling” twice a day cured me in a week. As oil pulling is also good for general well being, I am doing this until today but only once in the morning. My tinnitus problem has been solved permanently.

  2. I know writer wont respond but if possible please write in simple hindi.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      This is the writer, responding, much to your surprise.
      To read my articles in Hindi, click on the select language button on the right column, top. Select Hindi. This page will get translated to Hindi.

  3. Wanted to know, what oil / herbs to be used who is suffering from tinnitus for oil pulling?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Pranams. Ksheerabala taila, Mahamasha taila and Shadbindu taila are good for oil pulling in tinnitus.

  4. falguni says:

    What is oil pulling mean

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Simply put, it is holding any liquid in mouth, preferably oil, and doing rinsing for certain period. Read about oil pulling here – easyayurveda.com/2013/08/16/how-to-do-oil-pulling-in-genuine-ayurvedic-way-9-tips/

  5. How long Sarivadi to take to see the effect if I take 2 tab twice a day . I bought Divya Sarivadi they very tiny tablets not sure if they are effective
    Sarivadi is tridohas ?.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Sarivadi tablet cannot be used for self medication to treat Tinnitus. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.

      • Pramod gupta says:

        Sir i am pramod gupta i am from chattisgarh i am in police department dy sp here when i waa posted in bastar in a bomb blast tinnitus was initiated in my left year i have bee. Facing this prob since 4 years kindly suggest any effective treatment

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          Respected sir,I have sent an email with treatment details. Please search your inbox and spam box. Jai Hind.

  6. randhir says:

    I m 28. My stomach always bloated and have tinnitus also.. Please suggest.

    • Dr Malini Bhat says:

      These are some home remedies you can inculcate to reduce bloating:
      • Chew on half a teaspoon of cumin seeds until they become a paste in the mouth, then swallow with a glass of warm water.
      • Infuse a teaspoon of equal parts ground cardamom and fennel seeds in a glass of boiled water and drink
      • Try slowly chewing on a thin slice of fresh ginger with a pinch of rock salt five to ten minutes before meals to help encourage digestion and avoid bloating.
      • Boiled Ash gourd with jaggery relieves bloating
      For Tinnitus:
      • Take warm food, moderately heavy in texture, add butter and fat. sweet and sour tastes are diserable
      • Reduce dry foods and bitter tastes. Use warm or hot water and drinks. Raw nuts and nut butters.
      • Useful Spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, cloves in moderation.
      • Consumption of caffeine, nicotine, or cocaine can disturb the prana vayu leading to tinnitus hence avoid it.
      • Drinking a cup of fenugreek seed tea each morning, noon, and night is reported to abolish disturbing ear noises.
      • Do not stop natural urges when body wants to eliminate the wastes.
      • Use oil massage using Sesame oil or Mahanarayan Tailam for about 20 minutes to whole body and take hot water bath thereafter. The massage and bath just before bedtime will aid the sleep also.

    • Try OIL PULLING with sesame oil. You’ll feel better from the first day.

      • Aryambal , how long did you do the is pulling before you notice the differance . What the best time to do it I take medicine first thing am . Any help is appreciated .

        • aaryambal says:

          You will notice the difference from the first session. You may continue as long as you desire as it is a general health routine.

          • I did two years ago for 3 months once a day with sesame oil but no relief . I will will start again

            • hi Tina, Did you try oil pulling twice a day and did you get relief. I am also suffering from Tinnitus.

      • R Geetha says:

        Aryambal, It is good to hear from one who has gone through this. Hope it will not be too much of a trouble to give some minor details about oil pulling. i have been doing for the past week but have seen little success. So just want to fine tune the way to do it. This will be helpful to all those like me
        1. What time of day did you do it – you said twice a day
        2. How much oil did you pull – one or two tablespoonfull or a reasonable mouthful?
        3. How long did you pull – 10 – 15 mins or more
        4. Did you walk around doing other work or did you maintain any particular posture / location
        5. Did you also gargle while pulling?
        6. Did you wash your mouth after pulling – with salt water or something – or left the mouth just like that?
        Thank you for your advice. It gives some hope.

        • Geetha, Did you try oil pulling differently and did you see any improvement ? I also suffer from Tinnitus. Wanted to know the process of oil pulling

  7. Absolutely helpful except that yoga can help in this disease, I think there are 35% people suffering from Tinnitus & vata problems. But there are certain people have Tinnitus suffering since their childhood due to reason unknown. What about them…….

  8. shekhar goyal says:

    Dear doctor sahib namaskaar
    im a 37year bussiness man, mein picchle 4 saal se tinnitus se pidat hoon, kaffi treatment liya hai even medanta ke super specialist doctor se bhi treatment karwa liya, but jayada response nhi hai ji, 1-2 month ke baad problem vapis aa jati hai,aur mein vertin 16mg aur stemtil vagera leta hoon.
    abhi mein ayurvedic treatment try karna chata hoon,jese aapne batya hai cow ghee khana aur amalki rasayan,saptamrit laoh ,aur bilvaadi oil ki aplly karna, aur oil pooling karna please sir in sabh ke vaar mein guide karne ki kese konse oil se oil pooling karni hai aur other medicines ki dosages kese leve please guide karen

    • Dr Malini Bhat says:

      Sir, Aap ayurvedic physician se advise le is bare me. Ek baar aapko vo procedure samjh me aaye tab aap khud kar sakte ho.

      Note: Please do consult a ayurvedic physician before taking over the counter medication. Because we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments are always individually formulated.

  9. Subodh says:


    I dont understand voice or hear voice in low volume or in background noise.

    I can understand speech in normal voice. No problem in that.

    Tests done By audiologist did not detect any problem.

    Can Ayurveda cure my problem.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor, preferably with Panchakarma setup.

  10. Snehal Ingle says:

    Plz, let us know when oil pulling should not be done, especially in perforated membrane, kindly elaborate. Regards

  11. sushil says:

    I was suffering from tinnitus,throght infection,sinuss prblm for 3 yrs. Tried many treatments in vain.but i m suffering at prasent

    • Dr Malini Bhat says:

      Hello Sir, Do undergo Panchakarma treatments such as Nasya, Shiro abhyanga and Karnapoorana which are very helpful to reduce the symptoms and gradually will be cured.

  12. My aunt is suffering from tinnitus for last 2 yrs. .later on diagnosed with otosclerosis.. Surgery was done but still tinnitus persists. ..is ayurvedic treatment can be helpful for such9 cases? Kindly help us in this regard..thank u

  13. Great article. I’m going to try oil pulling and think it will give me relief. Thanks.

  14. Anurag Singh says:

    I am suffering from Tinnitus for the last two months probably due to jaw misalignment or high frequency hearing loss probably caused because of long term sinusitis. Have tried various allopathic procedures and now getting some jaw alignment attempted. What would you suggest?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) – https://easyayurveda.com/consult/

  15. Hi all, regarding tinnitus please try yoga ,, specifically anulom vilom — this is blessing from God you will see the difference very soon. I have done it and cured my buzzing sound .
    Please check right way to do anulom vilom though.

    Wishing you all a speedy recovery..

    God bless

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