Traditional Chinese Medicine for Tinnitus
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, tinnitus is considered as a circulation problem around the ear, neck or shoulder region. The ears are the openings of the kidney on the body surface, and they are also important pivot locations for the meridians to communicate with each other. TCM practitioners believe that tinnitus is not an auditory disease, but it is often related to certain channels and particular internal organ.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus
TCM practitioners often offer acupuncture combined with herbal formula for tinnitus. Acupuncture points under the ear lobe are selected for tinnitus along with other acupuncture points on your body. Tinnitus is difficult to eliminate and there are many possible patterns of tinnitus in TCM terms. It is important to note that ear acupuncture must be administered by qualified and experienced acupuncturist. Acupuncture can be effective for the following two common patterns of tinnitus. In some cases, the tinnitus completely disappeared after eliminating the root cause of the illness.
Tinnitus due to kidney disorder
The kidneys are considered to be one of the vital organs causing tinnitus. In traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys and ears have a close internal relationship. The kidneys are responsible for promoting qi and blood to the ears, and maintaining normal physiological functioning. When your kidneys are disordered such as kidney yin deficiency, the ears are unable to receive adequate blood and qi from the kidneys, resulting in tinnitus.
Tinnitus due to liver and gallbladder disorder
The meridians of the liver and gallbladder run around the ears, when the liver and gallbladder have a blockage and heat, it will move along the meridians reaching the ears, blocking the ear circulation, causing tinnitus.
Many studies have shown acupuncture to improve tinnitus. On the other hands, many claim that it is no better than a placebo. Acupuncture can be a better option than anti-anxiety medication, hearing aid and sound-masking device. You can also try stimulating acupressure points for tinnitus on your own.
Chinese Herbs for Tinnitus
After the pattern of tinnitus is identified, TCM practitioners will use an herbal formula based on your condition and constitution. If tinnitus is due to kidney disorder caused by kidney yin deficiency, Er Long Zuo Ci Wan, an herbal formula can be used. It contains herbs include Shu Di Huang, Shan Zhu Yu, Shan Yao, Shi Chang Pu, Niu Xi, Tu Si Zi, Fu Pen Zi and more. Among herbal formulas for tinnitus, many of them contain Bai Guo and Shu Di Huang, which can be used for inner ear diseases in Chinese medicine.
1) Bai Guo (Ginkgo Biloba) can help stabilize hearing loss and tinnitus ringing by increasing capillary blood circulation. There are many studies on the therapeutic effect of Ginkgo Biloba on tinnitus. Most findings are in contrast with each other so that some of studies reported that Ginkgo Biloba is effective for tinnitus and other studies referred to it as ineffective herbal medicine. According to the previous studies and the present study, it can mention that the Ginkgo Biloba may somewhat improve tinnitus (1).
Where to buy (amazon link): Ginkgo Biloba
How to use: Ginkgo Biloba is available in many different forms including liquid extract, powder and capsules.
2) Shu Di Huang (Rehmannia) is a Chinese herb which is commonly used for inner ear diseases, such as tinnitus and hearing loss A study suggests that the ethanol extract of steamed roots of Rehmannia may help to protect auditory cells (2).
Where to buy (amazon link): Rehmannia Extract
How to use: Rehmannia can be used in the forms of liquid extract, powder and capsules.