Vertigo is the sensation where everything around you is seemingly spinning, and it feels like you’re on a roller coaster.
You also feel unsteady or off balance, although there is no movement at all. It is a symptom sometimes used to refer to a fear of heights; however, this is not a correct medical term. A fear of heights is called acrophobia.
It is a sense of dizziness and a symptom of a wide range of balance conditions, including Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Research shows that approximately 40% of people over the age of 40 experience this condition at least once in life. Overall, vertigo and dizziness affect around five to 10% of the population.
Vertigo develops when delicate parts of the ears fail to send information accurately to the brain about your position. This condition occurs for various reasons, including blows to the head, injuries, ear infections, and inflammation. With that said, there are various natural treatments for vertigo, including homeopathic remedies.
Signs and Symptoms of Vertigo
As mentioned, a person with vertigo feels that they or their environment is spinning or moving, and yet, there is no movement. It also feels like you’re tilting or going to fall, including swaying and being off-balance when walking or moving. Other symptoms include:
- Occasionally feeling like you may faint, or fainting
- Increased perspiration
- Nausea, occasional vomiting, and a sense of motion sickness
- Losing your hearing or having ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Blurred vision, or abnormal eye movements like jerking, or the eye is moving toward the affected ear
Symptoms will come and go, and last anywhere from several minutes to many days. Some people experience worse symptoms than others, and it depends on things like fluid accumulation in the ear, as well as how much damage has affected the ear.
Sometimes, vertigo will disappear on its own because the senses and body can adapt to changes in the ear. At the same time, it may return without any warning, and then reappear from time to time.
Causes and Risk Factors of Vertigo
Vertigo is often brought on by changing the position of the head, while there are also underlying causes that contribute to the problem. You may experience lightheadedness while standing up, exercising, getting out of bed, or even learning about traumatic news. All such times can lead to vertigo symptoms due to how they affect blood pressure, inflammation, and the sensory organs.
Vertigo can cause a drop in blood pressure, dehydration, and stress leading to sleep problems. Each can cause ear changes, and make you feel dizzy, shaky, or feel off-balance.
Depending on the cause of the ear damage, vertigo can be classified into several categories. Previously, it was thought that it was the result of similar injuries. But today, it is considered the result of multiple ear problems, such as inflammation or chronic ear infections.
The three main types of vertigo include labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease, and BPPV.
Labyrinthitis, also called vestibular neuritis, is caused by viruses or ear infections that attack the inner ear. Chronic ear infections lead to inflammation, and this damages the nerves necessary for balance and orientation.
2. Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is a rare and severe inner-ear disorder triggered after fluid accumulation in the inner ear. As a result, it causes pressure levels to change in the ear.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are common with Meniere’s disease. It affects just 0.2% of those aged 40 to 60 years old.
3. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is a peripheral vertigo linked to inner ear problems that lead to dizziness. The underlying cause of BPPV is calcium crystals dislodging within the ear called otoconia, and lies on the part of the ear known as the labyrinth.
BPPV can stimulate nerve hairs in the ears, which sends false signals to the brain. It can be brought on by simple movements like exercising, looking up or down, rolling over onto one side while sleeping, or tilting the head to one side.
Other possible causes of vertigo include high cholesterol, cold feet, ear pain, dehydration, double vision, diabetes, anemia, facial paralysis, a stroke or brain tumor, head or neck injury, migraines or severe headaches, ear damage from medications, and calcium deficiency.
How Homeopathy Treats Vertigo
The treatment of vertigo will depend on the cause and severity of the problem. Conventional treatment will include inner ear suppressor drugs like promethazine, tranquilizers like diazepam, and antihistamines like cinnarizine. However, these drugs can produce possible side effects, including drowsiness, nausea, memory problems, and still more dizziness or a spinning sensation.
Homeopathy can prevent the need to resort to drugs, and there are a variety of homeopathic remedies that can treat vertigo, regardless of the cause. A remedy correctly chosen from your homeopath will often safely and effectively treat symptoms. Research studies also support homeopathy for the condition.
For instance, a popular homeopathic formula for vertigo called Vertigoheel features the homeopathic remedy cocculus compositum, or cocculus. It is often recommended for vertigo in the forehead and has an association with tremors, faintness, numbness, nausea, weakness, and palpitations.
A double-blind, randomized and controlled study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2005, found that Vertigoheel improved the atherosclerosis-related vertigo symptoms in 87 patients. In total, the study observed 170 patients between 60 and 80 years of age for six weeks. The researchers concluded that Vertigoheel is an effective vertigo alternative to another natural treatment, ginkgo biloba. The researchers gave the other 83 patients in the study ginkgo biloba.
Also, a four-trial meta-analysis also published in 2005 supports the tolerability and efficacy of Vertigoheel for vertigo patients. In total, the meta-analyses contained 1,388 patients. Two of the trials were randomized, double-blind controlled studies, and the other two were observational.
The dosage and duration were also similar in all the trials. Researchers also compared Vertigoheel with the anti-vertigo drug called betahistine, as well as other treatments such as ginkgo biloba and dimenhydrinate.
Besides cocculus (Indian cockle), there are several individualized homeopathic remedies prescribed for vertigo symptoms. The following are some of the homeopathic remedies a homeopath may recommend.
1. Aconitum Napellus (Monkshood)
Aconitum napellus is the best remedy when vertigo results from shock, head injury, fear, bleeding, or a fever. The sufferer may fall to the right, and experience faintness and vision loss.
Symptoms may improve by breathing deeply or closing the eyes, but may worsen from urination, moving the eyes or head, and around midnight to 3:00 a.m.
2. Bryonia (White Bryony)
Bryonia is the best remedy when it feels like the sufferer sinking into the bed. When they rise, they feel faint and dizzy. They need to lie down, and they also feel bursting headaches, confusion, nausea in the chest, and the need to fall backward or forward.
Walking and sitting will better the symptoms, but may worsen from a warm room, raising their head, or any motion whatsoever.
3. Calcarea Carbonica (Oyster Shell)
Calcarea carbonica is often required while the sufferer is walking, and it is accompanied by a dull head, heaviness, nausea, and vomiting. They also experience vertigo from looking up and sudden head turning.
The person will also feel chilly and experience sour-smelling sweat around the feet, hands, and head. They are also considered the cautious type that doubts decisions. The symptoms will worsen from eyestrain, physical exertion, coldness, dampness, and the sun.
4. Conium (Hemlock)
Conium should be considered when symptoms include weakness, unsteadiness, and paralysis. The sufferer will experience vertigo when turning the eyes, shaking the head, turning over or lying down, or the slightest noise. The person also has the tendency to fall to the left-hand side.
The remedy is also recommended when vertigo is related with older adults, smoking, uterine disease, and sexual abstinence. Closing the eyes may improve symptoms, and symptoms may also worsen from alcohol, motion, or at night.
5. Nux Vomica (Quakers Buttons)
The sufferer’s symptoms likely have an association with dim vision, fainting, falling, or the inability to think. The person feels that the room is spinning or turning, and they may experience vertigo symptoms after rising, eating or upon waking.
Symptoms will likely worsen from coffee, tobacco, alcohol, anger, bright lights, overeating, stress, mental exertion, or looking up or down.
6. Petroleum (Rock Oil)
Petroleum is recommended when the sufferer feels like they are seasick or intoxicated. They feel vertigo in the back of the head, and nausea, numbness, and stiffness are also present.
Lying down with the head held high may improve symptoms, but they could worsen from getting up, eating, closing the eyes, walking, sitting, yawning, or drinking wine.
The sufferer that requires phosphorus experiences vertigo from rising from a seat. They also may experience faintness, staggering, falling forward, and they may feel as if the room is elevated or floating.
The symptoms often feel better from open air, bowel movements, and lying down. Symptoms may worsen from sitting, looking down or up, turning, a violent motion, a warm room, eating, drugs, loss of fluids, or during the evening. Stooping or lying with the head high may also improve symptoms.
8. Ferrum Metallicum (Hematite)
Ferrum metallicum is used for anemic vertigo that worsens when suddenly getting up from a lying or sitting position. It also occurs when going downhill or crossing a body of water.
9. Lachesis (Bushmaster Snake)
Lachesis is required when the person is stupefied and experiences a loss of consciousness, convulsions, tremors of the extremities, a blue face, and paralysis, especially of the left side. Symptoms may be due to frequent absent-mindedness, blowing expiration, a rush of blood to the head, mental emotions, or the use of liquors.
10. Rhus Toxicodendron (Poison Ivy)
Rhus toxicondendron is useful for vertigo in the elderly, especially when it is triggered as soon as the patient rises from a sitting position. The remedy is needed with vertigo associated with heavy limbs, likely caused by senile changes in the brain.
Other Natural Remedies for Vertigo
There are several other homeopathic remedies used for vertigo. For instance, homeopathic iodine is used for older people with chronic congestive vertigo. Borax is another remedy used in people that experience vertigo from tilting the head downward.
Other homeopathic remedies used for vertigo include argentum metallicum, apis mellifica, belladonna, baptisia, calcarea sulphuricum, lycopodium, gelsemium, dulcamara, digitalis, cheledonium, cannabis indica, thuja, sabina, tabaccum, graphites, pulsatilla, sulfur, natrum carbonica, natrum muriaticum, secale cornutum, and kalium iodatum.
What are other natural vertigo remedies? Besides homeopathy, other natural vertigo remedies include ginger root, vinpocetine, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), cayenne, and turmeric. Physical therapy and an anti-inflammatory diet can also go a long way in relieving long-term vertigo symptoms.
Hershoff, A., N.D., Homeopathic Remedies: A Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders and Their Homeopathic Treatments (New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1999), 284-285.
Balch, J., et al., Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Holistic Methods (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004), 655-658.
Lockie, A., Encyclopedia of Homeopathy: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to Homeopathic Remedies and Treatments for Common Ailments (New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 2000), 266-267.
Schneider, B., et al., “Treatment of vertigo with a homeopathic complex remedy compared with usual treatments: a meta-analysis of clinical trials,” Arzneimittel-Forschung, 2005; 55(1): 23-29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15727161.
Issing, W., et al., “The homeopathic preparation Vertigoheel versus Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of vertigo in an elderly population: a double-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, February 2005; 11(1): 155-160. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15750375.
“Vertigo? Why Homeopathy? It is safer and more effective,” Homeopathy Safe Medicine, March 3, 2014; http://safe-medicine.blogspot.ca/2014/03/vertigo-why-homeopathy-it-is-safer-and.html.