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Vertigo Treatment in Ayurveda: Natural Remedies for Inner Balance and Harmony

The word “Vertigo” is derived from the Latin word ‘verto’, which means “a whirling or spinning movement”. It can be defined as a sensation of motion in which the individual or the individual’s surroundings seem to whirl dizzily. It is the most common type of dizziness.

Vertigo affects men and women but is two to three times more common in women than men. It is associated with certain comorbid conditions like depression, cardiovascular disease, etc. The prevalence rate increases with age and is dependent on the underlying cause. Vertigo can be hereditary in some cases and is known as familial benign recurrent vertigo. Hereditary vertigo is strongly associated with migraine attacks. 

Treatment of vertigo is based upon the underlying cause while in most cases it goes away without treatment. Medications are prescribed when vertigo is of sudden onset and short duration associated with nausea and motion sickness; meclizine or anti-histamines are the choice of drugs to ease vertigo symptoms.

Canalith repositioning maneuvers (Epley maneuvers) are specific head and body movements done to reposition the calcium deposits from the ear canal into the inner ear chamber. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy exercises include the methods such as habituation (improves dizziness), gaze stabilization (controlling eye movements so that vision can be clear during head movement), and balance training (improves steadiness). In cases of brain trauma or head injury, or brain tumor, surgery may be necessary.1,2,3,4,5,6

Vertigo Causes4,5

  • Diabetes
  • Head injuries
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Shingles in ear
  • Ear surgeries
  • Hypotension
  • Cardiovascular stroke
  • Arrhythmia
  • Perilymphatic fistula
  • Hyperventilation
  • Otosclerosis
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Syphilis
  • Ataxia
  • Certain factors that cause vertigo in pregnancy are fluctuations in hormonal levels, deranged metabolism of Vitamin D and calcium, etc.
  • Certain medications like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and cardiovascular drugs.

Vertigo symptoms4,5,6

  • The most common symptom in vertigo is dizziness which worsens with head movements.
  • Patients with vertigo describe the feeling as a spinning sensation; with the room or the objects around them appearing to move, tilting, and swaying.
  • Associated symptoms include.
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Headache
    • Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears)
    • Hearing loss
    • Increased sweating
    • Nystagmus (rapid and uncontrolled eye movements sidewards)
    • Motion sickness
    • Loss of balance

Vertigo Types

There are two main types of vertigo:

  1. Peripheral
  2. Central
  1. Peripheral vertigo5: It is the most common type which occurs when there is pathology of the inner ear or vestibular nerve.

        Peripheral vertigo is further classified into

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Labyrinthitis                                                              
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Meniere’s disease  

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): a most common form of vertigo occurring due to inner ear disorder where there is a sensation of spinning or moving and is triggered by head movements

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular neuritis: are caused due to viral infections and are intense in nature

 Meniere’s disease: sudden episodes of vertigo lasting for several hours occurs due to the collection of fluid in the inner ear   

2. Central vertigo4: This type of vertigo occurs when there is trauma to the brain, tumors in the brain, infections of the brain, stroke, migraine, etc.

Complications of vertigo5 

Vertigo can cause sudden falls, and fractures of bones, and also hampers the quality of life.

Tests advised4,5

Diagnostic tests: these are the tests done during the physical examination to diagnose vertigo and find out the underlying cause

  1. Romberg’s test
  2. Head impulse test
  3. Fukuda-Unterberger test

Imaging tests:

  • CT of brain
  • MRI of brain

Vertigo Treatment in Ayurveda

Bhrama in Ayurveda can be correlated with vertigo. This is caused due to imbalance of vata and pitta dosha. The vitiated vata and pitta dosha along with rajo guna affects the brain and cause disturbance to tarpaka kapha in which an individual loses the stability of the body and experience “chakravat bhramana” which means a feeling of spinning or whirling.  

Nithya snehapana (daily consumption of a measured dose of medicated oil or ghee), Shirodhara (pouring of medicated oil or decoction over the forehead in oscillatory movements), Shiro-abhyanga (head massage with medicated oil), Shirolepa (application of medicated pastes over head), Shiropichu (anointing crown of the head by placing cotton dipped in medicated oil or ghee), Shirovasti (oil pooling of head) Karnapoorana (installation of medicated oil into ears), Dhumrapana (medicated smoking), Nasya (installation of medicines in different forms into nostrils), Nithya Virechana or Virechana (daily consumption of a measured dose of purgative medicines or purgation therapy are some of the Ayurvedic therapies to treat vertigo.7,8

Diet and Lifestyle5,7,8,9

  • Natural diet: vegetables such as bottle gourd, round gourd, ridge gourd, pumpkin, legumes, green leafy vegetables etc.
  • Fruits and juices
  • Vegetable salads, celery juice
  • Poppy seeds, dates, raisins
  • Brown rice, wholegrain bread
  • Plenty of water
  • Herbal tea

Things to avoid:

  • Salt
  • Caffeinated drinks, high cholesterol foods such as fried foods
  • Red meat
  • Alcohol, smoking, tobacco chewing

During the episodes of vertigo when there is dizziness: carbohydrate-rich foods like chocolates, banana, fruits with high water content, a bowl full of yogurt with fruit, a handful of roasted cashews, and almonds are very helpful.

Lifestyle tips to prevent vertigo

  • Regular practice of yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises
  • Eye exercises 

During the episodes of vertigo when there is dizziness: 

  • sit down immediately
  • walk with a cane support or walking stick if there is a risk of falling
  • squat down instead of bending over at the waist when picking up something
  • if you get up at night make sure you are using a good amount of light
  • proper sleep
  • wear footwear with low heels or non-slippery soles

Things to avoid:

  • sudden jerky movements
  • keeping head tilted back for a long time
  • driving
  • operating heavy machines
  • taking stairs
  • long time exposure to computers
  • raising arms overhead

Home remedies for vertigo7,10

Herbal remedies:

  • Kapikachchu beeja  or Kaunch beeja (Mucuna pruriens): One teaspoon of kaunch beeja powder mixed with one glass of warm milk and consumed.
  • Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus prostaratus) : decoction made of two grams of Shankhapushpi.
  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis or Indian gooseberry) : Juice of Amalaki mixed with two teaspoons of honey twice a day
  • Jatiphala (Mysistica fragrans or Nutmeg): One tablespoon of nutmeg powder, one teaspoon each of cumin powder and honey taken along with meals two times a day for six weeks helps relieve the symptoms of vertigo.
  • Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) :  
    • Decoction of Guduchi made along with coriander and neem extracts in the dosage of 2-3 tablespoons and consumed every morning half an hour before food.
    • Three grams of Guduchi satwa with honey.
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) : Powder of Ashwagandha  in a dose of half tea spoon mixed with one cup of milk for a duration of one month.
  • Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) : Powder of Shatavari mixed with one cup of milk.
  • Vacha (Acorus calamus)and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) : powders of both drugs are mixed together and one gram out of it is taken and mixed with milk and consumed.
  • Triphala powder: one teaspoon of Triphala powder is mixed with one-fourth teaspoon of Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina) and taken along with honey or warm water or ghee or sugar for two times a day.
  • One teaspoon each of Ginger juice and honey are mixed and taken after food once or twice a day for a period of one month.
  • A small piece of smashed ginger and three pieces of smashed garlic are boiled together in water and taken internally 
  • Lemon: Half lemon is squeezed in a glass of lukewarm water and then to this two pinches of pepper powder, one pinch of salt is added; mixed well and taken as a drink.
  • Coriander seeds: One teaspoon of coriander seeds is added with one teaspoon of gooseberry powder and soaked in water overnight. The next morning it is strained and consumed by adding half a teaspoon of sugar.
  • Almond seeds and watermelon seeds: About 8-10 seeds each of almond and watermelon, two teaspoons of wheat grains, and one teaspoon of poppy seeds are soaked in water overnight. A thick paste of this mixture is made the next morning and then fried in one teaspoon of ghee along with two cloves. This fried mixture is mixed with milk and taken internally.
  • Raisins: 8-10 crushed raisins soaked in water overnight and the next morning smashed in the same water and consumed on an empty stomach.
  • Strawberry: Ripe strawberries are mixed in yogurt and consumed.

External application:

  • Half a teaspoon of fine powder of cardamom and cinnamon in two tablespoons of warm sesame oil and applied over the head relieves dizziness in vertigo.

When to see a doctor?

Vertigo when associated with palpitations of the heart, high-grade fever, chest pain, vision changes, and weakness in the arm or leg needs an emergency intervention.5

Conclusion

Vertigo can be a distressing condition, affecting your daily life and well-being. Embracing Ayurvedic principles and therapies provides a holistic and natural approach to effectively manage vertigo symptoms. By rebalancing the doshas, nurturing the body, calming the mind, and adopting a harmonious lifestyle, Ayurveda offers a path toward rediscovering inner balance and conquering vertigo’s roller coaster ride. Consult an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner to embark on your journey to wellness and bid farewell to vertigo naturally.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can Ayurveda completely cure vertigo?
    Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to treat vertigo naturally, focusing on alleviating symptoms and addressing the root causes. While Ayurveda can provide significant relief, the effectiveness of treatment may vary from person to person.
  2. Can I use Ayurvedic remedies alongside my conventional medications?
    It is important to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before integrating Ayurvedic remedies with conventional medications to ensure safety and avoid any potential interactions.
  3. How long does it take to see results with Ayurvedic treatment for vertigo?
    The duration of treatment and the time taken to observe results varies depending on the severity of the condition, individual constitution, and adherence to recommended therapies and lifestyle adjustments.
NOTE: 
“This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call or visit your doctor.” For more information about Vertigo Treatment in Ayurveda call +919945850945 Limited consultations per day with prior appointments only.

References and citations

  1. Stanton M, Freeman AM. Vertigo. [Updated 2023 Mar 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482356/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vertigo
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482356
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/vertigo
  6. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21769-vertigo
  7. https://www.webmd.com/brain/vertigo-smptoms-causes-treatment
  8. https://www.easyayurveda.com/2015/12/14/vertigo-causes-tips-to-prevent-ayurvedic-treatment/
  9. https://www.muniyalayurveda.in/blogs/ayurveda/a-guide-about-ayurvedic-approach-for-treating-vertigo-disease
  10. https://www.planetayurveda.com/library/vertigo/
  11. https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/ayurveda-for-vertigo-proven-herbal-remedies-to-treat-dizziness

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