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 recognises 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.



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 ageing 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 tumour – 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 analyse 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 pacification 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 ageing therapies. Especially in elderly patients, Herbs with anti ageing 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 tinnitus – Treatment for depression, hyperthyroidism, high BP.

Single herbs

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)

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations useful in Tinnitus:
Indu Vati
Sarivadi Vati – used in Tinnitus, hearing loss, ear infection etc.
Amalaki Rasayana – useful for anti ageing 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 vata in the ear, nose, throat region.

Wholesome diet and habits

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.

Unwholesome diet and habits

Unwholesome 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 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

30 comments on “Tinnitus Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Lifestyle Tips

  • ramesh

    01/08/2015 - 11:21 am

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

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      01/08/2015 - 3:11 pm

      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.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    24/08/2015 - 10:06 pm

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

    Reply to comment
  • falguni

    28/09/2015 - 9:41 pm

    What is oil pulling mean

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      29/09/2015 - 2:33 pm

      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/

      Reply to comment
  • Kim

    26/12/2015 - 8:10 am

    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 ?.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      28/12/2015 - 8:12 pm

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

      Reply to comment
  • randhir

    02/01/2016 - 1:28 am

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

    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      20/01/2016 - 1:03 pm

      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.

      Reply to comment
    • aryambal

      20/01/2016 - 8:24 pm

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

      Reply to comment
      • Tina

        27/01/2016 - 6:43 pm

        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 .

        Reply to comment
        • aaryambal

          03/02/2016 - 7:03 pm

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

          Reply to comment
          • Tina

            06/02/2016 - 8:32 pm

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

            Reply to comment
      • R Geetha

        15/03/2016 - 5:39 pm

        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.

        Reply to comment
        • Thiru

          09/01/2017 - 5:50 pm

          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

          Reply to comment
  • Snehal Ingle

    24/02/2016 - 6:30 pm

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

    Reply to comment
  • akash

    10/09/2016 - 2:39 pm

    What is oil pulling plz explain..as myslf hvg same priblem…

    Reply to comment
  • klara

    05/02/2017 - 2:52 pm

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

    Reply to comment
  • anujrampal

    03/10/2017 - 11:52 pm

    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

    Reply to comment
  • Arianna Coe

    18/11/2017 - 6:41 pm

    Hello, My father was recently diagnosed with Patulous eustacian tubes, can you tell me what dosha imbalance causes this? Is it Vata? Thank you very much.

    Reply to comment
  • Harjot Singh

    21/01/2019 - 1:46 pm

    Sir, can I use vacha tel for nasya in tinnitus?

    Reply to comment
  • Ivan Vicen

    23/03/2021 - 11:02 am

    … wheat and ghee may be due to tinnitus. not dry chapata … thank you

    Reply to comment
  • Sonja Stauder

    06/05/2022 - 3:54 am

    Namaste Dr. Hebbar,

    Firstly, l would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for the invaluable service that you have been providing people all around the world through your service of Ayurveda. I am a practitioner of Ayurveda in Australia and refer to your work regularly and find it extremely helpful. Your website is set out so clearly, is very easy to navigate around and is really informative. I look forward to your regular emails which reflect not only a wealth of knowledge and years of experience but a genuine caring and deep commitment, not only to Ayurveda but also to the people you are educating. I really enjoy how you refer to the original texts and the explanations you give. Thank you so much for everything that you are doing to help spread Ayurveda around the world.

    I have a question for you regarding oil pulling. I have been told that as oil is used to remove substances, people with fillings need to take care as oil pulling could loosen fillings. I would greatly appreciate your feedback on this please. Thank you once again. Namaste. Sonja Stauder

    Reply to comment

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