Within the past year, an estimated 25 million Americans experienced at least one episode of tinnitus which lasted 5+ minutes, according to the NIH (1).

So if you’re suffering, you’re certainly not alone. But having it for “only” 5 minutes may sound like a walk in the park versus what you’re going through, if it’s a constant ringing in ears. The resulting dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, and other side effects can interfere with virtually all aspects of your daily life.

What causes tinnitus?

This term refers to the symptom of ringing, not actual the disease or condition which causes it. The list of causes is quite large and it’s why getting checked out by a doctor is important.

ear anatomy illustrationThe exact biological and mechanical processes which are taking place to create the symptom are poorly understood, but in a nutshell, it’s damage to the inner ear.

Your inner ear – the cochlea – looks like a snail shell and contains thousands of tiny hair cells.

These tiny hairs convert the vibrations of sound into electrical signals that are relayed to your brain. Loud sounds can damage and destroy these hair cells. Once they’re gone, they never grow back.

Those hairs which convert vibrations from high frequency sounds are the most easily damaged, which is why people with hearing loss often lose the ability to hear high pitched sounds, first. As the disease progresses, they also lose the ability to hear lower frequencies.

sensory hair cells in ear

sensory hair cells in ear

In addition to causing hearing loss, it is believed that when these hairs are bent or broken, electrical signals can be “leaked” to your brain, which may result in constant ringing in the ears.

It might be high pitched ringing, a buzzing noise, or a whistling sound. There might only be ringing in the left ear, the right ear, or both at the same time. The symptom can manifest itself in many different ways, depending on how and where the hairs are damaged.

Some causes of the damaged hairs – like hearing loss as a part of the aging process – may not be unusual. Though other times, it’s possible that it could be a symptom of a more serious disease not related to these hair cells.

According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), there are over 200 health disorders which may cause ringing (2).

The following 6 categories cover most cases:

1. Hearing loss

Presbycusis, which is age-related hearing loss, is one of the reasons why tinnitus is so much more common among those 55 and older. It may be what causes ringing in both ears, since this type of hearing loss is usually bilateral (occurring in both).

power saw cuttingNoise-induced hearing loss is another major cause. While it can be caused by a one-time event – such as an explosion – often times it’s due to repeated exposure over time to loud noises.

Concerts may be the obvious example, but there are many which are not-so-obvious that we experience regularly.

Ear buds can cause more damage than traditional headphones. Regular activities like mowing the lawn and even some church services now have turned into weekly rock shows where the volume is far too loud – if that’s the case, make sure you let them know!

The bottom line is that according to the NIH, regular exposure to sounds which are 85 decibels or higher may cause permanent hearing loss (3). To put that in perspective:

  • Normal conversations are 60 dB
  • Heavy city traffic is 85 dB
  • Motorcycle is 95 dB
  • iPhone with earbuds at max volume is 105 dB (that or close to it is something many people do when flying, unfortunately)

While hearing loss often affects both ears similarly, it’s not that uncommon for someone to have significantly worse symptoms in the left ear compared to the other side, or vice-versa.

2. Over the counter medicine

Before talking about the remedies available without a prescription, it’s important to point out the OTC drugs which might actually cause or worsen the problem; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Those include:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen, whether Motrin, Advil, or a generic brand
  • Naproxen, such as Aleve or a generic

3. Prescription medicine

Below are some common examples, but the complete list of medications that cause ringing in the ears is around 200, according to the Physicians Desk Reference which is distributed by the American Tinnitus Association.

  • Antibiotics such as erythromycin, tetracycline, gentamicin (Garamycin), vancomycin, andciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Diuretics like torsemide (Demadex) and bumetanide (Bumex), even more so when administered by IV
  • Tricyclics (TCAs) – These are some of the first generation antidepressants and include amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), and clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Antiseizure drugs such as valproic acid (Depakote) and carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Certain cancer treatments like vincristine (Vincasar, Oncovin) and cisplatin (Platinol)
  • Antimalarial like quinine and chloroquine

4. Obstructions and pressure build up

A circumstance which creates abnormal pressure in the ear can cause this symptom.

  • Allergies
  • Cold, flu, and sinus infections
  • Too much ear wax (ceruminosis) which may only be occurring on one side. For example, tinnitus in the left ear could be caused by that having excess wax buildup.
  • Atmospheric pressure changes due to flying, scuba diving, etc.

5. Head, neck, and dental issues

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which includes concussions. 60% of American veterans who have ear ringing are said to have gotten it from TBI.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a disorder where the lower jaw does not fit and move properly with the skull, which can lead to damage of nerves that are shared with the middle ear.

6. Diseases

vestibular schwannoma, acoustic neuroma x-ray

Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) often affects only one ear, depending on the side it’s on. However this is a very unlikely cause, even when tinnitus is in one ear.

Meniere’s disease is a common cause, which is a disease of the ear that creates vertigo, dizziness, and a feeling of fullness, in addition to the ringing issue.

High blood pressure, thyroid problems, atherosclerosis, hormonal imbalances in women, stress/anxiety disorders, Lyme disease, and numerous other diseases have been linked to causing the symptom in both or one ear.

Is ringing in the ears a sign of a brain tumor? That’s not a myth, it could be. In the case of acoustic neuroma, which is a benign (noncancerous) tumor, ringing in one ear can be caused by it growing on the nerve of one side.

But whether benign or not, considering the extreme rarity of brain cancer and tumors, if a disease is to blame there are many others to consider, some of which are fairly common.

First thing you should do…

…is see a doctor for your ear ringing. To be clear, we do not advocate self-treatment. The following information about how to treat the ringing naturally or with home remedies is for informational purposes only and is NOT medical advice. You should always consult your doctor before trying anything, even if it is an over the counter medicine.

As far as prescription medicine for ringing hears, the bad news is that we only see 2 listed on Drugs.com and they are both off-label uses, meaning they’re unapproved for this indication. Of course, doctors have full liberty to prescribe things for off-label use, but it’s disappointing that no effective tinnitus drugs have been developed to date.

The 2 off-label prescription treatments listed are:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax, Niravam) – The potent side effects from this would probably make this a last resort treatment, given how it would interfere with cognitive ability.
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl HCl) – Ironically this is a tricyclic antidepressant, the same type which has been linked to causing the symptom.

Reviews of 10 popular herbal and over the counter remedies

Our focus here is to evaluate the science (or lack thereof) for popular remedies which we see peddled online. Some of the purported best treatments and so-called “cures” have research to suggest they might benefit tinnitus, while others appear to be complete scams that are literally based on no scientific evidence whatsoever.

Many of these alleged natural cures for ringing in ears are hyped by the herbal, homeopathic, and Eastern medicinal corners of the web. The over the counter medicine for tinnitus is not really a medicine per se, as none have been vetted through the clinical trial process (4). So keep in mind all non-prescription treatments, such as Lipo Flavonoid Plus (reviewed below) are technically dietary supplements.

1. Apple cider vinegar

Bragg ACV bottleWithout scientific evidence to back this claim, there are many online who say that apple cider vinegar is an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. From that, they make the leap and say that by mixing 2 tablespoons with a glass of water and drinking it 3 times per day, it will stop the ring.

Verdict: Scam

While it’s true there are many apple cider vinegar benefits, we are aware of literally no credible research to suggest it may help this symptom.

Even if it was caused by an ear infection, drinking some ACV would have no effect on that, or any other infection for that matter.

2. Ginkgo biloba

A search on PubMed for the three words “ginkgo biloba tinnitus” yields 88 matches. That doesn’t mean 88 pieces of research directly about that topic, but rather that’s how many contained those 3 words in their abstract.

When we filter those to only show clinical trials, we get 15. Among those, several are directly about the topic. From oldest to most recent:

  • Multicenter randomized double-blind drug vs. placebo study of tinnitus treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract (1986) (5)
  • Ginkgo biloba extract for the treatment of tinnitus (1994) (6)
  • Effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba in treating tinnitus: double blind, placebo controlled trial (2001) (7)
  • The efficacy of Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 in patients with tinnitus (2002) (8)
  • Ginkgo biloba does not benefit patients with tinnitus: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trial and meta-analysis of randomized trials (2004) (9)

Verdict: Some evidence, but most says it doesn’t work

leaf from ginkgo biloba treeIt’s too bad that the most recent study is a decade old.

It consisted of a double blind trial as well as a meta-analysis of 5 others (so 6 in total). Because they’re looking at different studies, the ginkgo biloba tinnitus dosage was not the same in each. Based on those 6 studies, they found that the ginkgo helped 21.6% (107 out of 552 people) compared to placebo at 18.4% (87 out of 504).

If you exclude the meta-analysis and independently look at the results of the 5 studies listed above:

  • 2 studies say it did help
  • 3 studies say it did not help

For the 2002 study which claimed ginkgo works for tinnitus, the 60 patients received ten days of intravenous ginkgo biloba at a medical facility, followed by an outpatient dosage of 80 mg pills twice daily.

While they it “say appears to be effective and safe in alleviating the symptoms associated with tinnitus aurium” it’s a not a good comparison versus the supplement, since they also had IV/infusion therapy before taking it orally.

The other in support of it was the 1986 study. That involved 103 patients who were treated on an outpatient basis for 13 months while using the herb.

3. Reducing sodium intake

Rather than adding something to your diet or supplement regimen, among all the tinnitus home remedies we saw, there were only three that involve subtracting from diet. This is one. The concept is that salt can cause or worsen the problem.

Many people think we need salt (sodium) added to our food which is totally nonsense. Yes, it’s a mineral we need to survive, but even unprocessed and whole foods already contain sodium in them. We don’t need to add more salt on top that, as we already get plenty.

salt shakerThe American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day for optimal health (10). Sadly, just your sandwich at lunch might exceed that and we’re not even counting what’s in the chips and cup of soup that go along with it.

At least when you’re eating out, being on a low sodium diet is no easy task in today’s world.

Meniere’s disease is a common cause of tinnitus and while the exact mechanisms of it are unknown, it’s believed that the symptoms are caused by the inner ear having higher fluid pressure. For those with Meniere’s, it’s true that too much salt is bad and a low-sodium diet is often advised.

But how about if you don’t have Meniere’s?

There are no clinical trials on PubMed which have evaluated the effect sodium has.

However for many decades now, it has been known that salt loading can affect hearing and possibly trigger symptoms of vertigo and ear ringing (11) (12). We know that too much salt can cause high blood pressure and as listed above, that is a known cause (or at least, a condition that correlates with) having tinnitus.

Verdict: Strong evidence for those with Meniere’s, some for those without

The ATA only mentions that “patients with tinnitus and Meniere’s Disease may want to explore a low-salt diet” however we could find no information from them as to whether or not that same advice was recommended for those without the disease.

While certainly not scientific, there are plenty of stories and reviews published online where people claim the condition was improved by adapting a low salt diet. As a result, salty things like burgers and fries are often listed as foods to avoid with tinnitus.

In fact one of us here at Superfoodly knew a very wealthy person who could get (and had received) the best treatments and medical advice for it. While not privy to what treatments may have been received, that person did end up adapting a low sodium diet because it.

4. Pineapple/bromelain

fresh whole pineappleThe pitch is that the enzyme bromelain, which is a potent anti-inflammatory found in pineapple, can help to reduce or cure tinnitus when it is consumed orally in high amounts. For treatment, it’s advised to either eat fresh fruit or pineapple juice at regular intervals daily.

Verdict: Scam

Not just a scam, but a double scam. Even if bromelain was an effective method for how to get rid of the ringing, instructing people to drink pineapple juice would be pointless given that the enzyme is mostly or entirely destroyed by the heat of pasteurization.

There is no medical literature we can find for this home remedy. When we turn to reviews found on forums, we read comments like “I tried fresh pineapple for months, but it did nothing for me.”

It’s reckless that there are so many remedy websites promoting this tip, without providing any documentation to suggest it may work. Research aside, they didn’t even mention personal stories to back up the claim.

5. Sound machines

antique desk fanNo one claims these do anything to help the ringing in your ears, however they can help minimize the perception of how loud the constant ringing, roaring, clicking, or high pitched hissing noises are in your head. Out of all the home remedies for tinnitus, this may be the only one where both the do-it-yourselfers and professionals are in full agreement!

For example, the ATA talks about how sound therapies can be an effective way to mask or distract away from the problem (13). They recommend white noise, such as sounds of nature and other subtle soundtracks. In addition to sound machines, others noted are electric fans and table fountains.

Verdict: Doesn’t stop ringing, but can be a good way to mask it

Even though they’re only a distraction, for some they are the only remedy that works.

Although he does not have ear ringing, one of us here at Superfoodly has always needed white noise to sleep. His experience with sound machines were that they sounded unnatural (like a looped tape) or for the ambient motorized versions, were too loud even at their lowest setting (and that may worsen hearing).

Ultimately, he has had the best success with the Dyson Air Multiplier tower fan. It’s not cheap, but has 10 different levels which allows for you to set the fan’s noise level at exactly what you want.

6. Garlic

whole garlicThe theory is that garlic helps to reduce inflammation and benefits circulation. Based on that, it has been claimed to be helpful for ears that ring due to cold weather or high altitude.

Like so many of these purported natural cures, there is very little research to substantiate them. On PubMed, there was only one thing we could find related to this herbal remedy:

Systematic reviews of herbal medicines – an annotated bibliography (2003) (14)

But even in that, where they reviewed 79 different Eastern medicines and herbal treatments, they only found “little evidence” linking garlic preparations to cardiovascular benefits and lower limb atherosclerosis. Apparently they didn’t find anything about it working for tinnitus of even used for that purpose, since only ginkgo biloba was mentioned in conjunction with it.

Verdict: No scientific evidence it stops or improves it

Even though some herbal and homeopathic enthusiasts claim that garlic is how to get rid of this problem, there just really isn’t anything we could find to back that claim up. We just don’t understand where people come up with some of these remedies.

Worse yet, some advice sounds downright dangerous. It involves creating garlic oil, by mashing up the cloves and combining with olive oil. Then, putting drops of it into both or one ear only (whichever ones are affected).

To us, that potentially sounds like a recipe for disaster – an infection.

7. Cutting out caffeine

This is another treatment which involves a dietary subtraction. While the cause is unknown, it has been said that caffeine can worsen the problem. And it’s not just the home remedy crew claiming that.

holding mug of coffeeCoffees and teas are suspected by many – including some medical professionals – to be dietary causes of tinnitus. But according to the science, does caffeine aggravate your tinnitus?

UK scientists did a pseudo-randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover trial which involved 66 volunteers who had ear ringing (15). They all consumed at least 150 mg per day of caffeine. For 30 days, their caffeine was either replaced with a placebo or continued.

The results? Cutting out coffee, tea, and chocolate didn’t help. In fact, the ear symptoms got worse!

That study was in 2010. The American Journal of Medicine published what would be the most extensive study on the topic in 2014 (16). Now the study wasn’t specific to tinnitus, but tracked numerous measures of health in 65,085 women over a multi-decade period. At the start, they were 30 to 44 years old.

Eighteen years later at the end of the study, 5,289 of those women had ringing in their ears. Upon analyzing the statistics, it was found that those who consumed 450 to 599 mg of caffeine per day were 15% less likely to develop it versus those who consumed under 150 mg daily.

The more caffeine consumed, the less likely they were to get it. At least, based on the metric that those who consumed 600+ mg per day had even lower rates – 21% less likely to develop it.

Drinkers of decaf coffee did not have a reduced risk, which would suggest that it was the caffeine preventing tinnitus.

The Mayo Clinic makes an interesting point, perhaps unintentionally, how caffeine might make it worse.

In their listing of tinnitus causes, they do mention high blood pressure. Then, they go on to explain numerous things which might cause blood pressure to go up, with caffeine being one of them (17).

Perhaps researchers are looking at the wrong thing. It’s not that caffeine causes tinnitus, but rather in some people who already have it, the caffeine may spike their blood pressure and that is what causes the ringing to worsen. That’s just our theory.

Verdict: No evidence it causes it, but some sufferers claim it does

Does caffeine cause ear ringing? We think the stance of the ATA strikes the perfect balance (18):

“There is very little scientific evidence that shows caffeine exacerbates tinnitus symptoms. That being said, tinnitus patients should track their own experience with caffeine and adjust accordingly. If caffeine seems to significantly amp-up your tinnitus, then consider reducing your consumption.”

8. Avoiding alcohol

At least the evidence suggests Starbucks is safe, but is your favorite IPA still a good idea?

Everyone knows alcohol can cause a slew of unpleasant side effects, including headaches and other neurological symptoms. Even before digging into the research, common sense would tell you that it wouldn’t be surprising if alcohol worsens this problem, too. It might not create ringing, but everyone would have the other possible side effects of being dizzy and having vertigo if they drank enough.

Surprisingly, a clinical trial has not yet been done to evaluate the effect. At least, there isn’t one within the 26+ million pieces of medical information on PubMed.

While not clinical, there are a few studies.

Published in 1995, a study involved 100 chronic tinnitus sufferers who completed a questionnaire which looked at how much/often they drank and what side effects it had. The results were:

  • 22% said drinking made their ringing worse
  • 62% reported no change
  • 16% claimed it benefited

For those who claimed improvement, it’s worth noting they were also the biggest drinkers, and presumably, that means they were more likely to be drunk or close to it. In that state, the perceived benefit is no surprise.

frothy beer glassSo does alcohol cause ear ringing or not? We do have another study from 1999 which took place at a tinnitus clinic in the UK (19).

Out 51 patients who were consecutively seen, they were asked if alcohol had any effect on their symptoms.

The title of the study was “Detrimental effects of alcohol on tinnitus.” That pretty much sums up the results:

  • 84% reported that drinking made their tinnitus worse
  • 73% stated they became more aware of it
  • 47% said that their sleep quality worsened in conjunction with alcohol

Whether the person drank beer, wine, vodka, or another type of alcoholic beverage did not seem to affect the results

Only a small minority reported no or positive effects. It was also found that they drank less and were more likely to be younger females. Even for those people, they still reported that their ringing in the ears was worse the following day.

So should you minimize your alcohol? Well it’s worth a try because unlike many herbal medicines and snake oils for sale, this is one remedy for ringing ears which will actually save you money… by not having to buy booze! Plus, it’s literally an at home remedy, as you can sit at home instead of heading to the bar.

On the NIH’s MedlinePlus page about tinnitus, it says that alcohol can “cause ear noises.” (20)

Given that us Americans look like teetotalers when compared to the Brits, perhaps it’s no surprise that the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) tries to put a positive spin on boozing it up (21): “The majority of the evidence that is available suggests that alcohol is more frequently helpful rather than harmful with respect to tinnitus…”

Verdict? Alcohol can at least temporarily worsen symptoms

Research as to whether long term drinking can be the actual cause of tinnitus has not been done. So while there is not yet evidence to suggest it causes the development of this disorder, for some it may worsen it during and after drinking (i.e. the hangover).

Regardless of whether or not it is an effective strategy for how to get rid of ear ringing, the “worst” that can happen by forgoing alcohol for a bit are other health benefits. So giving it a try certainly makes sense.

9. Holy basil

Your pesto sauce is likely made with Genovese or sweet basil. There are over 150 other varieties, one of which is holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum). Also known as tulsi, it’s a variety of Thai basil, which gives it a more peppery flavor. Herbal teas and other holistic treatments commonly make use of it.

Ayurvedic medicine, which originated out of India, is believed to be the world’s oldest holistic system which is still in practice today. There are ancient Ayurveda texts dating back 3,000 years where they call holy basil the “elixir of life” (life saving) due to its purported healing properties (22). Can it do anything to relieve humming or high pitched ringing in ears?

Starting with the most credible source first, we could find literally nothing on PubMed about this herb in relation to the ears.

holy basil plantWhy do people claim holy basil works then?

It does have antibacterial properties. Some extrapolate from that and claim that by blending the leaves into a paste, straining the juice from it, and then using a dropper to put 2 or 3 drops into the ears twice daily, it will solve the problem in 3 to 4 days.

If only it were that easy!

Being that chronic ear ringing is not due to an infection, this is pretty awful advice and goes to show you how downright delusional some of the home remedy advocates are. Or at least, whoever is writing their fluff-filled articles.

But in their defense, the holy basil tinnitus remedy might offer some legitimate benefit. Not because of its antimicrobial properties, but rather its calming effect.

As an herbal or homeopathic treatment, one of the most touted benefits for this herb are its alleged ability to naturally relieve anxiety and reduce stress. Some say it helps bring hormones/cortisol levels into balance, yet we can find no human-based research to substantiate that. However there is evidence to suggest it may help with stress.

Published in 2003, a study done at a university in India looked at whether it had anticonvulsant (antiseizure) effects versus phenytoin, which is a common antiseizure prescription medicine sold under the brand Dilantin (23).

The holy basil extract was found to be effective in preventing seizures, but this was a study that only involved albino mice. There have been other animal models too where the herb appeared to demonstrated neuroprotective and stress-reducing benefits.

However in humans, research is minimal.  There was finally a placebo controlled study published in 2015 which involved people (24).

Over 30 days, 15 participants received 300 mg holy basil capsules daily and another 15 received placebo. The conclusion was that the holy basil supplement “seems to have potential cognition-enhancing properties in humans.”

Verdict: No evidence it cures, but might reduce the associated stress

What we are about to say is completely unscientific and it could just be a placebo effect people are experiencing, but we have read a handful of holy basil reviews on tinnitus message boards where they say it works in relieving the associated anxiety and stress.

Similar to the idea of using a sound machine or a fan, it may not fix the ringing, but this home remedy might be worth trying. While we don’t use it for any ear-related issues, a couple of us here at Superfoodly regularly buy Organic India Tulsi tea and really enjoy it.

10. Eriodictyol glycoside and bioflavonoids

You may not recognize the above ingredient, but it’s likely you have heard of an over the counter medicine for ringing in the ears called Lipo Flavonoid. You may recognize it from the TV commercials they periodically run.

It’s been on the market for over 55 years, since 1961. Up until very recently, Lipo Flavonoid was sold by its creator, Numark Labratories. A couple years ago they sold the product line to Clarion Brands, but the ingredients and manufacturing process remain the same.

According to a 2016 survey of board certified otolaryngologists (ENT doctors), their marketing states they are the “number one doctor recommended brand for ringing in the ears.”

lemonsIt was invented by Dr. Henry L. Williams, an ENT doctor who was on staff at the Mayo Clinic. He had conducted a series of studies in the 1960’s which tested the use of citrus bioflavonoids for people with Meniere’s, which as mentioned earlier, is an ear disease that includes hearing loss, tinnitus, and a feeling of fullness in the ears.

How does Lipo Flavonoid work? It’s active ingredient is eriodictyol glycoside, which is a bioflavonoid found in lemon peels.

The funny thing is no one seems to know exactly how it works. No one is claiming it’s a natural cure. However, it does seem to be a way of how to stop tinnitus for at least some people while they take it. According to the manufacturer’s website, it has been theorized that it works by:

  • Blocking histamine production in the inner ear
  • Improving circulation to the ear by blocking the accumulation of fatty deposit
  • Increasing vascular permeability, which is the ability of molecules to pass through blood vessels and reach other tissue

Here is the ingredient list of Lipo Flavonoid Plus:

  • Criodictyol glycoside, derived from lemon peels
  • Choline bitartrate, a molecule suspected of having cognitive benefits
  • Inositol, a substance found in fruit which is like a vitamin but not essential
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine mononitrate)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3/niacin (niacinamide)
  • Vitamin B5/pantothenic acid (as calcium pantothenate)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCI)
  • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
  • Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)

What do the clinical studies say about Lipo Flavonoid? Well first it’s worth mentioning that the product has not always had all of those same ingredients, but its main ingredient – eriodictyol glycoside – has been consistent since day one. So that is the one constant throughout the past 55+  years.

lipo flavonoid boxThe results of a double-blind study were published some 50+ years ago in the 1965 paper titled “Bioflavonoid Therapy in Sensorineural Hearing Loss” (25). It was conducted by Dr. Williams, the inventor of Lipo Flavonoid, at Walter Reed Hospital. The lemon bioflavonoid was said to:

  • Benefited 95 out of 122 patients with Meniere’s disease (78%)
  • 45 of those 95 experienced a hearing improvement of at least 10 db in three frequencies (37% of the 122)
  • For 52 patients without Meniere’s disease who had sensorineural hearing loss, 11 of them showed a similar improvement (21%)

With the exception of the 1960’s, very little clinical trial research has been done to look at this ingredient, though outside of that environment it has been researched.

Without recent clinical trials or for those without Meniere’s disease, there are many doubters of this product and/or the herbal remedy of criodictyol glycoside.

The NAD is a self-regulating or non-governmental body for the advertising industry. They called out Clarion Brands in 2015 about Lipo Flavonoid Plus, claiming there was insufficient evidence to support some of their claims of ear discomfort relief.

When Clarion responded with studies and medical literature on the product/ingredient, the NAD expressed concerns about what was provided:

“…were insufficiently reliable to support the advertiser’s health claims. Specifically, none of the studies were double-blind or placebo controlled and none of them elicited statistically significant results.” (26)

On the flip side, a lot of doctors recommended it to their patients.

Reviews for the Lipo Flavonoid Plus Extra in a 100 caplet bottle were mixed. We wonder if it might have something to do with it taking up to 60 days to work, according to the manufacturer.

The dosage on the bottles say “take two caplets 3 times per day” (which is 6 daily) for the first 60 days. If someone only bought 100 caplets, that would only get them through the first 16 days.

That might explain why the Lipo Flavonoid caplets in a 500 count bottle appears to have positive opinions.

Verdict: Inconclusive due to limited studies, but some suggest it helps

The patent for the production of eriodictyol glycoside expired decades ago (27). Well there are no other brands selling exactly the same thing as Lipo Flavonoid Plus, there are other over the counter treatments which make use of citrus bioflavonoids.

RingZen Ear Supplement – Appears to be well-rated. Contains citrus bioflavonoids, along with ginkgo extract and garlic.

Similasan Ear Drops – Homeopathic, does not contain citrus bioflavonoids. While it’s not the target audience, a few reviewers claimed it helped their ear ringing.

To be clear, we are not endorsing those products, nor Lipo Flavonoid, nor the ingredients they contain. However given the lack of treatment options for tinnitus, trying OTC options such as these is likely a better risk to take, versus some of the other home remedies being hyped.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.