Do Essential Oils Help with Hearing & Balance Problems?


Essential oils are the concentrated liquids derived from a variety of plants, usually herbs and fruit. People have been extracting them and using them for medicinal purposes for centuries; records date back as far as the 12th century. There has been a resurgence in their popularity in recent years, as people have discovered aromatherapy—a form of alternative medicine believed to promote positive well-being​.

The Long History of Essential Oils

Essential oils on a counter with plants

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the concentrated liquids derived from a variety of plants, usually herbs and fruit. People have been extracting them and using them for medicinal purposes for centuries; records date back as far as the 12th century. There has been a resurgence in their popularity in recent years, as people have discovered aromatherapy—a form of alternative medicine believed to promote positive well-being.

The number of fragrances that can be distilled from plants is virtually endless. Popular oils include peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil, cedarwood, lemon and eucalyptus. They can be derived from the leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, bark, berries and needles of a variety of plants and trees. Users diffuse the oils, burn them or rub them into their skin.

What common claims are made about essential oils?

Essential oil health claims have taken on a life of their own. Aficionados swear that these oils can help with almost any type of ailment under the sun. Among their many uses, they are purported to:

  • Boost energy
  • Relieve stress
  • Help digestion
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve mood
  • Fight infection
  • Treat headaches, nausea and certain skin conditions

Essential oils are alleged to help people with hearing and balance issues, as well. Claims include the following:

  • Cajeput oil, geranium oil, lavender oil and tea tree oil can help sensorineural hearing loss
  • Helichrysum oil helps both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss

These claims simply are not true.

The Truth About Essential Oils

The FDA doesn’t regulate essential oils, a fact that has given rise to some pretty big claims—not a single one of which has ever been proven. This has some health experts worried. While basically harmless when used correctly, there is the potential for side effects such as skin irritation and allergic reactions when directions aren’t followed. Essential oils should never be taken by mouth; ingestion can cause inflammation and a burning sensation. In children, this could prove toxic. They are not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

Can essential oils help with any hearing or balance conditions?

Other claims regarding essential oil use for hearing and balance issues include the following:

  • Cypress oil, ginseng oil, helichrysum oil, juniper oil, lavender oil, lilies oil, olive oil, onion oil, petitgrain oil, rehmannia oil and spotted orchis oil, are all alleged cures for tinnitus. In reality, this persistent ringing in the ears is irreversible.
  • Vertigo sufferers are told basil oil, bergamot oil, bitter orange oil (neroli), CBD oil, clary sage oil, cypress oil, geranium oil, ginger oil, lavender oil, lemon balm oil, peppermint oil, rose oil, rosemary oil, tangerine oil or thyme oil can help prevent the spinning sensation associated with this balance disorder. None of these work.
  • Ear infection sufferers are told to take lavender oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, oregano oil, basil oil, thyme oil, bishop’s weed oil, peppermint oil, mustard oil and a mixture of sesame and castor oil to clear up their infection. This isn’t true and is especially dangerous, as ear infections typically affect children. Never place essential oils inside the ears; this can cause burning and irritation.

The bottom line is this: essential oils can make your house smell nice, but won’t resolve hearing or balance issues. Leave treatment to a Santa Barbara hearing specialist.


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