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Tinnitus Remedies: Relieve the Symptoms with Essential Oils

by Jodi Cohen

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when no external sound is present. The internal sound may come from only one or both ears and can be soft or loud and continuous or intermittent.

Symptoms of Tinnitus

Common symptoms of tinnitus include continuous or intermittent “phantom” sounds in one or both the ears when no sound is actually coming from any outside source.      These sounds are commonly described as being similar to the sounds of escaping air, heartbeat, breathing or the inside swirling of a seashell.  Sounds have also been compared to ringing, clicking, sizzling, buzzing, hissing, humming, whistling, chirping, hissing, screeching, pulsing, whooshing, roaring or other unusual noises

Sounds can change in terms of which ear they come from, their intensity, pitch, onset, volume and type.  What’s more, loud sounds caused by tinnitus can interfere with your ability to concentrate or hear actual sounds, which can contribute to brain fog, and trouble focusing.

Causes of Tinnitus

There are a number of root causes that can contribute to outer, inner or middle ear congestion that leads to abnormal and random firings of sensory and auditory neurons that affects the auditory functioning, including:

Head or neck injuries and resulting poor circulation and lymph flow or involuntary muscle contractions

Viral infections and inflammation, including sinus congestion, that damage the tiny hairs in your inner ear.  For example, a history of ear infections or inner ear damage can change the way tiny hairs inside the ears move in relation to the pressure of sound waves, causing false electrical signals to be sent through the auditory nerves to your brain that you might experience as tinnitus.

Brain and nerve injuries that affect your auditory pathway and therefore your ability to hear sounds.

Vagus nerve dysfunction, and vagus nerve toxicity can contribute to tinnitus symptoms.  On the flip side, research from the University of Texas has found that Vagus Nerve Stimulation Study can actually reduce tinnitus symptoms.

Researchers found that sounds paired with vagus nerve stimulation eliminated tinnitus in rats. Kilgard reported that: Brain changes in response to nerve damage or cochlear trauma cause irregular neural activity believed to be responsible for many types of chronic pain and tinnitus. But when we paired tones with brief pulses of vagus nerve stimulation, we eliminated the physiological and behavioral symptoms of tinnitus in noise-exposed rats,” according to researcher Dr. Michael Kilgard.

Essential Oils to Relieve Symptoms

Essential oils can be used to lessen the intensity of tinnitus symptoms.  Topically applied essential oils work well to address tinnitus as they can sooth inflammation and balance the nervous system.

Essential oils help move fluids throughout your body.  This can help relieve tinnitus symptoms as enhanced circulation lymphatic flow helps calm congestion in the neck where your Eustachian tube –  or the part of your ear that controls your auditory experience and connects your nose and throat to the middle part of your ear.  The anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of essential oils can help clear this tube of pathogens and help calm tinnitus. Improving circulation of blood and air flow can also provide relief from earache pain, especially an imbalance of air pressure can contribute to earache pain.

Essential oils have analgesic and antispasmodic properties help relieve ear pain and discomfort.

They can also play a role in addressing the underlying issue of tinnitus – helping to drain toxins away from the ears and the vagus nerve which can help heal tinnitus.

You can read about all the blends that can support tinnitus in this blog. 

The most effective blend for tinnitus is Nerve Repair.

Nerve Repair for Tinnitus

Nerve Repair™ can help alleviate pain and tinnitus related discomfort.  It contains a proprietary formulation of organic and/or wild crafted essential oils of Basil, Peppermint, Helichrysum italicum and Marjoram:


Basil essential oil is one of the best nerve tonics.  It is a powerful antispasmodic, which helps relax the smooth muscle cells in your ears and relieve the pulsating or throbbing sensation that may accompany tinnitus.

Basil oil is also known as a natural ear infection remedy. A study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found that basil oil used in the ear canal “cured or healed” animal subjects with ear infections due to H. influenzae bacteria compared to about a six percent heal rate in the placebo group.

While I do not recommend applying any essential oil in the ear canal, topically applying antibacterial essential oils, like the basil, behind the ears or on the bottoms of the feet can both help heal bacterial infections that contribute to tinnitus, reduce pain and swelling and repair connective tissue that can get congested and inflamed from conditions like tinnitus.


Helichrysum helps soothe inflammation in the nerves in the neck and ears and ease the resulting ringing sound heard, along with reducing any nerve damage that may contribute to tinnitus.  Research notes the anti-inflammatory properties of Helichrysm which helps reduce swelling and repair nerves.

Helichrysum can also help open the neck channel and enhance circulation and drainage so that excess fluids like lymph and blood can drain and relieve pressure that can accumulate near the ears.  Is both contained in the Nerve Repair™ blend and sold as a single oil.


Peppermint™ oil is a highly versatile essential oil that possesses analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that relieve pain and inflammation and relax muscles preventing tissue tightness or spasms that can contribute to tinnitus.

A study confirmed peppermint oil’s pain relief or analgesics benefits when topically applied.  Peppermint also acts as an expectorant, helping to open your airways, clear mucus and reduce congestion all of which enhance blood circulation and help support drainage in the ear channel and alleviate pressure that might trigger tinnitus.

Additionally, research found antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant properties in peppermint which help fight infections like those that contribute to tinnitus.

Sweet Marjoram 

Marjoram also helps with respiratory and sinus concerns, helping to support sinus drainage  and alleviate nerve pain.

A close cousin to oregano, marjoram works as an arterial vasodilator, meaning that it helps widen and relax the blood vessels. This can help carry healing oxygen to your ear and help open the path to eliminate waste.

Research found that inhaling marjoram essential oil can lower sympathetic nervous system activity and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps your body to rest and heal from issues like tinnitus.

Another study The effectiveness of essential oils for patients with neck pain: a randomized controlled study – PubMed  showed that marjoram oil can be useful in getting rid of chronic neck pain. In the study, a combination of 4 essential oils was used: marjoram, black pepper, lavender, and peppermint. The essential oil remedy was rubbed into the painful area daily for 4 weeks. The patients using the remedy showed significant improvement when compared to the other group using the placebo cream.


Other Useful Essential Oils for Tinnitus

Circulation™: Supporting your circulation can also help alleviate tinnitus symptoms. Circulation™, in particular cypress essential oil helps enhance blood circulation. This can help treat pulsing tinnitus which occurs due to disturbances in blood flow.  Cypress helps improve circulation, helping the veins contract, making it easier to stimulate blood flow. It may also help alleviate some of the triglycerides that can form and restrict blood flow.

Improving circulation may also help increase the flow of fluids, like blood, which can help ear drainage and lessen the intensity of the ear’s ringing.  It can also provide relief from pain, as earaches usually result from an unbalance of air in the ears.  Apply 2 -3 drops of Circulation™ on the back of the neck or behind the ears.

Frankincense oil is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral which prevents the growth of pathogens in the ear channels.   Frankincense also has strong anti inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling.

Lavender is a decongestant that helps clear the ear passages and improves the blood circulation in the ear to reduce the noise.


How to Apply Essential Oils to Relieve Tinnitus Symptoms

I do not advise applying essential oils directly into the ear canal. This is because essential oils can burn or desensitize the sensitive mucous membranes found within the ear if they are used undiluted.

Instead, I suggest topically applying essential oils on the outside of the ear to help relieve tinnitus symptoms.  Consider applying:

  • Behind the ear
  • All over the neck
  • On the ear lobe
  • On the outer ear canal

As an added bonus, castor oil is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral which prevents bacteria and fungi from collecting in the ear. It also keeps the ear channels clean and restores the function of ear cells.  You can mix Nerve Repair™ with the castor oil and apply on the sides of the neck.


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About The Author

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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