Vertigo, or dizziness—the sensation that your surroundings are spinning—can happen when you stand up too quickly or make changes in the position of your head. It can be caused by sinus or inner ear infections, but one form is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Although not medically serious, BPPV can cause discomfort and even falls. If you are troubled by unexplained dizziness that returns for more than a week, or if you experience headache, weakness, trouble speaking, or chest pains, see your doctor to rule out medical problems. For benign positional vertigo, however, you may want to try ginger root. Traditionally used as a cure for motion sickness, ginger root has been found in some studies to have vertigo-reducing effects.
Take 1,000 mg. of powdered ginger at the first sign of vertigo. According to the National Library of Medicine website, a controlled clinical study suggested that ginger root reduced vertigo in some participants. According to the Dr. Weil website, it is safe to take an additional 500 mg. of powdered ginger every four hours as needed.
Alternately, add a peeled, grated 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root to 2 cups of boiling water to make a soothing ginger tea that you can sip as needed. Simmer the tea for at least five minutes, then strain it into a teacup. To combine the power of ginger with other dizziness-fighting herbs, add dashes of ground pumpkin and celery seed.
Drink 3 8-oz. glasses of ginger ale a day to reduce vertigo. According to the Herbs 2000 website, ginger ale can be as effective as powdered ginger or ginger root, but you should check the label to be sure that the drink was made with real ginger.
Things You’ll Need
- 200-mg. powdered ginger capsules, or Zingiber officinale, available at health food stores
- 1-inch piece of fresh, peeled, grated ginger root (optional)
- 2 cups water (optional)
- Ginger ale made with real ginger (optional)
- Dash of powdered pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Dash of powdered celery seeds (optional)
To avoid the possibility of heartburn, always take ginger extract capsules with food.
Avoid the use of nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine, and avoid excessive salt intake; these can all worsen vertigo.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., you should not take ginger, which has blood-thinning effects, within two weeks of having surgery; if you are pregnant and using ginger for nausea, limit the dosage to 1,000 mg. a day.
Do not use ginger if you have gallstones.
Never begin any herbal or supplementary regimen without first consulting your doctor; herbs can have side effects and interfere with prescription medications.
References & Resources
- National Library of Medicine: Vertigo-reducing Effect of Ginger Root
- Mayo Clinic: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
- Mother Nature: The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook–Dizziness
- Dr. Weil: Herbs–Ginger
- Herbs 2000: Dizziness
- National Library of Medicine: Side Effects Herbs and Supplements
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