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General characteristics

General characteristics

Vertigo is a feeling of dizziness accompanied with a sensation that the surroundings are moving or spinning whilst the person is actually stationary or even sitting or lying down. It is not specifically related to a fear of heights even though the term is often used in that context.

It is generally thought to be either a disorder of the vestibular system (the ear, eye and sensory connection), the function of which is to give us a sense of balance or a problem within the central nervous system. Vertigo associated with disorders within the central nervous system (CNS) is often accompanied with a very severe loss of balance and actual falling over or inability to stand. Recent research has also discovered that tiny calcium carbonate crystals (that are normally present in the utricle of the inner ear) can become displaced and end up in other parts of the ear leading to symptoms of vertigo. The crystals are vital in the complicated operation of balance perception, so when displaced, signals to the brain become confused and dizziness results.


Symptoms include involuntary eye movement, dizziness, falling sensations, nausea, slurred speech (CNS vertigo), visual disturbances, feelings that the surroundings are moving and spinning sensations within the head itself.


Causes or aggravating factors include dehydration, infections (especially of the inner ear), chronic ear congestion, after head injuries, migraines, Meniere's disease, old age, sinusitis, atherosclerosis in the head arteries, disorders of the eye, impaired blood flow to the head/brain, tumours and epilepsy. Diseases of other systems such as the kidneys and thyroid and even a chronically congested bowels can aggravate symptoms due to re-absorption of toxins.


Healing objectives could include determining the cause of the vertigo and remedying that first, correcting the diet and improving nutritional intake, improving overall blood flow and immunity and making sure elimination organs and systems are functioning well.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Vertigo can be caused by dehydration so be sure you are drinking plenty of plain water daily. This is the first remedy to try, believe me.


Avoid all refined and processed foods and those including simple sugars and carbohydrates and limit animal foods.


Instead opt for a diet full of fresh whole foods rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs and spices.


Avoid table salt, use a small amount of seasalt instead.


Include foods that are rich in magnesium. A lack of magnesium can cause the tiny calcium carbonate crystals to be displaced so add magnesium back into the system. Magnesium rich foods include pumpkin seeds and nuts, dark green leaves (particularly spinach and swiss chard), whole grains and blackstrap molasses.


Limit your intake of coffee and stimulating drinks such as cola etc.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Ginger and ginkgo can help to improve blood flow to and from the head and may ease the vertigo symptoms. Take a teaspoon of ginkgo tincture in a little water 3 times daily with a few drops of ginger tincture added to each dose.


Legendary herbalist Dr Christopher has a formula for vertigo and many conditions affecting the head and ears. It consists of equal parts of the tinctures of black cohosh, blue cohosh, skullcap, vervain and lobelia. Put a few drops of garlic oil in each ear before adding up to 6 drops of the herbal formula to each ear and plug with cotton wool. Do this for 6 nights before bed and on the 7th day wash the ears out with warm (preferably distilled) water.

Mullein leaf tea may be helpful.

It is well worth trying ground ivy tea for vertigo.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Certain yoga exercises and poses can help to reduce vertigo symptoms by re-educating the body into a greater sense of balance.

Many people find that the Brandt-Daroff exercises help with their vertigo.

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