Tinnitus is a condition that’s rife with folk remedies, Tinnitus miracle cures and all kinds of wacky stuff. Oddly, some people report very real results from these treatments, even while others dismiss them as junk science.
I was compelled to write this post when a member in our Private Facebook Group posted that her Chiropractor mentioned that another patient of his had resolved her Tinnitus by sucking lemons.
Now, keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, researcher or scientist. I’m just a guy who has a horrible ringing in his ears and started a website to document his research and discoveries. So take everything I say with a healthy dose of salt (but not if you have Tinnitus, you should be avoiding salt).
Another thing you might want to avoid is sucking lemons! Not because it won’t help your Tinnitus but because the citric acid in lemons, in heavy exposure, can eat away the enamel protecting your teeth. I don’t know about you but I’d rather have Tinnitus and teeth than no Tinnitus and no teeth.
When I read the anecdote about lemon sucking and Tinnitus reduction, the first thing I did was go straight to Google to see if there was some direct connection between lemons and Tinnitus. Mostly what I came up with was thousands of results for Lemon Bioflavonoids. I don’t doubt the value of anti-oxidants, but I doubt they’re going to magically make anyone’s Tinnitus go away.
So there must be some other mechanism of action. What could it be? Digging a bit deeper brought me to the concept of Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Again, this is mere speculation on my part but I think that might just be the silver bullet at play here.
You may have never heard of the Vagus nerve, but it is the most important element of the parasympathetic nervous system, the one that calms you down. When you stimulate your Vagus nerve, you counteract your sympathetic nervous system, the one that causes stress by activating your fight-or-flight response.
Stimulating the Vagus nerve releases an array of anti-stress enzymes and hormones such as acetylcholine, prolactin, vasopressin, and oxytocin. Vagus nerve stimulation is associated with benefits such as improved memory, immune function, sleep, and higher levels of growth hormone. It also may help tame inflammation, allergic responses, and tension headaches.
How do you stimulate the Vagus nerve? Well, deep breathing is one technique. Yoga is another. And yet another is to “bathe the tongue in saliva for a period of three minutes”.
Sucking lemons, anyone?
There is a direct and well-documented connection between stress and Tinnitus. While everyone seems to accept that periods of higher stress will increase T symptoms, I’m not so sure that the inverse accepted as a given, that reducing stress will also reduce the severity of Tinnitus.
I assure you it will. Give it a try the next time you’re on vacation or doing something you love, with people who are dear to you. Just sink into that deep contented state and see if your T is not quite as annoying as it was before. You’ll see.
Not much is my guess.
But if we are to believe the anecdote provided by the Chiropractor, the answer to Tinnitus is sucking lemons. It’s a Tinnitus Miracle!
But if the mechanism of action is, in fact, Vagus Nerve Stimulation, you could suck on just about anything and achieve the same results. Maybe something that won’t eat through your enamel, like a hard candy.
But it has to be done with intention. Just popping a sweet in your mouth probably won’t reduce your Tinnitus. Which is one of the reasons why sucking a lemon works, in my humble opinion. We don’t usually go around sucking lemons everyday so it becomes an ritual act, something you’re doing quite deliberately and then returning to your normal routine.
Fact is, you could achieve the same results with no saliva-activating foods at all. Just find a place to sit quietly for ten minutes or so and breathe deeply, with your diaphragm. Don’t let your thoughts be distracted by to-do lists or other annoying thoughts. Just focus on the rise and fall of your lungs.
What you’re now doing is creating a space that’s all about intention and ritual, no lemons necessary.
Do that every day for eight weeks and I’ll eat my hat if you don’t see a reduction in your Tinnitus symptoms.
There’s your Tinnitus Miracle, right there! Booya!
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