Menier’s Disease is the result of too much fluid in the labyrinth of the ear. It may cause dizziness, lack of balance, nausea and vomiting, and may affect the hearing.
Chinese Medicine attributes Meniere’s Disease to a kidney weakness, as the kidneys are paired with the ear. According to Chinese Medicine theory one of the other functions of the kidneys is to nourish the marrow which feeds the brain. If the kidneys are weak, the brain is improperly nourished, and dizziness and loss of balance are the result.
For a patient with Meniere’s Disease another outcome of kidney weakness is internal cold. Therefore the water the kidneys normally process becomes mucus (phlegm) and a weakness develops in the spleen. This excess fluid goes into the ears, and treatment is needed to warm and tone the kidneys and strengthen the spleen to clear away the gunge. A Chinese Medicine practitioner will prescribe herbs including the well-known Return Spleen decoction, Sextone or Central Qi Pills. Astragalus, ginseng, orange peel, ginger or cinnamon bark are also used for Meniere’s Disease.
People with Meniere’s disease should avoid “cold” food such as salads, cold drinks or ice cream and also sugar and dairy products which can increase the dampness in the body and make more fluid, which will lead to further attacks. Gastrodia elata is a very effective herb to treat dizziness. A ‘tang’, a herbal soup made with these ingredients and drunk from time to time, can help to prevent future attacks.
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