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Tinnitus Library

How Successful are Homeopathic Remedies for Tinnitus?

by Barry Keate

This is the second in a series of articles comparing the science of Arches Tinnitus Formula with various tinnitus remedy products. For other articles in this series, please visit our Tinnitus Research Library under the heading Arches vs. The Competition.

Homeopathic Theory and Products

Image of Samuel Hahnemann

Homeopathy was invented in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann. He developed the concept of “Like Cures Like.” In other words, a substance that causes disease in healthy people will cure the same disease in sick people provided the substance is diluted to the point where few, if any, molecules of the original substance are left in the solution.

The public frequently confuses homeopathy with herbal medicine. This is an entirely false association. The error usually arises because some homeopathic remedies are produced from tinctures, which may be based on herbal extracts. Thus they can carry the same (or similar) names as herbal products. The difference is that homeopathic remedies are typically highly diluted and therefore may contain no active ingredients at all. Thus homeopathy lacks any biological plausibility and is not related to herbal medicine.

A 2002 clinical review on the subject concluded, “Homeopathy is not science; it is quackery, which is a fraudulent or ignorant medical practice. It has no basis in scientific fact. It is not effective for any condition and no homeopathic remedy has been found to be more effective than placebo for any condition.” (1) In fact, its axioms are contradicted by scientific facts. (2) The proposed mechanisms of action are scientifically and physically impossible. (3)

In November 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an "Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for OTC Homeopathic Drugs".  The policy states that, "...there are no valid studies using current scientific methods showing the product's efficacy". It goes on to state that marketing of homeopathic products, "lack a reasonable basis and are likely misleading". They are not misleading if they communicate to consumers that, "1 - there is no scientific evidence that the product works and 2 - the product's claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by modern medical experts". (4)

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, along with the Swiss and British government health departments, have each concluded that homeopathy is totally ineffective for any condition and will not fund any research in the field. (5)

How is Homeopathy Supposed to Work?

woman dripping homeopathic tincture into spoon

Hahnemann believed that large doses of drugs that caused similar symptoms to disease would worsen the illness and therefore advocated extreme dilutions of them. In most cases, he diluted the substance to the point that not a single molecule of the original material was left in the dilution. Hahnemann believed that the water in which the substance was diluted, had “memory” of the substance, which was no longer there, and was still effective.

This concept of water memory is inconsistent with the current understanding of physics and water memory has never been demonstrated to have any detectable effect, biological or otherwise. (6)

The substance is then forcefully struck on an “elastic body.” This practice was begun because Hahnemann believed that remedies subjected to agitation during transit, such as slapping on the sides of saddle bags as he rode horseback, were rendered more potent.

He devised a method of describing the potencies of the substances and these are still in regular use in homeopathy. The “C” scale represents a dilution by a factor of 100 at each stage. A 2C dilution requires a substance to be diluted to one part in 100 and then some of that diluted solution diluted by a further factor of 100.

This works out to be one part of the original substance to 10,000 parts of the solution. A 6C dilution continues the process 6 times, which results in one part of the original substance to one trillion of the solution.

Hahnemann recommended 30C dilutions for most purposes but regularly used dilutions up to 300C. 30C dilutions resulted in one part substance to 1 followed by 60 zero’s of the dilution.

The greatest dilution likely to contain even one molecule of the original substance is 12C. This was unknown at the time because in 1796 the concept of the molecule as the smallest possible unit of a chemical substance was largely unknown.

image of homeopathic pills and bottlesThere is also a smaller unit of dilution, which is sometimes used. This is a decimal potency designated by “X”. In this dilution, each X represents a dilution of one part in 10. Therefore 6X is diluted one part in 10 six successive times for a result of one part substance to one million parts dilution.

Homeopathy often uses many animal, plant, mineral and synthetic substances in its remedies, generally referring to them using Latin or faux-Latin names, such as arsenicum album (arsenic oxide) or natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride, or table salt).

Homeopathic pills are made from inert substances, usually sugar cubes, upon which a drop of diluted homeopathic solution is placed and allowed to evaporate.

Homeopathic Products for Tinnitus Treatment

Homeopathic products are extremely inexpensive to manufacture, being there is really nothing there but water. Possibly because of this, there are several manufacturers who have brought homeopathic products to market to treat tinnitus.

Ring Stop

This product is sold through numerous national retail outlets as well as online stores. It is a classic homeopathic product. In my research, I could not find any clinical or scientific evidence showing it to be helpful for tinnitus.

Here is a sampling of the ingredients in Ring Stop:

Calcerea Carbonica 8X, 30X; Carbo Vegetabilis 8X, 12X, 30X; Chininum Sulphuricum 12X, 30X; Cimicifuga racemosa 3X, 6X, 12X, 30X; Cinchona Officinalis 3X, 6X, 30X; Coffea cruda 3X, 12X; and 5 more ingredients.

T-Gone Remedies

This South Africa based company has US headquarters in Henderson, NV. Their products are only sold online. They offer homeopathic remedies for 4 types of tinnitus according to cause: noise exposure, sinus or allergy, stress, and Meniere’s disease.

I purchased one of their products for noise exposure. The contents include: Causticum 200C, Chininum Sulphuricum 200C (same ingredient as Ring Stop in a higher dilution), Cinchona Officinalis 200C (same as Ring Stop in a higher dilution), Pulsatilla 200C; and Thiosinaminum 200C. Since these dilutions are all 200C, there is not a single molecule of the original substance left in the solution.

Clear Tinnitus

This product was originally marketed for swimmer’s ear, a fungal infection caused by excessive moisture in the ears. They later branded the product for tinnitus. It has some of the same ingredients and dilution as those found in Ring Stop.

Sonavil

The Sonavil website consists of one long page that claims it can eliminate all the signs of tinnitus. It consists of a single ingredient; Calcerea Carbonica 13X, one of the ingredients in Ring Stop. The label states in fine print it is for crackling, pulsing in ear.

Ring Relief

This product claims to offer temporary relief for ear noises. It consists of more of the same type of ingredients using faux-Latin names as found in the previous products.

It is important to know that none of the above products or any component in them has ever been shown in any clinical study to have an effect on tinnitus. No tinnitus researcher has seen any evidence that homeopathic products have helped anyone so no studies have been conducted.

Arches Tinnitus Formula for Tinnitus Treatment

The same science exists supporting the use of Arches Tinnitus Formula as was detailed in our last article, Compare Arches Tinnitus Formula and Lipo-Flavonoid.  Namely, a multitude of clinical studies in support of Ginkgo biloba and zinc, two of the primary ingredients in the product.

There are over 35 clinical studies that show the effectiveness of these ingredients. Norbert Holstein, MD, conducted a survey of 19 clinical trials using Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus treatment. (7)  These studies proved clinical efficacy for most people and suggested people with tinnitus should start as early as possible because treatment within the first few years of onset has a better outcome than later.

Arches Tinnitus Formula bottle

There are also clinical trials for zinc and tinnitus. These trials and a complete discussion of the science behind the product can be seen in our article, Arches Tinnitus Formula: the Science Behind the Product.

Unfortunately, most ginkgo products sold over-the-counter in the US do not live up to the mandated specifications for ginkgo extract. This specification is widely known as 24/6 extract, referring to the percentages of some of the individual components. Ginkgo biloba is an expensive product and many manufacturers are not overly concerned about high purity and strive to control costs.

Consumer Labs has tested many over-the-counter ginkgo products in the United States. It found that fully 77% of them do not have adequate levels of one or more important compounds. Also, 67% of those products contained less than 20% of the required amount of bilobalide, the compound most important for neuroprotection and reducing tinnitus sound levels. This is the reason many people who try over-the-counter ginkgo do not have positive results.

Arches Tinnitus Formula contains a new, more highly concentrated amount of the designated components of Ginkgo biloba extract than even the best products on the market. It has been trademarked Ginkgo Max 26/7® to showcase it is a more highly purified extract than the standard 24/6. This extract has been designed specifically for people with tinnitus. The components that are most helpful for tinnitus sufferers have been elevated the most. This is why drugstore ginkgo is not always helpful in reducing tinnitus sounds. The complete discussion of this remarkable ginkgo product can be seen in our article, Ginkgo Max 26/7® for Tinnitus Treatment.

In this ever-growing and confusing marketplace of tinnitus products, many making unsubstantiated claims, the savvy consumer should look for real science-based evidence for tinnitus relief. Arches Tinnitus Formulas believes that superior ingredients tend to produce superior results. For over 16 years our suite of products for tinnitus have been helping individuals reduce ringing in the ears; and are recommended by thousands of ENT doctors to their patients with tinnitus.

Superior ingredients produce superior results™

References:

1 – Ernst E. 2002, “A systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy”, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 54(6):577-82.

2 – “Homeopathy” American Cancer Society. Retrieved 12 October 2014.

3 – Grimes DR (2012), “Proposed mechanisms for homeopathy are physical impossible.” FACT 17(3):149.

4 - https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/996984/p114505_otc_homeopathic_drug_enforcement_policy_statement.pdf

5 – Musgrave, Ian (2014-04-08). “No evidence homeopathy is effective.” The National Health and Medical Research Council review.”

6 – “When to believe the unbelievable. “ Nature 333 (6176), 1988: p 787.

7 – Holstein, N. “Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 in tinnitus therapy: An overview of results of completed clinical trials.” Fortschr Med, 2001 Jan 11;118(4):157-64.