Name of treatment

Essential oils

Type of treatment

Use of oil as topical treatment or via inhalation or diffusion

Claims for treatment

Removes tinnitus percept – different oils have different claims for the mechanism by how this is achieved.

How treatment is delivered

By application to skin; via inhalation

Potential negative consequences

Cost

Skin or membrane irritation, photosensitivity & other allergic reactions [1]

Toxicity

Evidence offered:

 

Papers available

There have been no papers published on essential oils as a treatment for tinnitus[2] [3].

Conclusions drawn

There is limited evidence to support the use of certain essential oils as an aid to sleep or to reduce anxiety.

There is no evidence to support the use of essential oils as a treatment for tinnitus.

Quality of evidence[4]

B

Does the BTA recommend this treatment?

No

BTA opinion on this treatment:

Current tinnitus management guidelines suggest the use of relaxation strategies to help manage tinnitus. Some essential oils may be considered as a way to improve relaxation

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes provided study is sufficiently large scale and rigorous.

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?

  Limited evidence of harm

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?

  No evidence that it is effective

Comments

Most commonly suggested oils for tinnitus,

Basil oil

Cypress oil

Frankincense oil

Helichrysum oil

Juniper berry oil

Lavender oil

Lilies oil

Patchouli oil

Petitgrain oil

Rehmannia oil

Spotted orchid oil

Date completed

February 2020

Date for revision

February 2023

 

We welcome feedback on all our information. Please send any corrections or updates for consideration to Nic Wray, Communications Manager on [email protected]

 

Download this information:

tinnitus and essential oils

[1] De Groot AC, Schmidt E.(2016) Essential Oils, Part 1: Introduction. Dermatitis 27(2) 39-42

[2] Pubmed search by author 10 February 2020

[3] DiSogra RM. (2019) Essential Oils for Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Vertigo. Audiology Today. July/August 2019. Available from https://www.audiology.org/audiology-today-julyaugust-2019/essential-oils-hearing-loss-tinnitus-and-vertigo [accessed 11 February 2020]

[4] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands

Updated 11 February 2020

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash