Where to turn when the room won’t stop spinning

If you’ve never heard of Ménière’s disease, consider yourself lucky. This chronic inner ear condition may not be lethal—but as any sufferer knows, it can turn your life into a walking nightmare.

Its telltale symptoms include spontaneous vertigo and dizziness. Tinnitus—ringing, buzzing, or relentless humming in your ears—is another common symptom. As is pressure and even hearing loss from excessive fluid built up behind your ear drums.

That’s just a little taste of what’s it’s like to live with Ménière’s disease. And the worst part?

There’s no cure.

But there is help. And according to one new clinical trial, it comes in the form of one of my favorite “desert island” supplements—the French Maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol.

Researchers recruited over 100 patients with Ménière’s disease. All subjects received what the researchers dubbed the “best available treatments” to manage their conditions. These treatments included drugs like benzodiazepines, antihistamines, and corticosteroids—as well as following a low-salt diet and avoiding caffeine, alcohol or other stimulants. But 55 of the patients also took 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily for six months.

Results showed dramatic improvements in all aspects of the condition—including vertigo, hearing loss, ear pressure, tinnitus, and unsteady gait—within just three months.

In fact, more than 45 percent of the group taking Pycnogenol was completely symptom-free by this point. (Compared with less than a quarter of the subjects who didn’t supplement.) And by the end of the trial, that number jumped to more than 87 percent.

Subjects using the “best available” methods alone, however, experienced a 35 percent improvement by the end of the study. In other words, the addition of Pycnogenol more than doubled treatment success.

With results like that, there’s really no reason NOT to add Pycnogenol to your treatment regimen if you’re suffering from Ménière’s disease. There are no risks and no side effects… but there are countless other benefits—for your circulation, your skin, and more.  I recommend 150 mg per day.


Luzzi R, et al. “Improvement in symptoms and cochlear flow with pycnogenol in patients with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus.” Minerva Med. 2014 Jun;105(3):245-54.