Mushrooms Supplements for Tinnitus

February 26, 2024 | Dr. Silvana Jakupovic, ND

Tinnitus, the perception of ringing or buzzing in the ears, affects millions of people worldwide. This condition can be frustrating and distracting, making it difficult to focus on everyday tasks. While there is no known cure for tinnitus, some natural remedies may help alleviate the symptoms. 

One buzzing remedy is mushrooms. Mushrooms contain various bioactive compounds that have been shown to provide health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving immune function, and regulating neurotransmitters. In recent years, mushroom supplements have become popular among tinnitus sufferers, with some claiming that they have experienced relief from their symptoms.


 What is tinnitus?

 What causes tinnitus?

 Lion's Mane Mushroom Supplements for Tinnitus

 Chaga Mushroom Supplements for Tinnitus

Cordyceps Mushroom Supplements for Tinnitus


What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the presence of a high-pitched ringing or buzzing sound often only audible to the affected individual and not from an external source [1]. The most common cause of tinnitus is noise trauma [1]. However, metabolic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, along with certain drugs have also been associated with an onset of tinnitus [1]. There are several ear diseases that cause tinnitus as well, including Meniere’s disease or lesions that affect the 8th cranial nerve [1].  

What causes tinnitus?

A systematic review and meta-analysis found that inflammation likely plays a large role in tinnitus development [2]. The review illustrated how noise exposure may lead to inflammation throughout the entire auditory pathway, resulting in bouts of tinnitus [2]. The study also found that levels of the cytokines TNF-a and IL-1b seem to be increased in tinnitus patients [2]. TNF-a and IL-1b influence NMDA and GABA receptors, leading to increased excitatory and decreased inhibitory neurotransmission, which may lead to neuroplasticity (the change of the nervous system in response to certain stimuli) and chronic tinnitus [2].  

Meniere’s Disease is a condition characterized by episodes of spontaneous vertigo, fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness in one or both ears [3]. The cause of Meniere’s remains unknown, but there is speculation and evidence suggesting that oxidative stress and neuroinflammation may be the culprits [3].  

Keeping the results of the aforementioned studies in mind, it seems that potential targets for the treatment of tinnitus may be lowering levels of TNF-a and IL-1b by decreasing inflammation in the body, along with lowering levels of oxidative stress.  

Lion's Mane Mushroom Supplements For Tinnitus

If tinnitus is the result of nerve damage, which may occur due to frequent exposure to loud sounds, then Lion’s Mane may be a potential treatment option. In practice, B12 is commonly the first choice in cases of nerve injury due its potential to enhance nerve regeneration. However, one study compared the efficacy of B12 to an extract of Lion’s Mane in their abilities to heal peripheral nerve injuries and found that the group treated with Lion’s Mane exhibited signs of normal functioning earlier than the negative control group [4]. Its ability to assist in healing was due to its role in increasing the speed of the cascade of events that lead to nerve regeneration [4]. 

Chaga Mushroom Supplements For Tinnitus

As mentioned, a potential treatment option for tinnitus is reduction of TNF-a and IL-1b. Phenolic extracts from the Chaga mushroom were found to downregulate expression of TNF-a and IL-1b [5]. TNF-a mediates inflammation and can stimulate an inflammatory cascade in the body. It has beneficial actions when inflammation or infection is acute, and it holds important roles in increasing resistance to infection and preventing cancer development. However, in some cases, such as chronic inflammation, it is not beneficial to the body as it will continue to encourage an inflammatory state. Thus, Chaga’s ability to decrease expression of this factor lends to its anti-inflammatory activities and may improve the severity of tinnitus.  

Oxidative stress is another potential underlying cause of tinnitus, especially if due to Meniere’s disease. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the level of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. When free radicals overpower our antioxidant systems, it may result in cellular damage and progress to a disease state. Oxidative stress can activate inflammatory mediators and further exacerbate the inflammatory process of several medical conditions. Compounds with high antioxidant activity, such as the phenolic compounds that can be found in Chaga, can combat this oxidative stress, thus promoting anti-inflammatory action

Cordyceps Mushroom Supplements For Tinnitus

Cordyceps is another medicinal mushroom with the potential to decrease severity of tinnitus and improve quality of life. In one study, cordycepin, a bioactive compound of Cordyceps, was found to inhibit IL-1b-induced chemokine production and MMP expression in synovial fibroblasts [6]. What this means is that Cordyceps illustrated the ability to inhibit multiple key mediators of the inflammatory response. Recent research is predicting that Cordyceps and its constituents hold potential to be the next new class of anti-inflammatory agents [7].  

Although there is no established cure in place for tinnitus, there are interventions that can be taken to reduce the severity of symptoms present. Tinnitus can impair quality of life greatly and even impact mental health if severe enough. Medicinal mushroom extracts may be useful in targeting underlying causes of tinnitus and making the condition more manageable.



[1] Grossan M, Peterson DC. Tinnitus. [Updated 2022 Apr 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: 

[2] Mennink LM, Aalbers MW, van Dijk P, van Dijk JMC. The Role of Inflammation in Tinnitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Med. 2022 Feb 14;11(4):1000. doi: 10.3390/jcm11041000. PMID: 35207270; PMCID: PMC8878384. 

[3] Scuto M, Di Mauro P, Ontario ML, Amato C, Modafferi S, Ciavardelli D, Trovato Salinaro A, Maiolino L, Calabrese V. Nutritional Mushroom Treatment in Meniere's Disease with Coriolus versicolor: A Rationale for Therapeutic Intervention in Neuroinflammation and Antineurodegeneration. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Dec 31;21(1):284. doi: 10.3390/ijms21010284. PMID: 31906226; PMCID: PMC6981469. 

[4] Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, Bakar R, Sabaratnam V. Neuroregenerative potential of lion's mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review). Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012;14(5):427-46. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushr.v14.i5.10. PMID: 23510212. 

[5] Alhallaf W, Perkins LB. The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Chaga Extracts Obtained by Different Extraction Methods against LPS-Induced RAW 264.7. Molecules. 2022 Jun 30;27(13):4207. doi: 10.3390/molecules27134207. PMID: 35807453; PMCID: PMC9268247. 

[6] Noh EM, Kim JS, Hur H, Park BH, Song EK, Han MK, Kwon KB, Yoo WH, Shim IK, Lee SJ, Youn HJ, Lee YR. Cordycepin inhibits IL-1beta-induced MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Jan;48(1):45-8. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ken417. PMID: 19056796. 

[7] Tan L, Song X, Ren Y, Wang M, Guo C, Guo D, Gu Y, Li Y, Cao Z, Deng Y. Anti-inflammatory effects of cordycepin: A review. Phytother Res. 2020 Oct 8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6890. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33090621. 

Comments (1)

  • Patrick Docherty on May 06, 2024

    Thank you for the great information!

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