Last Modified on Mar 17, 2015
Earth Clinic readers have told us about many safe, natural cures for their loss of smell, including castor oil and garlic. The popular contributor from Bangkok, Ted, has also submitted a comprehensive explanation and treatment regimen. Nose-blindness, or anosmia, can affect someone profoundly in ways that most of us don’t really appreciate. Yet for animals, smell is the most important of the five senses (sight, taste, smell, touch and sound). Imagine not being able to smell freshly baked bread, roses or your child, fresh from the bath. Food is tasteless for those without a sense of smell. Anosmia is dangerous when someone cannot smell smoke, a gas leak or spoiled food.
Loss of the sense of smell can happen at any age and affects as many as 5 million Americans. Sufferers of ‘nose-blindness’ may be told that nothing can be done, just learn to live with it. Loss of smell can be temporary, permanent or come and go. Some of our readers have reported a number of home cures that have helped them. Most of those who have lost their sense of smell would consider any remedy worthwhile, even if the sense of smell is only partially restored.
Can I Reverse “Nose-Blindness”?
Natural treatments can be effective for reducing nose-blindness. While some conditions causing nose-blindness cannot be reversed, for others these treatments are helpful as they help stimulate the development and function of the olfactory nerves. Three of the most effective treatment options are garlic, castor oil, and Ted’s remedies.
Earth Clinic’s Best Home Remedies for Loss of Smell
Below you will find the most popular home remedies for anosmia that have been submitted by Earth Clinic readers as well as a summary of Ted of Bangkok’s treatment for loss of smell. We welcome you to try these effective home cures for yourself. Please let us know how they work for you.
The #1 Cure – Castor Oil
Castor oil has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. It has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties and will decongest the nasal passages and reduce inflammation. Castor oil has been successfully used to treat sinus polyps and prevent polyp growth, making castor oil a useful treatment if polyps have caused the loss of smell. Some people have reported that their sense of smell began to return soon after beginning to use castor oil.
How to Use Castor Oil for Loss of Smell
- One drop of warm (not hot) castor oil in each nostril;
- Do this in the morning and again at night.
Congested nasal airways are normally associated with loss of smell. The natural antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic help to relieve the congestion and restore the sense of smell.
How to Use Garlic for Loss of Smell
- Chop 3 cloves of garlic.
- Add to 1 cup of water and simmer for a few minutes.
- Cool and drink while still warm.
- Can be taken 2 or more times a day.
#3. Ted’s Remedies for Loss of Smell
In addition to the remedies listed below, Ted from Bangkok, Earth Clinic’s long-time Contributing Editor, also recommends avoiding aspartame, sugar, paint and paint thinner and mold. If heavy metals are causing the anosmia, replacing old water faucets, pipe fittings and water filters can be very helpful. Read Ted’s entire post here.
- 500 mg. of L-Carnosine 2-3 times a day.
- 1-3 tablespoons of cilantro or coriander once every 2 days.
- Vitamin B50 once every 2 days.
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and ¼ teaspoon baking soda in ½ glass of water 2 times a day.
For zinc deficiency:
- Zinc acetate (without the calcium carbonate and tricalcium phosphate fillers), vitamin b6 and magnesium.
For nerve damage from aspartame, sugar and diet products:
- Omega3 fish oil once a day.
For excess heavy metals:
- 1 tablespoon of granulated lecithin, once a day on an empty stomach.
- 500 mg. of L-glutathione 2-3 times a day, for 5 days of the week.
For excess fluoride:
- 1/8 teaspoon of borax dissolved in 1 liter of drinking water, every 2-3 days.
What is Anosmia?
Anosmia or “nose-blindness” is the inability to smell even very strong smells and usually affects the ability to taste as well. The ability to smell is controlled by special nerve cells or olfactory cells situated high in the nose. As the nerves detect aromatic information, the cells send information to the brain, which helps the identification of specific smells. When this process is disrupted, you are unable to determine specific smells and even tastes.
What Causes the Loss of Smell?
The great difficulty in curing anosmia is directly related to the fact that there are so many possible causes. Sinus infection and/or congestion are often the problem. A person can be born with anosmia, it can be age-related or linked to a serious disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia or early Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Some other possible causes are exposure to toxic chemicals, a vitamin B12 deficiency, certain medications and normal aging. Head trauma can injure the olfactory nerve, leading to anosmia. Anosmia can be permanent, temporary or intermittent. Getting the proper diagnosis is important.
This explains why a remedy that works well for one person may not work at all for someone else. For example, zinc can be either the cause or the cure of loss of smell. Cold preparations containing intranasal zinc gluconate gel have been known to cause anosmia, as detailed in this NIH study. However, a severe zinc deficiency can cause anosmia. Before taking zinc supplements, it is important to know if one has a zinc deficiency.
Safety Precautions For Those With No Sense of Smell
- Have extra smoke detectors in the home, especially near a fireplace or in the kitchen.
- Keep fire extinguishers handy.
- Use an electric stove instead of a gas stove.
- Read warning labels carefully on cleaning products, insecticides, etc. Prominently mark products that must only be used in a well-ventilated area.
- Reduce the risk of eating spoiled food by labeling leftovers with a throwaway date.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
The permanent loss of smell is no joking matter. Try one of our suggested treatment options or keep reading below to browse our list of reader-contributed treatment suggestions. If you've discovered a natural cure for anosmia, please let us know!
My granddaughter was born with a part of her corpus collosum missing. she is now 25 years old and has never bee able to smell. her condition is acc (agenesis of the corpus collosum) Anyone out there familiar with this condition?
Replied by Connie
Slc, Utah, USA