Smell Loss - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Smell Loss. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.


Posted by Ron (Nyc) on 04/22/2017

Serrapeptase has worked for loss of smell. I took it for about 1 month now due to a traumatic brain injury, on a empty stomach as directed right before I slept. I would wake up with blood residue/scar tissue on my nose which helped clear up the olfatory system. I have regained about 70% of my smell now after my fall. (I fell off a motorcycle and landed on my back).

Vitamin D3 and Calcium

Posted by Caroline (Kent, England) on 11/04/2016

I lost my sense of smell last year during a bout of bronchitis. When I was given steroids the sense of smell returned but, of course, you can't take steroids indefinitely, so when the course finished my sense of smell disappeared. Back to gloom. Then something interesting happened at the beginning of this year, I was diagnosed with a severe Vitamin D3 deficiency. Within 2 weeks of starting the D3 (4,000 units per day) my sense of smell returned. When the first part of this intense course stopped the sense of smell disappeared, only to return when the second stage started. In the end my Vit.D levels were satisfactory and my tablets stopped. My sense of smell disappeared within a few days.

My calcium levels were then found to be depleted so I was put on Calcium/D3 tablets (daily dose 3000mg calcium/800 units D3), but my smell didn't return. After discussion with my doctor he agreed to supplement the Calcium/D3 tabs with an extra daily dose 1,600 units of D3. Three weeks later glorious smell returned.

Sense of smell is governed by the olfactory nerves in the nose which send messages to the brain. Vitamin D3 is important for the neurological pathways in the body. Quid pro quo. I hope my journey helps someone else.

Castor Oil

Posted by Dmortii (Cape Coral, Florida) on 12/25/2015

Castor Oil treatment for loss of smell:

I used the castor oil once in the morning and once at night. I warmed it and put it in each nostril with an eye dropper. I did this for three weeks and my sense of smell and taste is returning; however, how long do I need to do this for and if I stop will I lose smell again?

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Posted by Tina (Australian Capital Territory) on 06/08/2015

I lost my sense of smell 6 years ago due to a Brain Hemorrhage. I was told that it was unlikely to ever return. After nearly giving up on the idea to ever smell or taste again I decided to look on the net. I found one person in a blog that was talking about Alpha Lipoic Acid and that they had results. So I thought well I have nothing to loose.

After the first two weeks of taking two tablets a day I was walking through the shopping center and could smell cookies baking. I literally stopped and closed my eyes I must of looked crazy. This was 3 years after my accident. It was like smelling for the first time. So I continued these tablets and honestly I cannot believe the results. Though my brain has had its moments sometimes I had delayed responses. Sometimes I would be near something in the morning and later that day I would get the smell only to have it last in my nose all day. This drove me to insanity and to tears. Every thing I ate also tasted like this smell. This is a slight negative but I tell you I now 6 years later have 90% of my smell back.

I have to share this as this honestly was the most remarkable thing.


Posted by Acorus (Boulder, Colorado) on 08/31/2014

20 mule team borax has had a profound effect, ie. restoring my olfactory senses back to almost 100% efficiency, both taste and smell, which I had lost almost completely for almost 6 years, beginning two weeks after my first (and last! ) root canal.

I have suffered with chronic sinusitis/rhinitis symptoms ever since the root canal was performed. I am a senior chinese medical practitioner, and have been using acupuncture and herbs to very good effect, but still could not smell or taste much of anything. Tipped of by the mayo clinic website... that fully 80% of chronic sinus issues were demonstrated (by biopsy) to be fungus-related, I began reviewing natural anti-fungals, and since fungus lodged in the sinus cavity has no vascularity, and thus is immune from anything taken orally which makes it's way into the bloodstream, is why the heinous pharmaceutical anti-fungals such as dieflukan, etc are not effective.

Hence, a topical approach makes much more sense. Borax is a quintessential anti-fungal par excellence!

This should come as no surprise, yet nobody I am aware of has simply put borax in their neti pot.

I'm filling the neti pot with water, 1 full teaspoon borax + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and using it in each nostril, twice daily, to very very good effect.

Borax is so cheap and so effective....the best single cure for sinus issues I am aware of, and can be done everyday!

Castor Oil

Posted by Susanne (Illinois) on 07/09/2014

I lost my sense of taste and smell after taking about 6 zinc lozenges over a 2 day period - only noticed it after the cold ended and I still had no taste or smell. I regained it by using castor oil one drop in each nostril morning and evening in addition to smelling raw garlic and onion several times per day.

Castor Oil
Posted by Tanderson (St. Louis, Missouri, Usa) on 07/09/2010

I tried it but I didn't warm it. IT WORKED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY! Thank you SO much for the castor oil suggestion! Since the smell returned, so did my lack of taste. What a great, safe remedy! I love this site. It's provided me so many wonderful suggestions and this is one of the best!

Ted's Remedies

Posted by Ted (Bangkok, Thailand) on 05/31/2008 391 posts

The best remedy for lack of smell or anosmia is L-Carnosine. The condition is often due to excess heavy metals in the neural system, lack of vitamin B complex and excess toxins which causes loss of smell.

The remedy that I would likely to use is 500 mg of L-Carnosine usually twice or three times a day. Some cilantro or coriander taken once every two days, usually of a small amounts such as one- three tablepoonful, and B50 taken once every other day. Magnesium is synergistic, where magnesium citrate or magnesium gluconate maybe helpful.

Certain foods that should be avoided that kill the nerves includes aspartame, sugar, and avoiding paints, thinner and moldy environment. Sometimes the toxicity of chemical toxins may be neutralize includes 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar plus 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water twice a day.

To be correct, riboflavin is vitamin B2, vitamin B6 is pyridoxine. The zinc is not used. If fungus, moldy or allergy is indicated, the common remedy is 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water taken twice a day to reduce the allergy and fungus problem that induces anosmia or loss of smell.

Sugar may damage the nerves but not as dangerous as aspartame, sweet n low, or diet products. Lack of balance in dietary fats are often common cause too, so I would likely take fish oils, which are high in omega 3 once a day. Granulated lecithin also helps reduced some excess heavy metals as it reduces free metals due to their hydrophopic fat soluble properties, of which granulated lecithin is soluble. The dose I would use is one tablespoon a day, often on an empty stomach.

As to the magnesium it is synergistic with the vitamin B complex, especially B6. Excessive zinc can also cause anosmia (loss of smell) and hence chelation therapies such as cilantro, fish oil, and lecithin is helpful. While l-glutathione is not a chelation it does detoxify to help recovery of neural degenerative disorders and I might take these 500 mg twice or three times a day, usually 5 days out of a week.

Quite often in certain parts of India, high levels of arsenic (usually north part) and certain regions of India, is high in fluoride, which causes neurodegenerative disorder. Fluoride increases absorption of free metal toxicity, such as aluminum, and possibly, free metal zinc, etc. causing neural damages. The demyelination of aspartame, monosodium glutamate as also causes in which avoiding these is most helpful. The lecithin can help myelination which protects neural damages and some neural transmitter supplements of vitamin B complex, but also certain amino acids that increases serotonin such as L-tryptophan maybe helpful. To further protect more damages, the use of dechlorinator in drinking water is best in reducing the inflammation of the nerves and tissues which deaden the sense of smell. Woman especially the sense of smell swings greatly depending on their menstration period, which are often linked to hormonal changes. Reduction in toxic effect of fluoride as well as more normal hormonal levels, is the use of borons supplements. The boron I prefer is borax, such as 1/8 teaspoon of borax dissolved in one liter of drinking water, perhaps once every two or three days, assuming I don't know the level of fluoride in drinking water.

The constant source of free heavy metals is usually from defected water faucet and water filtering devices. A change of old water faucets, old metal pipe fittings, old water filters, is especially helpful as the prime source of heavy metals come from that. Interestingly, I have found out heavy metals also come from vegetables and flour due to fertilizers high in heavy metals. but people without a way to check heavy metals are pretty much blind by the level of toxicity from metals going on which leads to Alzheimer, lupus, Parkinson's disease and even Multiple Sclerosis. Sometimes a mild condition starts with concentration problems, anosmia, for example. Wheat products and excess oils used in cooking products are also a problem because they are acid forming and oils used in cooking products sop up heavy metals during cooking when one uses metal frying pans, and other metalic cooking utensils. Even the excessive use of cellular phones can cook the brains as it is microwave radiation, destroying nerve cells. For example when I do use cellular phones, I often used it on a handsfree mode.

This is the updated remedy.