Natural Remedy for Loss of Taste and Smell

by Rita
(New Mexico)





I experienced total loss of taste and smell a few months ago. I've been to several doctors, but no one seems to know what the problem is.

I'm not sure if they're in any way related, but I noticed the loss of both senses after I had my teeth cleaned. I also was on antibiotics at that time.

Is there something natural I can do to remedy this loss of smell and taste? As you can imagine, eating is no longer a pleasure. Thanks.


RESPONSE


Hi Rita,

You are probably severely deficient in zinc, which is a mineral that directly effects our sense of smell and taste.

It is very common to have a zinc deficiency in this country. Conventional farming practices have made our soils terribly depleted of this critical nutrient (and of course many others).

Stress, drugs, pollution, processed foods, and even calcium supplements all leave us vulnerable to a zinc deficiency.

Medical tests to measure the level of zinc in our bodies are expensive. Lucky for us there is a simple way to determine how much we as individuals need.

I'm talking about the zinc taste test.

Look for zinc sulfate heptahydrate - it's a natural liquid zinc supplement found in most health food stores. It's also known as aqueous zinc or simply liquid zinc.

Amazon carries it if your health food store doesn't - one cost-effective brand is Designs For Health - Zinc Challenge 8 oz Liquid.

Put a little in your mouth (a cap full will do) and swish it around your mouth. The idea is to see how long it takes you to taste the mineral.

Those of us with a deficiency will not be able to taste the zinc - even after swishing it around for over a minute (there's no point in going longer than a minute).

To get zinc levels back to where they should be, use the zinc taste test to guide you.

Take up to 150 mg per day until you can taste the mineral.

You will be shocked when you finally can taste it - it's a very strong, bitter, metallic taste that will show you just how stunted your taste buds really were.

Once your levels are back to normal taper down to a maintenance dose of 15-25 mg per day.

As a word of caution, taking more than 150 mg per day can lead to deficiencies in other minerals like copper and iron.

For more information about zinc, see my page on minerals to boost the immune system.

Wishing you the best of health.

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System

Comments for Natural Remedy for Loss of Taste and Smell

Click here to add your own comments

lost smell and taste twice
by: Anonymous

I got a sinus infection in Oct so Dr gave me a z-pack. Didn't help so I had another antibiotic for 2 wks and prednisone for 6 days shortly after I was off the meds I lost my smell and taste til Jan when I seen sent Dr he gave me another round of antibiotics and prednisone this time for 2 wks got it back till 3 wks after u finished pred I lost it again. I can slightly smell certain things but u also smell something weird like a burning smell up my nose. Taste is almost completely gone too. If I am zinc deficiency why would the prednisone help? Thanks

Loss of smell and taste
by: Ruth

I had a sore throat and common cold 4 weeks ago. About a week later my left ear felt blocked and was hurting for a few hours. Also at the same time I lost my sense of smell and taste. Doctors gave me a week's antibiotics to clear up ear infection. About 10 days after the course of antibiotics had finished my sense of smell and taste still not returned so doc gave me another different course of antibiotics. Still no smell or taste. I am going to ENT consultant this week. I read somewhere that zinc supplements can deplete your sense of smell/taste. It is saying the reverse on here. Very confusing?? Can't believe how many people are affected by no smell/taste - about 5% of the population. That;s a lot of miserable people including me who no longer enjoy their food.

loss of taste/mild smell
by: Sandy

Hello:

About 9 days ago, I suddenly lost my taste it's getting worse and I do have some smell but it's not the norm.. It hard to eat this way... Prior I was experiencing some anxiety.. How can I restore it, please advise. thanks~

Loss of Smell and Taste
by: Judy

About a year ago I had sinus surgery and about 2 months after that I had a horrible odor in my nose. I could not smell anything but that odor. The later that summer I had a root canal and after that I lost my sense of taste. First I would taste the horrible order that was in my nose and eventually I lost both senses. I have been to ENT, Dentist, Endodontist, etc but no one can come up with a solution. Do you think the zinc could be my problem. Would the loss of these senses come on gradually if you are deficient in zinc?

Can't taste
by: Mary

I read this blog and have purchased liquid zinc. I did not taste the zinc in the test, but when I exhaled I could smell it. I have just taken 150 mg mixed with a very small amount of water. Praying that soon I can begin to taste again. Thank you for initiating these comments.

Loss of Smell
by: Prasanth

In October 2012 I suffered with a viral fever and took high dosage of medicine but eventually I lost my smell and partially taste still now it has not been recovered or find proper solution for this. Please guide me appreciate your valuable inputs on this subject

Prasanth
Bangalore
India

Z-pak plus prednisone, lost smell
by: Warren C.

I had a sinus infection and bronchitis. This almost never happens to me, can't remember the last time that I had an anti-biotic. So, the doctor at the urgent care I went to prescribed a 5-day Z-pak (zithromyacin) and a short course (4 days) of steroid (prednisone, I think, but not sure of the spelling). Two days into the medication, I completely lost my sense of smell. I attributed it to the sinusitis, etc. When I have a cold, I can't usually smell that well. As the cold symptoms cleared, though, the smell didn't return. I noticed then how total my loss of smell was. Eight days after starting the medication (six days after first losing my smell) I still had absolutely no smell. That's when I read this information about zinc. I bought some 50mg zinc tablets at the health food store (didn't have liquid zinc) and started taking two a day. Two days later my sense of smell returned. Not sure if they're correlated, but that was my experience. Just in case, THANKS, MELISSA!

Chemo
by: LIZ

I recently had a six month course of chemotherapy following colon cancer and surgery. A month after I suddenly lost my sense of taste and smell. I have trid all the sprays, been to see the ENT specialist who didn't really seem bothered and now I'm just left to live with it. I have asked doctors if it could be the chemo that caused it but no-one seems to know. Has this happened to anyone else?
I don't know what else I can do, I've statred taking zinc supplements so I live with hope this might help.

loss of smell
by: p s bhat

Loss of smell since 13 years. But there is no problem of taste at all. Had polyp removal 8 years back. Smell was weak earlier.

Rgards,

P S BHAT

Loss of taste
by: Atul

Hi,

My father had an accident in Dec last year. He got hairline fracture in his ear bone and lot of bleeding from his ear. He was on medication and is much better now but he has lost his sense of taste of taste. He gets a very bad smell when he tries to eat food.

I was reading about Zinc test here. Will the Zinc test apply to him or is there any other way out ? Please help !


Regards
Atul

loss of taste
by: agnes

h.i lost my sense of taste , i don't know how and why ,,it just happened, when i ate my lunch i cant taste the food.. just the taste of vinegar and the juice,. .
someone told me that its because i drunk hot water and then to cold water.,.does it really can affect it?
and by the way i have a cold
it happened just this month, june 8

Lost Sense of Taste and Smell
by: Suzanne

March 21, 2013 I was diagnosed with sinusitis by an ENT and was prescribed Amox-Clav 875 mg tablets, take 1 tablet twice daily for three weeks; Nasonex 50 mcg, use 2 sprays into both nostrils every day. I have discontinued using both drugs. I now find I have lost my sense of taste and smell. I would like advice to recover these senses, if that's possible.

RESPONSE

Hi Suzanne,

The FDA has reported at least 2 cases that I could find where Nasonex has caused loss of smell/taste.

Anecdotal evidence from searching the web seems to confirm that it can cause loss of smell/taste in a small percentage of people. Some reported getting it back when discontinuing the drug. Others reported what they believe to be permanent loss.

Trying the zinc wouldn't hurt, but I am unsure if it will make a difference. How these kind of drugs are influencing our olfactory systems seems to be an unknown as of now.

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System

I did the zinc test...
by: Marie

I lost my sense of taste and smell over 5 years ago. I've been tested by various ENT's and neurologists but there isn't anything physically wrong. I was told that a virus had taken those two senses away. I'm determined to keep an open mind and not give up. When I read your article about the zinc test, it all made sense to me. So I purchased liquid Ionic Zinc and thought for sure I wouldn't taste it....but I did :(

Loss of taste and smell
by: Thokoorame

Do you have any remedy to smell and taste? I lost my taste & smell from 15 to 20 years. I cant smell even i m sitting near to sewage or a very dirty toilet.

Dialysis ???
by: Maureen

My mother has just started having kidney dialysis & is complaining that she can't taste anything. Folks in the hospital don't seem very helpful. Has anyone heard of this relating to dialysis and have any suggestions for helping overcome it & bring taste back ? THANKS.

Could Zinc really work?
by: Paul Bracknell)

Hi all, I was fascinated to stumble across this discussion, here is my story so far.

Previously I recall my mother back in the 80's complaining about loss of taste and smell, I know this made her miserable but never appreciated at the time what a huge problem it can be. My mum had at least two polyp scrapes that I can remember and paid privately for these to be done at Harley street with minimal success.

I am now 49 and about 3 years ago I started to experience intermittent loss of taste and smell, this seemed to become worse to a point that I was referred to a ENT specialist in November 2011. The outcome was the removal of some polyps but the impact of this procedure seemed to make litle improvement and by mid 2012 80% of the time I had no taste or smell whatsoever.

What I did notice is that prior to the polyp removal I was given a steroid nasal spray and a course of steroid tablets. The spray seems to do nothing noticeable in terms of taste/smell but the steroid tablets were like throwing a light switch, taste and smell returned within two days and then subsided following the course. I have just been prescribed a further course of steroids, he seemed willing to allow me two courses per year so I saved one for Christmas hoping I would be able to taste my Christmas dinner! The course is 20 5mg Prednisolone, I take them 8 first day, 8 second and 4 on the final. I took the first 8 yesterday and by lunch time was tasting and smelling again so as mentioned by a previous post whatever the problem is can be reversed/improved by a dose of steroids.

I have ordered the zinc tester and tablets and look forward to giving it a go, I will let you know how I get on.

Regards,

Paul

In the process...
by: Anonymous

I lost my ability to taste and smell when I was prescribed a Z-pack in August to treat Acute Bronchitis. Besides the inconvenience and lack of pleasure when eating this condition can also be dangerous as someone else commented previously. While on vacation recently I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich when I noticed I needed to put water bottles in the refrigerator to take to the beach with us, needless to say I got distracted and forgot about the sandwich until my husband came in the house to see what was burning on the stove (it was charred) =\
I decided to look up solutions online and came across this site with natural remedies which is my preferred choice unless completely necessary. Began taking the 150mg per day of Zinc on Saturday November 10th and by Monday the 12th I was ale to slightly taste the traces of a mini cinnamon roll :) not a big deal to some but as far as I'm concerned a parade is in order... Will post further updates as my journey to regain my ability to taste & smell continues... Be well!

HELP PLEASE
by: Renuka

Hi ...My husband had hay fever and a runny nose. Our GP prescribed a nasal spray and after using it for 3 days, my hubby lost his sense of smell and he is really depressed about it. Dont know if the spray caused it or not but he had a perfect sense of smell prior to taking it.

Best Regards

Renuka

LIFE THREATENING...
by: Anonymous

Zinc is involved in so many processes, mostly involving DIGESTION which then impacts everything else. If you are severely zinc depleted you also have colon problems...any other problems are related but you also need copper in very small amounts. Take a teaspoon of black strap molasses, unsulphured once per week ONLY. This will help with copper... Eat high zinc foods....garbonzo beans...hummus...are good sources and black sesame seeds....google high zinc foods and add them to your diet. You also need to heal the intestines...use raw cabbage but soak it overnight in hydrogen peroxide to kill any bacteria that is there. The raw cabbage will cleanse the intestines... You also need to further cleanse the colon with psyllium, flax seed, and diatomaceous earth.

loss of taste/smell
by: Gerald

I lost my taste/smell in 2007 when I had a bad sore throat and took Zicam spray. Most of the time I can taste nothing, sometimes salt, sometimes things have a chemical taste. I take a daily supplement that contains 167%rda of zinc. Any ideas on what else I could try? After 5 years of this, I don't like eating at all.

Zinc
by: Ray (London)

Bought Zinc Picolinate tablets 25mg. Liquid zinc not available in UK. Taking once a day. No improvement. Comment please.

RESPONSE

Hi Ray,

15-25mg per day is a good maintenance dose only.

If you are deficient in this mineral, you will need to take a larger dose until your reserves are replenished. Some people might need to take as much as 150 mg per day on a temporary basis until they see improvement.

That's why I recommend the liquid zinc - it will guide you on just how much your body needs. Once you can taste the mineral right away you can start backing down to the maintenance dose.

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System

Zinc
by: Anonymous

Hello,
I lost my sense of taste and smell almost two years ago(when I was 17), and have just started taking 150 mg of zinc (about a week ago). I also tried the zinc taste test today with liquid zinc, and tasted nothing. Could you give me an idea of how long it will take for my senses to get back to normal?
Thanks for all the information on your website!
-Adrienne

RESPONSE

Hi Adrienne,

How long it will take depends on how deficient you are. Keep using the liquid zinc to guide you. As long as you can't taste it, you are deficient.

Swish the liquid around in your mouth for at least 30-60 seconds. As you start replenishing your zinc reserves you'll notice that, if you keep swishing, you'll start to taste it.

After that it shouldn't take long for you to taste it immediately. Once you CAN taste it you won't believe how strong it actually tastes for those with normal zinc levels!

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System.com

Loss of Taste & Smell
by: Penny

Hi Melissa. I also have loss of taste & smell. I'm
going to do zinc test soon as I get to health food
store. Thanks. Other issue is SEVERE LOSS OF ENERGY.
I can SLEEP ALL DAY at times. The TIREDNESS IS SEVERE. Been going to Doc's for about 25 years, they
cannot find out what is wrong. NO INSURANCE. Unemployed at this time. I am talking with a nature
path Dr. I want to keep it natural if at all possible. I am currently out of my vitamins she has me on. Iodine supplement, Super Enzyme Caps, Fish Oil, Vit D3, Magnesium Caps, 5 HTP(MicroLingual instant dissolve tablets). She is trying to help me with sleep and energy issues. I was a bit better but since no vitamins I sleep most of the time.

loss of taste and smell
by: Jill

Hi Mellisa I wrote to you recently about my chronic loss of taste and smell. I tried the zinc taste test and could taste nothing. I started taking liquid zinc and have since noticed an improvement in my ability smell and taste.

Thank you so much,I have spent years going to hospital and having operations to try to cure me to no avail.

Now I'm looking at my diet to include high zinc food. ie oysters, toasted oatmeal, beef to see if that improves things further.

Kindest regard,
Jill

RESPONSE

Hi Jill,

That's great to hear! It can take a while to get your zinc reserves back to normal levels.

Thanks so much for coming back to let me know.

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System


Zinc nasal sprays linked to anosmia
by: Anonymous

Zinc is not necessarily a good idea for anosmia.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090618130709.htm

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003052.htm

www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA350157

www.reuters.com/article/2010/07/21/us-zinc-sprays-idUSTRE66K69V20100721

RESPONSE

These articles are about NASAL zinc sprays.

I'm not sure why anyone thinks it is a good idea to stick zinc up your nose. You're supposed to INGEST it, not snort it.

Zinc, when inhaled, is toxic to nerve receptors in the nose. This has been known for quite some time. These products should never have been put in the marketplace.

The fact that zinc deficiency is tied to lack of taste and smell has been known by natural health practitioners for decades. Zinc deficiency is a big problem in the U.S.

But it is not meant to be inhaled!

Just because something is good for you to take orally does not mean it is good for you to snort!

The FDA has been clear that possible complications of anosmia (loss of smell) are only tied to nasal sprays - NOT lozenges, NOT oral supplements, and NOT dietary zinc.

Thank you for bringing these products to my attention.

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System



Where to buy zinc liquid?
by: Jill

Hi I lost my sense of taste and smell about 4 years ago. i have had two operations to remove polyps. when I occasionally take steroids for very bad asthma attacks infrequently my sense of taste comes back. so i know its not irreparably damaged.

I recently drank some orange juice which turned out to be off and gave myself food poisoning and when a gas pipe fractured i couldn't smell the gas. very dangerous. so as well as the quality of my life being severely affected its also proving dangerous to me. I have tried to but some zinc sulfate heptahydrate but cant source any to see if my zinc levels are low.

Incidentally I don't eat most of the foods containing high levels of zinc as I dislike them. Could you please advise on a site to purchase this item if possible. Kindest regards,Jill

RESPONSE

Hi Jill,

I've only been able to consistently find this kind of zinc through Amazon. I have the exact kind you need on my zinc page.

It's also called aqueous zinc - you might have better luck finding it with that search term if you want to shop around.

I never thought about how lack of smell and taste can be dangerous - thanks for bringing up that side of it.

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System



Sudden Loss of Taste and Smell
by: Dave

I am going to an ENT Specialist this week after the sudden loss of smell and taste two weeks ago. What should I ask him about during the visit? I am 67 and will be having my gall bladder out in a couple of weeks. I have some slight responses to salt and sweet and sour, but can not taste food. Can an ENT test for zinc deficiency? Finally, I have celiac disease, so I must avoid gluten in my diet. Could this be a factor in the problem?

Thanks for your help.

RESPONSE

Hi Dave,

You can test for a zinc deficiency yourself in your own home. See this section on zinc for more information.

I certainly think your celiac disease is related. People with this condition have a difficult time absorbing nutrients - it is not uncommon for sufferers to become malnourished.

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System

Remedy of loss of taste and smell
by: Santosh Kumar Singh from India

Some time before I have got fever, during the fever I have taken some medicine. After some days I feel that I have lost my smell and taste both. Could you help me how can I recover my taste and smell.

Thanks & Regards
Santosh


RESPONSE

Hi Santosh,

I believe zinc deficiency could be your problem as well. Certain medications cause our bodies to use up a lot of zinc. If you were near deficiency before, the medication might have put you over the edge into a severe deficiency.

Try the zinc taste test as I've described above - that is the easiest way to know for sure if you are dealing with too little zinc in your body.

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System



Loss of taste and smell after head injury
by: Loriann

About 3 weeks ago I hit the back of my head very hard. I did black out and did cut the back of my head. Cat Scan of head and c-spine clear. I still have some dizziness but can deal with that ....... What is killing me is the loss of smell and taste .... Do you think that taking Zinc as you suggested to another patient will work for me ???


RESPONSE


Hi Loriann,

Please don't confuse me with a doctor. I am not, nor do I want to be. I only say this because you used the word "patient" and I want to be clear that you are NOT getting any kind of medical advice.

But my own personal opinion is yes, you probably are deficient in zinc. Perhaps you had a low-level deficiency before the accident and it got much worse after.

A lot of zinc is used up by the body for wound repair.

To test for deficiency, use the zinc taste test.

Wishing you the best of health,

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System

Zinc for Nasal Polyps
by: Gina

I have nasal polyps and environmental allergies. My sense of smell is practically non existent. Do you think a zinc deficiency is the problem here too? Thanks.


RESPONSE


Hi Gina,

Yes, nasal polyps are also a sign of zinc deficiency. If you have any problems with either smelling or tasting, you can be sure you have too little zinc in the body.

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System



Smell and Taste Senses Improving
by: Rita

Just wanted to let you know that just 2 days after beginning the zinc supplementation I began tasting and smelling again. My senses are not completely back to normal, but I am hopeful that they will be soon. Thanks so much!


RESPONSE


It will take some time to get your zinc levels back to normal. Here's hoping it won't take too long and you'll be able to enjoy your meals again soon.

Melissa
How to Boost Your Immune System



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