Antibiotics are a commonly prescribed conventional treatment for ear infections but can actually contribute to recurring ear infections by wiping out good bacteria, which helps keep the body healthy and immune system strong. Additionally, antibiotics are not always effective. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that children who were given antibiotics for ear infections fared no differently than children given a placebo. In fact, the AAP just rolled out new guidelines which will result in less antibiotic prescriptions, so if you want to try a natural remedy to relieve ear aches and infection, this post is for you!
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 oz. dried mullein flowers or leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, AND antiviral properties to it, making it an awesome natural treatment for ear infections. To unlock the healing powers of garlic, it must sit for 10 minutes after mincing and before preparing, cooking or eating. This allows the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of alliicin to form.
Mullein has long been used as a treatment for upper respiratory infections and coughs, but also is a well know natural treatment for earaches and infections when infused into olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains polyphenols which help to prevent and control inflammation. When added to the ear, olive oil can help to soothe and calm irritation, inflammation, redness, and ear pain. Olive oil also contains antibacterial/antiviral properties that can help aid in prevention and treatment of ear infections.
- Warm olive oil slightly over low heat in small sauce pan.
- Remove olive oil from heat and add minced garlic.
- Cover and allow olive oil and garlic to steep for at least 30 minutes.
- Strain your oil using a fine mesh or cheese cloth, taking great care not to leave ANY pieces of garlic in the final oil. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Have your child lay on his or her side with the affected ear facing up.
- Administer 2-3 drops of the oil in the ear every 4 hours.
Tip: To help the oil reach the eardrum and begin the process of lymphatic drainage, grasp the lower part of the ear and begin stretching and gently massaging it. This will also help to reduce swelling and inflammation and promote pain relief and healing. Warm heat is also very effective in reducing ear ache pain and works very well in conjunction with the garlic oil remedy. Gently warm a small cloth bag or sock filled with rice or flaxseeds and lay directly over the ear.
Store in a dark glass bottle with a dropper. If stored in the fridge, will last 6+ months, otherwise store in a cool dark place and it will last for 3+ months.
Note: If you suspect a punctured or ruptured eardrum do not administer anything in the ear. Please consult your health care provider before using herbal remedies.