“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates

Natural Home Remedies for Ear Infections that Work

If you have had earache in the past and you have tried a remedy or two that hasn't worked, well then give these home remedies for ear infections a try, because they do work. Not only that, but the treatments we suggest can be done with ingredients from your pantries and kitchens.

What Causes Ear Infections?

  • bacteria or viruses
  • food allergies
  • over exposure to pool water

Earache is as a result of an infection, which usually affects the middle ear and which can  cause a lot of discomfort. Sometimes the earache is so bad that it also comes with a fever.

There are a number of causes, one of which can be a viral or bacterial infection as a result of a cold or sinus.

Ear infections are serious, and if ignored the person can end up with a burst eardrum and a thick discharge will follow. This can lead to temporary deafness.

There are also those who will suffer from outer ear infection. This is also just as painful, and causes itchiness and a discharge from the ear.

Whether the discharge is as a result of an inner our outer ear infection, the result it the same, and sometimes the discharge can be quite foul smelling and a yellowish-green color.

Children often get ear infections, mainly because their Eustachian tubes are under developed and fluid gets trapped and is unable to drain and get what is commonly known as "glue ear".

Swimmers Ear, or the infection of the ears when people spend too much time at the pool, is another cause of earache and infection.

I have a daughter, who when tiny, always suffered with her ears. We didn't know why at the time. We just thought that it was 'one of those things'. She was lactose intolerant as a baby - we should have known - but we never put 2 and 2 together until years later.

Ear infections, particularly in babies and children, can of course be caused by a number of things, but one of these is as a result of having an allergy to dairy. Had we known, we would have kept her off dairy as a toddler, but we thought that she had grown out of it as she happily munched her way through mountains of cheese and buckets of ice cream and yogurt.

She was no long projectile vomiting on the cows milk that we had started her off on after breastfeeding, and thought that she was now okay. So although she wasn't showing obvious signs of still being lactose intolerant, her constant ear infections were telling us that she definitely was.

Ear infections can also be a sign of other food allergies like wheat and sugar. It is better to remove these from the diet to see if the situation improves.

Symptoms of Ear Infection

In young babies and toddlers they will often have a fever with the ear infection and will cry a lot and be quite fractious. They pull their sore ear, which will often be red on the outside. Luckily, by the time children are of school going age, around 6 years of age, they no longer seem to suffer from middle ear infection any more. By that time the Eustachian tube has grown to the right proportions.

If you have ever traveled with a child with an ear infection in an airplane, or had the unfortunate bad luck to be seated next to one, you will notice that on take off and landing they will be very unhappy. This is caused by pain they are experiencing due to cabin pressure.

If the child is old enough, give them a box of juice that they can drink down. The swallowing motion helps to regulate the pressure build up in the ear. Getting them to suck on a hard, boiled sweet also helps if you are not worried about sugar contents or the possibility of choking!

Several Home Remedies for Ear Infections

Ear Infection Remedy using Garlic Oil

Garlic cloves, a bottle of olive oil and a spoon for garlic oil remedy for earache

One of the most successful ways of treating my daughter's ear infections was using garlic oil. It was simple enough to do.

We crushed 2 cloves of garlic with the back end of a spoon. Then we placed the crushed garlic cloves in a tablespoon of olive oil and heated this over the gas ring. Then we waited for it to cool down so that it was still pleasantly warm, but not hot, and then placed a few drops of this into the ear using a dropper. If you don't have a dropper just pour a little of the oil directly into the ear.

You cannot overdoes a child on this, and so can give it to the child whenever it is required.

Make sure that the person is lying down with the ear facing up, otherwise you will end up with oil everywhere except where it should be!

Warning: Never pour anything into the ear without knowing whether the ear drum has been perforated or not. Only a medical examination can determine this.

Garlic is nature's best antibiotic, without all the side effects! Olive oil is wonderful too, but by blending them together you get a very good natural remedy for sore, aching ears and infections.

Ear Infection Home Remedy using Heat

Using a Hot Compress

Applying a hot compress to the ear can also bring relief. You can do this by placing a facecloth under very hot tap water. Squeeze out the water and keep it on the ear by holding it in place. Just make sure that when you are applying the hot compress to children's ears that it is hot enough to work but not hot enough to burn and cause discomfort. When it cools, repeat. This can be done 2-3 times a day.

Using Warmed Rock Salt

You can use the garlic oil together with the rock salt sock. Basically, all the rock salt sock is, is taking a clean sock and filling it partially with salt. Turn your oven up as high as it can go, and then add the sock. Allow it to get fairly warm before removing it. Place it on the infected air. Keep it there until it gets cold. The heat and the salt with bring relief as well as trying to draw the fluid away from the Eustachian tube.

Gargling an Ear Infection Away

This natural home remedy should be used in combination with the others above. Because fluid is trapped in the Eustachian tube, gargling actually works on the muscles surrounding the Eustachian tube. As a result, through muscular action, this helps to drain away some of the fluid. It doesn't matter what you gargle with. For younger children who are not able to gargle give them plenty of fluids so that the swallowing action will help in the same way.

Where to next?

Other Home Remedies

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By Kathryn Bax

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