There is nothing quite as painful as an ear infection. The pain can range from a dull throb to an outright burning and sharp stabbing distraction. If you are prone to ear infections, you know this pain all too well. Having an ear infection makes it difficult to concentrate and the pain can even radiate down into your jaw or even your neck.
What Causes An Ear Infection?
Ear infections are the result of bacteria or viruses in the middle ear. Although ear infections occur more frequently in children than adults, many adults do suffer. Some causes and things that may make an ear infection worse include wax buildup, nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, genetics, nutritional deficiencies and upper respiratory infections.
Some obvious signs that you have an ear infection are pain in the ear include, headache, fluid draining from the ear, compromised hearing, nausea, tugging feeling in the ear, pain with fever and sleeping problems.
Anatomy Of The Ear
There are three parts to the ear; the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. You can get an ear infection in any one of these three parts. If you get one in the inner ear it is the most serious. It is important to treat an ear infection as soon as you suspect you have one so that it does not cause complications such as damage to the ear or a ruptured eardrum. In addition, if you let ear infections go by untreated, they can lead to chronic ear infections and even deafness.
Although it is important to contact a medical professional when you have an ear infection, there are many time tested home remedies that can help reduce the pain and inflammation of an ear infection.
19 Home Remedies To Beat Ear Infections Fast
Garlic has potent antimicrobial and pain relieving properties that make highly effective as a home remedy for ear infections. There are several different ways you can employ garlic as a natural earache remedy.
Make your own garlic oil by cooking two cloves in two tablespoons of mustard oil until it becomes black in color.Strain the liquid and when it is just hot enough for you to bear, put a few drops in the affected ear. Be sure to use a clean dropper for this method.
You can also boil a few fresh cloves of garlic in water for about five minutes. Crush them and add a little real salt. Put this mixture into a clean cloth and place it against the ear that is hurting.
In addition to the above remedies with garlic, you can also consume a few cloves of fresh garlic daily to help boost your immunity and speed up healing.
There are many reasons for an ear infection but one very common one is when wax in the ear is attacked by a fungal or bacterial growth which leads to a blockage in the Eustachian tubes. This obstruction can be cleared easily with the help of olive oil.
Warm up some olive oil on the stove (on low heat). Dribble the oil into the infected ear. When the oil hits the wax it will soften. After this, remove the wax with a cotton swab. However, do not put the swab too far into the ear as you may damage the eardrum.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted as the “go to” remedy, one that your grandmother may have relied upon. Despite its strong aroma and acidic taste, this vinegar made from fermented apples has a plethora of healing properties.
One of these properties is its antibacterial and antifungal characteristics. Known for its ability to fight chronic yeast infections, apple cider vinegar can also tackle fungus that may cause ear infections.
To use apple cider vinegar for ear infections, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution. Place the cotton ball in your affected ear and let it sit for five minutes or so. Remove the cotton ball and lay down on your opposite side so that any residual vinegar can drain from your ear. Dry your ear out with a hair dryer set on low.
Note: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar. If you know that the location of your infection in in the Eustachian tubes, you can try gargling with apple cider vinegar as well.
Most people have no trouble finding a little salt in their home. Heat up one cup of salt over low heat for just a few minutes. Place the warm salt in a clean and soft cloth. Secure the end of the cloth with a rubber band. When you can stand the temperature, lay down and place the cloth on the affected ear for about ten minutes. Repeat this daily to help bring relief. The warm salt will help draw out the fluid from the ear and reduce pain and swelling.
Read Next: 10 Ways Himalayan Salt Will Change Your Life
Basil is an herb with many therapeutic properties. Basil is high in antioxidants and also contains potent antibacterial properties. To use basil crush five fresh holy basil leaves very gently to expel the juice. Apply the basil juice on and around the affected ear. Be careful not to get any of the juice in the ear canal. Alternatively, mix a few drops of holy basil oil with an equal amount of coconut oil and soak a cotton ball in the mixture. Wipe gently just inside the ear, around the outside of the ear and behind the ear with the mixture.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has a number of amazing therapeutic properties including; antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial, fungicide, insecticide, balsamic, expectorant and stimulant.
All of these properties make tea tree oil and excellent herbal remedy to turn to when you have ear pain or infection. Mix a few drops of oil with a tablespoon of olive oil and warm slightly. Fill a clean dropper with the mixture and drop into the infected ear. Lay on your side with the oil in your ear for about three minutes. Turn your head to drain the oil out.
Repeat daily until the pain subsides.
Read Next: 10 Impressive Uses For Tea Tree Oil
Onions have a very impressive nutritional as well as medicinal resume. Although they may make you cry, onions are worth considering for any number of conditions, including an ear infection. Research demonstrates that onions can protect from a number of very serious conditions. Most of this is due to the rich amount of the flavonoid quercetin they contain. Quercetin has been shown to keep cardiovascular disease, cancer and cataracts at bay. Other compounds found in onions may help lower both blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Onions also contain antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties that help to bring relief to an inflamed and sore ear. By reducing the inflammation, onions can help the body go to work to heal and ear infection while substantially reducing pain.
To use onions for an earache, follow the following instructions:
- Cook an onion in the oven for 15 minutes on 450 F
- Remove the onion from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it
- Cut the onion in half and squeeze it over a small bowl – the juice will pour out. Strain the juice with a paper towel if there are any chunks of onion or skin in it.
- Test the temperature of the juice – it can be warm but not super hot. Use a clean medicine dropper to put a few drops into the ear that is infected.
- Keep your head tipped to one side to allow the drops to go to work. Let them soak in for about five minutes if possible.
- Tip to the other side to allow any drops to drain out.
- Pat your ear dry with a clean cloth.
- Repeat this several times a day for relief.
Warm Water Bottle
Although it may seem too simple to be effective, a warm water bottle can bring great relief to ear pain. Fill a water bottle with hot water, wrap it in a towel and lay it against the infected ear. The warmth is soothing and helps to reduce pain.
Ginger root has a very strong anti-inflammatory properties ( gingerols) and antibacterial properties that can help remedy ear infections. To use ginger for an ear infection, extract the juice and drop it into the affected ear. Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root with two tablespoons of olive oil. Let this mixture set for about ten minutes and use a clean dropper to put a few drops in the infected ear.
While you may be used to putting hydrogen peroxide on cuts and scrapes, did you also know that it can help with an ear infection? If you have an overload of wax, hydrogen peroxide can help break through this was and reduce the discomfort associated with an ear infection.
To use hydrogen peroxide, follow the steps below:
- Mix an equal amount of 3% or less hydrogen peroxide and water together in a cup.
- Soak a cotton ball in the mixture.
- With the head tilted, squeeze the cotton ball to release a few drops of the solution.
- Keep your head tilted ( it is often easier lying on your side). You will feel a slight tingling sensation due to the peroxide bubbles. After about ten minutes, turn your head and let the residual peroxide drain out.
- Repeat a couple times a day until the infection is gone.
Read Next: 34 Magical Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide
Peppermint Oil and Leaves
Peppermint has strong anti inflammatory, antibacterial and even mild anesthetic properties that can help remedy an ear infection. To use, put the juice from fresh peppermint leaves in a clean dropper and place two or three drops inside the infected ear. You can also apply a few drops of oil around the opening of the ear. Be sure that you don’t get any oil directly inside the ear as it is very strong.
Read Next: 43 Magical Uses For Peppermint Oil
Mullein Flower Oil
Mullein is a plant with very soft, velvet-like leaves and a number of healing properties contained in the leaves, roots and flowers. The flowers are often made into extracts, infused in oil or made into tea. The extract is commonly mixed with garlic in oil and other herbs in teas to treat coughs and respiratory conditions.
The oil from the flower contains analgesic properties that helps reduce pain. The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation. This makes it a fitting home remedy for ear infections.
To use, place a few drops of mullein oil in a bowl and dip a cotton ball in the oil and place in the infected ear for about five to ten minutes. Repeat this process as often as necessary to relieve pain.
You can also mix a few drops of mullein oil with garlic oil and place a couple of drops of this mixture in the affected ear. This powerful mixture will help fight fungus and relieve pain and inflammation. Repeat as often as necessary.
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Although radishes may be a delicious addition to your salad, they also hold remarkable therapeutic value. Commonly used to remedy such conditions as constipation, high blood pressure, dehydration, constipation and fever, you can also put them up against the pain and inflammation of an ear infection.
To use, mix a teaspoon of small radish pieces in 2 tablespoons of mustard oil and warm on the stove for about ten minutes. Filter out the pieces of radish and put the oil in and clean glass bottle. Place 2 to 3 drops of the oil in the affected ear for quick pain relief. Use as often as needed until pain is gone.
More Natural Home Remedies to Consider
- Organic linseed oil and garlic cloves
- Fresh sesame seed oil
- Juice from the bark of a banana tree
- Mineral oil
- Herbal teas, especially peppermint
- Diluted eucalyptus oil
10 Tips to Prevent an Ear Infection
In addition to using home remedies when you find yourself with an ear infection, there are a number of things that you can do to prevent an ear infection including:
- After a shower, use a blow dryer on low setting to dry your ears.
- Wear a scarf or other covering over your ears when you go outside in windy weather.
- Chew gum when you go up in elevation or on an airplane.
- Coat your ears with mineral oil before swimming.
- Drink plenty of water daily.
- Reduce your intake of dairy products.
- Avoid consuming food made with processed sugar.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, especially greens.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t drink excessively.
Note: As with any home remedy, it is always best to conduct extensive research before using any therapy.