Ear infections are one of the most painful conditions, as the symptoms usually include difficulty sleeping, irritability and earache. The symptoms are even more problematic with small children, and to make matters worse, children are more prone to ear infections than adults. The good news is that sometimes, all you need is a home remedy for ear an infection. Some parents try to avoid antibiotics, some try to avoid home remedies, but the following remedies are all safe, secure, and you trust them with your children.
What Are the Symptoms of Ear Infections?
Before we discuss home remedies for ear infections, we must confirm that you have an ear infection. The common symptoms include:
- diminished hearing
- drainage of fluids from the ear
Children, aside from these symptoms, might show symptoms like pulling at the ear, loss of balance, loss of appetite, irritability, difficulty sleeping, crying, and so on.
Garlic is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, and with its anti-bacterial properties, it makes for a great home remedy for ear infections. There are a couple of ways you can use garlic for an ear infection, so let’s start with the simplest one.
How to do it:
Crush some garlic cloves and wrap them in a small cloth. Stuff the cloth in your ear and let it stay there for 20-30 minutes.
2. Garlic Puree
As mentioned, there are couple of ways you can use garlic, and for this home remedy for ear infection, you need garlic puree. Once you puree the garlic, wrap it in a cloth as in the first remedy.
Now, squeeze out the liquid from the cloth, and pour the liquid into your ear. The liquid will cleanse your ear canals.
3. Garlic and Sesame Oil
For this remedy, you need the following ingredients:
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
How to do it:
Start by heating the oil, and then add the cloves of garlic to the mixture. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down to a lukewarm temperature. Apply around and inside your ear, but be careful not to pour more than a few drops in the ear.
As with garlic, onion can be used in a number of ways to help with an ear infection. Let’s start with the simple one.
How to do it:
Bake an onion for at least 30 minutes, and then cut it in half. Wrap each half in a cloth, and place just one half against your infected ear for five minutes. After five minutes, repeat with the second half.
5. Onion Juice
The second way you can use onion for an ear infection is a little bit more complicated, but also effective.
How to do it:
Heat your oven and then bake two to three onions for 15 minutes. Once the onions are cooked, let them cool down. Now, as with the garlic, squeeze the onions to extract the juice from them. Using an eye dropper, gently apply the juice to the infected ear. Tilt your head sideways once you apply the onion juice. Both onion and garlic have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so it is just a matter of preference as to which one you want to use.
6. Warm Water Bottle
Several compresses have made their way onto the list of home remedies for an ear infection. This one is as simple as they come, and all you need is a plastic bottle and warm water. Heat the water and then pour it into a plastic bottle.
Place the bottle against your infected ear and wait for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can dip a clean cloth into warm water, squeeze it, and then place it onto the affected ear.
7. White Vinegar and Alcohol
Apple cider vinegar might get all the headlines for home remedies, but white vinegar can also be an effective way to treat ear infections. For this remedy you need two ingredients:
- white vinegar
- rubbing alcohol
How to do it:
Mix equal parts of alcohol and vinegar, and then place the mixture into a teaspoon (you can also use a dropper to pour the liquid into your ear). Just make sure to tilt your head and stay in that position for at least one minute, after which you need to sit upright so the mixture can run out of your ear.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
When you use apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for an ear infection, you don’t need extra alcohol. The acidity of the apple cider vinegar is more than enough to help with the microorganisms in your ear.
Start by lying on your side. Pour a few drops of apple cider vinegar into the infected ear. Next, plug your ear using a cotton ball, ensuring that the vinegar stays into your ear and drips deep into the ear canal.
9. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of those ingredients in your kitchen that you can use for almost everything. Now, for home remedies for ear infections, you need the following ingredients:
- a few drops of tea tree oil
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver
How to do it:
Mix all the ingredients and then slightly warm the mixture. Use a dropper to pour the mixture into your affected ear. Lie on one side for five minutes to let the mixture do its magic, and then lie on the other side so the mixture run out of your ear.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Another common ingredient for home remedies is hydrogen peroxide. There are countless uses for this particular ingredient, and ear infections are not an exception.
The best way to use hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy for an ear infection is to soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide, and then squeeze a few drops from the cotton ball into the ear.
Honey is another simple remedy for ear infections. The best way is to use raw honey.
Simply apply it gently around the perimeter of your ear canal.
When you are battling a cold and sinus infection, you can inhale steam to open up your canals. The same approach can be used to open up your ear canals. Simply boil some water, and then add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil to the mix.
Put a towel over your head, lean over the pot, and inhale for a few minutes. Alternatively, instead of eucalyptus oil, you can use fresh or dry herbs, including chamomile, lemon balm and elderberry flowers.
13. Holy Basil Leaves
With its anti-bacterial properties, holy basil leaves help you kill the bacteria inside your ear that caused the infection.
The process is simple. All you need to do is crush a few fresh leaves in order to extract the juice out of them. Now, rub the juice into your ear to kill off bacteria.
Although it sounds like a complex process, using salt is actually easy for treating ear infections. All you need is:
- 1 cup of alt
- linen cloth
How to do it:
Heat the salt, either in a microwave or a pan, for just three minutes. After the salt is heated, place it in the cloth or in a sock. Make sure to tie the open end, and then press the cloth/sock against your infected ear. Let it stay there for five to ten minutes, and the heat will draw the moisture out of the ear while the salt will soak it up.
15. Olive Oil
Olive oil can be used on its own or paired with garlic and mullein flowers for extra efficiency. But the process is still the same.
Simply heat the oil, and then you can add garlic or mullein flowers if you like. Do not use it immediately; let it cool down to lukewarm temperature. Now, with a dropper or a teaspoon, pour a few drops of the oil inside your affected ear.
16. Lemon Balm
Known commonly as balm, lemon balm is a mint plant with antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, all of which help you treat ear infections.
Simply apply lemon balm to the inside of your ear, and repeat the process two times during the day for best results.
17. Mango Leaf Juice
Another natural antibiotic that can treat ear infections, mango leaves are very simple to use. Simply crush or grind several fresh leaves to extract the juice out of them, and then warm them slightly.
Using a dropper, pour a few drops into the affected ear. Repeat the process two times per day.
People say most of the problems come from the stomach and the digestive tract. Our immune system is most prone to issues in the digestive tract, the source of most illnesses and diseases.
If your ear infection is caused by a food sensitivity, the best way to counter the infection is by providing your immune system with some good bacteria in the gut.
19. Mullein Flower Oil
For this home remedy for ear infections, all you need to do is soak a cotton ball in mullein flower oil, and then stuff the ball in your ear.
Let it stay there for 2 to 3 minutes, and then repeat whenever you feel pain in your ear.
20. Chiropractic Treatment
Acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment—all of these can be used to treat ear infection. Chiropractic treatment relieves the muscle and allows free flow in the ear canals.
Most ear infections are caused by fluids in your inner ear, and chiropractic treatment can help. If you are not sure enough how to perform a chiropractic treatment, ask a professional to do it. It is still better than using antibiotics.
21. Breast Milk
Rich with antibiotics, breast milk can boost the immune system. For little babies, breast milk is the best way to protect them from ear infections. Breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of a baby’s life to strengthen their immune system.
For ear infections, simply apply a few drops of breast milk to the affected ear.
How to Prevent Ear Infections
If you want to prevent and reduce ear infection altogether, stick to some of the tips for better hygiene, such as:
- Wash your hands as often as possible, and always after eating and using the bathroom.
- Take precautionary measures to prevent cold and respiratory problems.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Avoid pacifiers, as they spread the bacteria.
- Stay away, and keep your children away, from those with ear infections.
- Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
- Quit smoking.
- Yawn when possible in order to open your Eustachian tubes.
Should You Consult a Doctor?
While home remedies for ear infections help in most of the cases, sometimes it is best to consult a doctor. The basic rule is that unless your child has a fever over 102ºF or severe symptoms, don’t panic. You can wait between 48 and 72 hours and try to treat the ear infection with a home remedy. If there are no results after three days, and the fever and cough continue, it is time to see the doctor.