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How to Treat Ear Infections Naturally

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Ear Infection

There are a few ways you can naturally treat an ear infection. They are natural, safe, and very effective.

Garlic and Mullein Oil

Most ear infections are viral, rather than bacterial, but garlic is a great alternative to antibiotics (which kills bacteria – the bad and the good) since it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Additionally, garlic contains alliin and allinase, which is a natural anesthetic! This allows for some instant relief for your ear, while the garlic treats the ear infection. 

Update: A recent study showed that researchers at Washington State University have found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting food-born illnesses. I realize that ear infections aren’t a “food-born illness”, however, I would venture to say that garlic is beneficial for other bacterial strains. Also, I think it’s quite promising to see just how powerful garlic is, and how it’s compared to antibiotics.

How to use: Put 3-5 drops in the ear every 3-4 hours. Go ahead and massage in a downward direction behind the ear on the neck and apply gentle inward pressure in front of the ear toward the cheek (about where sideburns would be). This allows for the oil to really get in to the ear and allow for the excess fluid in the ears to drain.  

You should notice relief within a few hours after the first dose, but you should continue using the drops for a few days (3-5) to make sure the ear infection is completely gone. As always, follow the instructions on the product you buy.

If the ear drum is perforated (puss coming out of the ear), do NOT put garlic and mullein oil in your ear. A perforated ear drum is a tear due to pressure. It can heal, but you shouldn’t be putting anything in the ear if you suspect a perforated ear drum.

Oregano Essential Oil

Ear infections can be viral or bacterial (most are viral) and Oregano Essential Oil has both antimicrobial and antiviral properties making it a very effective oil in fighting against an ear infection. 

How to use:  Start by mixing 1 drop of Oregano Essential Oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and rub the oil mixture to the bottom of your feet. The reason you put this oil to the bottom of your feet is because your pores are bigger on the bottom of your feet which allows for the Oregano Essential Oil to quickly get absorbed into your body and start working to fight against the infection.

Just make sure you always mix the Oregano Essential Oil with a carrier oil since Oregano Essential Oil is very strong and can burn sensitive skin.

Do NOT put this oil in your ear. Never.

Chiropractic Adjustment

A chiropractor can do an adjustment that can open up the Eustachian tube and allow it to drain properly. This will relieve the pressure build up and allows the conditions that cause the ear infection to dissipate.

Often times, a baby’s neck will get out of alignment during the birthing process. If you have a baby or toddler that is constantly getting ear infections, your little one may just need a simple chiropractic adjustment to resolve the problem.

“The lymph nodes need properly functioning muscles to contract with your baby’s head movements in order to flush out lymph fluid and congestion that pools in the area.  If the bones in the top of your baby’s neck become restricted (due to birth, or any other type of physical stressor), the muscles around that area cannot contract and work correctly.  If the muscles don’t contract perfectly, then the body has a hard time flushing out the fluid in the ear canals.  Adjustments also boost the immune system and help the body to function optimally.” – Dr. Haggerton (source)

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Adequate amounts of Vitamin A (not betacarotene) have been found to disrupt the clearing mechanism in the ear (according to Dr. Michael Gerber). True Vitamin A (not betacarotene) is only found in animal products such as fermented cod liver oil. You can just take fermented cod liver orally (do not put it in the ear) as directed on the product you purchase.

Probiotics

Your immune system – whether it functions properly or not – has a lot to do with the health of your digestive track. Ideally, you should support the beneficial (good) bacteria in your gut by either eating healthy foods with probiotics naturally in them (plain yogurt or kombucha) or take a high quality probiotic supplement. Take as directed.

Elderberry Syrup

Since most ear infections are viral, you may want to consider taking Elderberry Syrup for its antiviral properties. It’s pretty effective and it tastes pretty good too. Take as directed.

Onion Poultice

“Use one brown or yellow onion, chopped in half. Bake it face down on the oven rack at 350 degrees until you can just start to smell the onion, and it’s just beginning to recede. You want it to be just hot enough that you won’t burn the ears – test by touching as you would formula. Have the person lie down on their back with their head supported by a pillow. Place the onions over the ears like ear muffs, and then wrap them completely using a natural cloth such as a 100% cotton towel, or 100% wool scarf. You do NOT want to have the chemical fumes from an acrylic fabric going into the ear canal. What you are doing is wrapping the top of the head, covering the onions, and then keeping it sealed by wrapping it loosely around the neck. This is why a wool scarf (if you or they are not allergic) works really well. Leave on for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until onion cools. Repeat again as needed. The theory is that the fumes from the onions – a natural cleanser – are going into the ear canal and helping to unblock them.” – The Onion Cure (source)

When To See A Doctor

At the first signs of an ear infection, you should start taking care of it immediately with the natural remedies listed above. The natural remedies listed above are very effective, however, there are times when contacting a doctor is necessary.

According to Dr. Allan Lieberthal, who is a pediatrician and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics new guidelines on diagnosing ear infections, he says, “Basic rule of thumb for parents is: Don’t call the doctor for an antibiotic unless the child has a fever over 102 degrees or severe symptoms of cough, runny nose and ear pain, . . . Instead, a parent can safely wait 48 to 72 hours, giving pain medicine as needed, and watching to see if those symptoms simply go away. If the fever rises or the cough and runny nose last for several days, that’s when the child needs to visit the doctor for a full evaluation.”

Have you treated an Ear Infection Naturally? What was your experience? Please leave a comment!

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