An ear infection (also known as “Otitis Media” in medical terms) is a viral or bacterial infection that generally affects the middle ear. Infants and small children are more likely to get ear infection as compared to adults. Some common causes of ear infection include nutritional deficiencies, internal injuries, environmental allergies, infected or swollen adenoids, excess mucus, food allergies, genetic defects, sinus infections, fetal alcohol syndrome, tobacco smoking, colds, upper respiratory infections and buildup of wax in the ear. There are many signs and symptoms associated with ear infection, which might differ from person to person. Some of these symptoms are pain in the ear, nausea, sleeping problems, poor response to sounds, high fever, hearing loss, headache, pulling sensation in the ear, vomiting, and fluid draining from the ear. Here are some simple home and herbal remedies to get rid of ear infection. Try them out.
Home Remedies to Cure Ear Infection
1. Salt or Rice
This is one of the excellent home remedies to treat ear infection. Take one cup of salt and heat in a pan, microwave, or double boiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Now, in a thick sock or cloth, empty the hot salt. Tie a knot or seal the open end of the sock with a rubber band. When the cloth is warm, put it on your infected ear for five to ten minutes. Repeat the same process on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can also carry out the same process with rice in the same manner.
2. Olive / Mustard Oil
Take some olive or mustard oil and warm it slightly. Pour a few drops of this oil in your ear to get rid of pain.
Due to the anti-microbial and natural pain relieving qualities, garlic is known to heal various diseases, including ear infection. Cook two garlic cloves in two tablespoons of mustard or sesame oil until the oil turns blackish in color. Strain and pour 2-4 drops of this oil (when it is slightly hot) in your affected ear as ear drop.
- Alternatively, boil 2 or 3 fresh garlic cloves in water for about 5 minutes. After the water boils, crush them and add some salt. In a clean cloth, empty this solution and pour in your infected ear.
- Or else, you can eat 2 or 3 garlic cloves on a daily basis to heal the infection speedily.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another good option to get rid of the ear infection is using apple cider vinegar. Mix alcohol or water and apple cider vinegar in equal amounts. Take a cotton ball and soak it in the solution. Place this cotton ball as a plug in your ear for 5 minutes. Then, remove the plug and lay down on your opposite side so that the liquid gets drained inside the ear. You may use a hair dryer to dry your ear. Alternatively, if apple cider vinegar is not available, you can also utilize white vinegar.
Take a small onion, chop it and empty it in a bowl. Put it in a microwave for 1-2 minutes. Let it cool down and extract its juice. Pour 2 to 3 drops of the prepared juice in your ear, leave it for a while, and turn your head so that the juice drains into your ear.
- Alternatively, you can also bake the onion for about half an hour, slice it into halves and place one half in a thick cotton cloth. Put this cloth onto the affected area for approximately 5 minutes. Repeat the same process in other ear after 10 minutes.
6. Warm Water Bottle / Heating Pad
Applying some heat to the affected ear quickly relieves pain and prevents micro-organism infestation. Place a heating pad or a warm water bottle on the infected ear.
- Alternatively, you can also use a warm compress. Immerse a clean washcloth in warm water and wriggle it to remove the excess water. Now, put this washcloth on the affected ear. Use this remedy daily until you get relief.
- Or else, keep your head still in a hot shower to relieve the ear pain.
Note – Do not apply too much heat to your ear. Apply only for 5 minutes and remove for some time in between.
7. Breast Milk
Put some drops of breast milk into the infected ear with the help of a dropper. Repeat the same process every few hours to cure ear pain. This remedy is useful both for children as well as adults.
Manuka honey is a proven cure for a wide number of diseases. Rub some honey gently around the perimeter of the ear canal to alleviate the pain associated with the ear infection.
9. Hydrogen Peroxide
This is one of the most popular remedies for ear infection. Soak a cotton ball in the hydrogen peroxide, squeeze it and apply on the ear. Wash the area with lukewarm water afterwards.
10. Colloidal Silver
Although colloidal silver is rarely found in any kitchen, it is very helpful in curing earache. Warm some colloidal silver and pour it directly in the ear. Alternatively, you can also mix it with some essential oil for curing the pain more effectively.
Herbal Remedies to Treat Ear Infection
In a pot, add 2 cups water, ½ cup dried elderberries (or 1 cup fresh elderberries), 1-2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger, and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat and boil until the solution reduces to half. It will take approximately 45 minutes. Strain it. Let the liquid cool down at the room temperature, and then add 1 cup honey to it. Empty this prepared elderberry syrup to a jar and keep it in the fridge. Approximately 2½ cups of elderberry syrup will be made with this recipe.
Note: Since the syrup contains honey, don’t utilize this remedy for children under one.
12. Cinnamon Oil
Take some olive oil or any other vegetable oil. Add some cinnamon to it. Heat the oil on the gas stove. Remove when it’s hot, and allow it to cool down. Strain the prepared oil through a fine cloth and use it as ear drops in the infected ear.
13. Calendula Oil
Simply pour 1-2 drops of calendula oil on the outside of the ear and massage it for sometime so that the drops enter inside the ear.
Note – Make sure you don’t pour the oil directly into the ear.
14. Mullein Drops
In ½ cup of boiling water, add one teaspoon of mullein flowers. Steep it for some time. Then allow the mixture to cool down. Now, mix one tablespoon each of olive oil and the prepared mullein tea. Let the mixture stand for the night. Next day, put 1 drop of this mixture in the affected ear.
15. Lemon Essential Oil
Another effective remedy to get quick relief from ear pain is using lemon essential oil. Dilute 1 to 2 drops of oil with equal amount of coconut oil. Rub it on the outer side of the ear and over the side of the neck. Don’t pour the oil directly in the ear canal.
16. Mango Leaf Juice
The juice of the mango leaves is a speedy and effectual cure for the ear infection. Grind or crush 2 to 3 soft mango leaves to extract out the juice. Warm the juice slightly. Put 3 to 4 drops of this juice in your ear using a dropper. Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times a day.
17. Essential Oil Earache Rub
Mix together 10 drops tea tree essential oil, ¼ cup olive oil, and 10 drops lavender essential oil. Apply this mixture of oils around the ears gently to relieve inflammation and reduce infection.
18. Tea Tree Oil
Mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 drops of tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver. Warm up the combination slightly. Rest on your side and place a towel under your head. With the help of a dropper, put 2-3 drops of the mixture in your ear and leave it for 5 minutes. Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times a day for two days.
For quick relief from earache and infection, use holy basil. Crush 4 – 5 fresh basil leaves and extract the juice. Apply this juice on or around the ear. Do not apply the juice in the ear canal.
- Alternatively, you can mix the basil juice with the carrier oil such as coconut oil in equal amounts. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture. Now, softly clean inside, behind, and around the outer edges of the ear. Repeat the same process two times every day.
- Wash your hands frequently, as it prevents the spreading of infection.
- Breast-feed your little one to protect him/her from the risk of ear infection.
- Immunize your child with PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine).
- Avoid visiting over-crowded places.
- Avoid smoking.