An earache can be really painful and mostly occurs in winters. Some common causes of an earache are – ear infection, sinus infection, tonsillitis, change in the air pressure, excess usage of ear buds, build up of earwax, blockage or injury in the ear tube, water trapped in the ear, shampoo or any foreign object may cause pain. They can cause swelling in the ear and sometimes, it may result in fever, irritability, and abnormal hearing. Most of the people think that only antibiotics can cure ear pain. However, to cure this painful condition, you don’t always need to go for antibiotics as natural home remedies can also work wonders. Here are some effective home remedies to get rid of an earache.
Home Remedies for Earache
1. Olive Oil
It is the most effective home remedy to treat an earache. All you need to do is take lukewarm olive oil and put 3-4 drops of it into your ear. Make sure that oil is not so hot that it burns your eardrum. You can also dip a cotton ball in the olive oil and put it in your ear. Olive oil acts as a lubricant and helps get rid of ear infection.
You can also prepare eardrop oil by soaking flowers of the Mullein plant in hot olive oil for some hours (1).
2. Warm or Cold Compressors
Take a hot water bottle or a hot pad and place it on your ear. The heat released by warm compressors gives you relief from the ear pain. It also improves the blood circulation.
You can also use cold pack on the outer ear for 20 minutes. It will reduce the pain (2).
Garlic has antibiotic and analgesic properties. Crush or mince the garlic and heat it in the sesame oil for a few minutes. Strain after it cools down a bit. Put 2-3 drops of this oil into the aching ear.
The antiseptic properties of onion help cure ear pain quickly (4). Grate an onion to take out its juice. Put a few drops of this juice into your ear. You may also slightly heat the juice for the best results.
You can also make onion earmuffs. Heat half of an onion and hold it over the affected ear. The anti-microbial property of onion oil reduces inflammation and its warmth calms irritated ears (5).
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Investigation have proved the effectiveness of diluted vinegar to cure ear infection (6). Mix apple cider vinegar with rubbing alcohol and put a few drops of it into your ear. This remedy works well if repeated 2-3 times a day.
Ginger acts as a natural painkiller; hence, it acts well in relieving the earache (7). Take out some fresh ginger juice and pour 2-3 drops of it into the aching ear. You can also take one tablespoon of crushed ginger and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and heat them up. Apply this oil externally to treat the infected ear.
Radish contains Phenolic acids that have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties which helps to get rid of infection (8, 9). Grate some radish and heat it in the mustard oil. Let it cool and then strain. Put a few drops of this oil in your ear.
Honey is warm in nature. It can be applied gently outside the ear canal. You can use raw and local or manuka honey for this purpose. Its anti inflammatory properties are useful to cure earache (10, 11).
Heat 4-5 tablespoons of salt in a pan till it becomes brown. Take a clean cloth and wrap the salt in it. Place it over the infected ear. Do it for 2-5 minutes every day, it will surely reduce the pain.
10. Carom Seeds
Carom seed oil help relieve an earache instantly. It is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic in nature (12, 13). Take lukewarm carom seed oil and put 2-3 drops of it into your ear. Carom seed oil should be used in a pure manner, that is, no other oil should be mixed with it.
- For better results, perform this home remedy before you hit the sack.
11. Chewing Gum
Change in air pressure is one of the reasons of an earache. When you chew a gum, the muscles that send air into the ears get activated. It releases the pressure and unclogs your ear, curing the pain (14).
Note: Chewing gum is not safe for young children as it can be a choking hazard for them.
Cinnamon has anti inflammatory properties which helps to cure earache. Take some cinnamon powder and heat it with olive oil. Let it cool for some time and then strain it. Use this oil as ear drops, to get relief.
Wrap clove in a cotton cloth and place it in the ear to get rid of earache (15).
Herbal Remedies for Earache
14. Basil Leaves
15. Lavender Oil
Essential oils work effectively in healing the earache. They are always used with a carrier oil. Mix 10 drops each of tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil with ¼ cup of olive oil. Put 2-3 drops of it into your aching ear. It will reduce the inflammation and infection (19).
16. Eucalyptus Oil
Mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of boiling water. Add a teaspoon of Vicks to this mixture. Inhale the steam. It will release the pressure and loosen the earwax, giving respite from the pain because of its anti inflammatory properties.
Both peppermint juice and oil can be used to heal an earache. Peppermint possess anti inflammatory properties that alleviate inflammation (20, 21). Crush some peppermint leaves and take out the juice. Put 2-3 drops of this juice into the affected ear.
- Or else, apply peppermint oil externally around the ear. Make sure that no drop goes into your ear.
18. Mullein Oil
The anti inflammatory properties of mullein cures inflammation. thereby curing earache (22). For the treatment of an earache, flowers and buds of mullein are soaked in the olive oil for a week or two. Then, strain the oil and put a few drops into the infected ear, to get relief.
Put the liquorice herb in the heated clarified butter. This paste should be applied externally on the affected ear. It gives quick relief from the chronic ear pain because of its anti inflammatory properties.
20. Mango Leaves
Mango leaves have antioxidant properties that speed up the healing process and cures earache (23). Boil some mango leaves and extract the juice. Pour a few drops of this juice into the aching ear. Use it at night to get the desired results.
21. Goutweed Oil
Goutweed oil has anti inflammatory properties that assist in reducing the level of inflammation. Mix 1 teaspoon of goutweed oil with 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Heat this mixture and allow it to cool down. Put 4-5 drops of it in your ear.
22. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac has superb antifungal and antibacterial properties (24). Crush some leaves of this herbal plant and take out the juice. Pour its drops in your ear or soak a cotton ball in it and put it in your ear for a few minutes.
23. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has anti inflammatory properties which help to cure earache (25). Heat olive oil in a pan and add a few drops of tea tree oil to it. Stir the mixture well. Take it in a dropper and put a few drops in the affected ear. Mineral oil or vegetable oil can also be used instead of olive oil.
Wrap a stem of Rue in cotton cloth and put it in the ear to alleviate pain (28).
You can make poultice of this fresh herb and apply it externally to cure earache. The herb possess antibacterial and anti fungal properties (29).
- Sleep in the upright position (30, 31).
- Increase the intake of vitamin C (lemons, oranges, guava, and other citrus food) as it improves the immunity of our body.
- Do consult an ENT specialist if pain persists for a long time.
- Cover your ear in case of loud noise.
- Dry the ears properly after bathing or swimming (32).
- Stay hydrated (33).
- Wash your hands frequently (34).
- Don’t put anything in your ear like cotton bud or any sharp object (35).
- Don’t use ear drops that are too hot or too cold.
- Avoid smoking (36, 37).
- Say no to Q-tip for cleaning the ear wax.