For anybody who has ever had one, they know that ear infections are no fun. Unfortunately, they are quite common, especially among infants and children. An ear infection usually results when there is a buildup of mucus or fluid in the eardrum. It can also be a result of food allergies, environmental allergies, nutritional deficiencies, or internal injuries.
Ear Infection Symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Tugging at an ear
- Unusual crying
- Trouble sleeping
- Not responding to sounds or difficulty hearing
- High fever —100 F (38 C) or higher
- Loss of balance
- Fluid coming from ear (usually yellow or bloody)
- Ear ache, especially when lying down
- Fluid coming from ear
- Ear pain
- Diminished hearing
Regardless of the cause, ear infections are very painful and will leave the sufferer begging for a remedy, and fast. Below you will find eight natural remedies for an ear infection that are quick, convenient, and effective.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is well-respected for its antibacterial properties, which comes in very handy with an ear infection. Combine 3 drops of tea tree oil, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, and 1 tsp of colloidal silver in a heat-proof container; warm the mixture slightly. Using a dropper, apply this solution into the ear; let sit for five minutes; then, turn your head over and let drain. You can repeat this up to three times per day.
2. Warm Compress
For instant relief, apply a warm compress to the affected ear. A heating pad, warm water bottle, or warm wash cloth will do. Be careful that it is not too hot for the skin. Apply to the ear for five minutes, then take a break for ten, and repeat as needed.
Garlic is great for many infections and inflammatory responses. You can simply use a dropper to put 1-2 drops of fresh garlic oil into the affected ear. If you’re not comfortable with this solution, you can boil 2-3 cloves of garlic for about five minutes, add some salt and crush the cloves while boiling. Let the mixture cool then place in a thin, clean cloth and apply to the affected ear.
Chop up a small onion and place heat it for 1-2 minutes. Allow it to cool and then extract the onion juice. Using your dropper, place 2-3 drops of the onion juice into the infected ear (make sure it is all the way cool first!). Leave the juice in for about five minutes, then turn your head and allow it to drain.
Crush 4-5 basil leaves to extract the juice from them. Apply the juice around the outside of the infected year; do not put the basil juice inside the ear. The basil juice will reduce inflammation and swelling in the ear.
Perhaps the easiest at-home remedy, this one only requires you to heat one cup of salt for 5-6 minutes. Then, pour the salt in an old sock, and tie the sock in a knot. Lie down and place the salt-sock under the infected year for 10 minutes. The heat will encourage draining from the ear and release swelling and pain. This can be repeated multiple times throughout the day.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used in so many homemade remedies; everyone should always have some on hand. For the treatment of ear infection, simply combine equal parts ACV and water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and place the soaked cotton ball directly into the ear. After five minutes, remove the cotton ball and lay your head the other way to allow the ear to drain.
8. Olive Oil
Simply warm up some olive oil and place a couple of drops inside the ear. This will help soften the wax and reduce pressure inside the ear.
While an ear infection can be quite painful and unpleasant, there are some excellent natural remedies that will encourage quick recovery. Especially if you have children in the house, be sure to keep at least one of these remedies handy.
Image: Flickr.com /Travis Isaacs