I remember as a child getting earaches this time of year. It would be cold and snowing outside, but nothing could keep me indoors when there were snowmen and snow angels to be made.
Unfortunately, as far as catching colds, I’m the type of person that often gets sick after long escapades in the cold, especially if it’s dry and windy as well. After long hours playing in the snow, it was no surprise when I came down with a croupy cough and a stuffy nose. Later that night I would awake crying and holding my ear.
For young children, earaches are often helped along by head colds but they can also be caused by a build-up of earwax, a perforated eardrum, or even a diet with too many cold foods, allergens, or dairy. The infection itself may be bacterial, viral, or fungal and can affect the inner or outer ear. If your child suffers from frequent ear infections, simply changing their diet to include warm nourishing foods in the winter months along with adding immune strengthening herbs like elderberry will help keep them earache free. You can learn more about elderberry here.
There are a few tried and true earache remedies that are all natural and very effective at treating pain and infection. However, if there is a chance of eardrum perforation, DO NOT under any circumstances put drops inside of the ears. A trip to your family’s health care practitioner is advised if there is blood or pus-like discharge from the ear as this indicates a ruptured/perforated eardrum. Always take caution with ear infections.
The Best Herbal Earache Remedies
These alternative remedies can be administers alongside necessary antibiotics as additional synergistic treatment.
Known to stimulate white blood cells into action, Echinacea has both immune boosting and antibiotic effects. Drinking Echinacea tea or taking the tincture 3 times a day will aid the body in fighting off the infection faster and offer quick relief. You can learn more about echinacea here.
This is one of my favorite Echinacea teas.
Another favorite way to use Echinacea is by putting 2-3 drops of tincture into each ear 2-3 times per day. Using Echinacea in this way along with internal use will help quicken results.
Elder Flower is also a great tea to add in as the quercetin rich flowers bring down swelling and help drain mucus which will help ease pain.
Like Echinacea, garlic has some pretty amazing healing and immune boosting properties (you can read about them here). By dripping a few drops of garlic infused oil (I like coconut oil for its added antibacterial properties) into the affected ear, even the most throbbing earaches can be eased. I really like this brand, but you can easily make your own garlic ear oil at home. Often, mullein or St. John’s Wort oil are added to the blend to make the ear oil even more healing and effective. You can also use mullein or St. John’s Wort oil alone as effective earache remedies.
Taken internally, garlic can boost the body’s ability to fight infection and lessen the duration of an earache with consistent use. I find it really easy to just add more fresh garlic to my cooking during cold and flu season, but you can also take high quality garlic capsules. Not only will this help treat an earache it will also help prevent them.
Performing a lymph draining massage around the ears is also incredibly helpful. If the child isn’t too tender around the ears, simply apply a small amount of herb infused oil around the ears and massage gently.
Here is a great video that shows you how to drain your lymph and sinuses and relieve pressure in the ears:
This one might be a bit strange, but it really works! I have heard of people using onions in a number of interesting ways to treat ear infection, but one the easiest and most effective ways is to slice off the end piece (about the size of your ear) and place it directly over the ear. Hold it in place with a cloth bandage or by hand.
I always found it felt best when heat was applied over the onion. A hot pack works wonderfully to help the essential oils in the onion release into the ear. These oils then go to work on infection and swelling, plus, the heat feels really nice when your ear is throbbing. Using onion is one of the most effective earache remedies I’ve used even if it is a bit smelly.
Leave the onion in place for 15 minutes.
Known for its ability to fight all kinds fungal, viral, and bacterial ills, tea tree also happens to be great for earaches. The secret lies within the aromatic essential oil, and to use it, all you have to do is apply 1-2 drops to a clean dish and add a very small amount of coconut oil. Mix the 2 ingredients together with a clean cotton ball and then stick it gently into the effected ear. This is one of my favorite tea tree essential oils.
The sensation is very soothing. You can even use lavender or lemon essential oil for the same results. You can buy the highest quality essential oils here.
Change the cotton ball 2-3 times per day.
What have been your tried and true earache remedies?
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