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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

Herbal Remedies For Adult Ear Infections

By September 2, 2009

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When I first designed my web page I included a category for alternative treatments to ENT disorders. Later, however, I changed that category because it was so difficult to find information about alternative treatments that followed About.com's guidelines for their health guides. I would still like to provide information for individuals who would rather forgo conventional medicine and the easiest way to do that is on my blog. I think I will try to do at least one blog per week on an ENT disorder and alternative treatments that can be used. We'll start with adult ear infections.

First let me say that I do have some reservations about using alternative medicine. For one thing, it doesn't work for everyone. For another thing herbs and vitamins can interfere with prescription or over the counter medications. Sorry, but there is a time to see a doctor or go to the hospital, if you are having life threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or excessive bleeding for example. If your symptoms get worse after trying an alternative treatment discontinue it immediately.

Now, there are several different types of adult ear infections. These remedies are intended to be used for otitis media (a middle ear infection):

garlic oil (applied to a cotton ball and then inserted into the ear), green tea, olive leaf, and St. John's Wart oil are all thought to fight infection, particularly viral infections which are responsible for the majority of middle ear infections. If the infection can be proven bacterial you probably do need an antibiotic.

Mullein oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it should be applied to a cotton ball and then gently inserted into the ear canal.

Echinacea is thought to boost immunity, but recent studies I have read challenged this.

Finally the easiest home remedy: keep your head propped up. This allows the Eustachian Tube to drain which relieves pressure and pain.

I would love to hear from anyone who has tried these remedies and could give us some insight into the efficacy of any of these treatments or has other alternative treatments for adult ear infections. Oh, and thank you http://www.herbalremediesinfo.com/EarInfections.html for the info!

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September 22, 2009 at 11:47 am
(1) andrea says:

My husband has a perforated eardrum because of an accident while playing soccer a few months back. Since then, he’s been susceptible to middle ear infections as well. I’d like for him to try these remedies here. Maybe we’ll discuss it with his ENT doctor on his next visit. Thanks!

October 29, 2010 at 3:10 am
(2) Ear infection says:

I remember my parents putting warmed garlic juice in my ear whenever I had earache, however, like many home remedies it only eases the pain, it doesn’t cure the illness

July 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm
(3) fayiza says:

Why do u have reservations on using Alternative Medicine “because it doesn’t work for everyone” yet don’t seen to have same reservations for conventional medicine for the same reason? Iatrogenic deaths r #2or 3 cause of death in US, malpractice is rampant thus exhaustive amounts of malpractice suits(yes some r frivolous, but most r sound). “Alternative”, natural medicine is very effective when applied with knowledge & expertise & for me will ALWAYS be 1st choice. Unless it’s serious trauma ie. car accident etc then conventional is the way to go.

March 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm
(4) Nichole says:

I have been using coconut oil to treat my otitis and it seems to be working to cure the itch. Since coconut oil is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal I choose that and also I just LOVE coconut oil and always have it handy.

April 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm
(5) James Crabtree says:

As garlic is an antibiotic, wouldn’t it be more efficacious against bacterial infections than viral infections? Would it have other properties that make it effective against viral infections?

July 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm
(6) Billie says:

I am interested in the Coconut oil that the commenter Nichole used for her ear infections. I would like to know how it was used to treat the infection. Is it melted down and the applied by dropping in a few drops? Or is it applied to a cotton ball and inserted into the ear canal? Along with the remedies it would be nice to know how it is applied or used as well. Thanks for the information.

December 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm
(7) Cheryl says:

I have been to a couple ENT specialists for my son’s recurring inner-ear problems and he has had surgery for ear tubes, tonsils, and adenoids–TWICE. A coworker of mine had the same surgery four times before age ten and my friend’s daughter had three sets of ear tubes and so much scar tissue in her ear canal that she has lost 40% of her hearing and has permanent hearing aids for the rest of her life! What the doctors won’t tell you–the quickest way to stop these issues. REMOVE DAIRY FROM YOUR DIET!! I wish someone would have shared this info with me sooner!

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