Ear infections are a common affliction for many children. In fact, over 75% of kids will experience at least one ear infection before the age of three.
While adults occasionally develop ear infections, too, the condition is much more common in children. Whether it’s you or your child who’s suffering, you’re undoubtedly looking for the fastest way to cure that terrible pain!
But how do you know if your child needs to see a doctor?
When to seek medical care
Before beginning any treatment, you need to assess your child’s symptoms. The AAP recommends seeking medical attention if your child:
- Has a fever over 102F
- Complains of dizziness, worsening pain, or hearing loss
- Has visible redness or swelling in the affected ear
- Does not improve within 48 hours
A “wait and see” approach is recommended if:
- You child has a temperature below 102F
- The pain seems to be lessening
- No other warning signs are present
Many doctors do not recommend antibiotics to treat ear infections. This is great news for those who prefer natural treatments.
Fortunately, there are many natural ear infection remedies!
Best natural ear infection remedies
1. Warm compress
Warm compresses are a natural way to reduce ear pain. Try a warm water bottle, a rice heat pack, or a moist washcloth.
For an extra-soothing experience, try adding some dried rosemary or chamomile to the water!
2. Garlic poultice
One of the best natural ear infection remedies is garlic. This superfood contains many antibiotic and antiviral properties to heal infections.
You can use either sliced fresh garlic cloves or lightly boiled and mashed cloves. Either option can be too strong for direct application to the skin. So, be sure to wrap it in gauze or another porous material.
Alternately, you can make garlic oil by cooking two cloves in sesame oil or EVOO. Once the oil is sufficiently cooled, strain it and apply a few drops directly into the affected ear.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a popular remedy for many natural cures – including ear infections!
Mix one part ACV with one part water and soak a cotton ball in the solution. Place the cotton ball in the affected ear and leave it there for five minutes. After removing it, lie down on your opposite side to allow any remaining moisture to drain from the ear.
If the infection is in the Eustachian tubes, try gargling with ACV instead.
Another potent herb to try is holy basil. It’s used for pain relief as well as fighting infections.
Crush five or six fresh leaves to extract the juice. Mix it with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil), and wipe the mixture gently in and around the ear.
5. Breast milk
It may sound strange, but many doctors recommend breast milk as a natural remedy for ear infections. The antibodies contained in breast milk are a powerful healing agent!
Using a dropper, place a few drops of breast milk in the affected ear several times a day. This remedy works equally well for children and adults!
What other natural products can you use to heal your family’s ailments? Check out our natural remedies page for more ideas!
Have you tried any of these ear infection remedies?