Ear Infection or Earache
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
See also Food Allergies and Fungal Infections

An earache is the result of inflammation or infection in the ear. The irritation or infection can happen in the outer ear canal (otitis externa or swimmer's ear), in the middle ear behind the eardrum (Otitis media) or in the inner ear (Otitis interna). An inner ear infection causes the sudden onset of vomiting, vertigo, and loss of balance.

Children are more prone to earaches than adults. Part of the reason that children are prone to ear infections is that their ear passages are small, so an amount of fluid/mucous that would not cause a problem in an adult can cause severe problems in a child.

There is evidence that ear infections are often allergy induced. The allergy is usually toward cow's milk and/or formula, but wheat is another common allergen. The allergy causes irritation to the mucous membranes, which results in swelling. This causes constriction of the eustachian tube, a tube between the middle ear and the throat. This tube allows for equalization of pressure on both sides of the eardrum and for drainage of fluid from the inner ear. When this tube is swollen, pressure builds up in the inner ear causing pain.

Antibiotics are typically used to treat ear infections, but they are very ineffective and contribute to problems in the intestinal tract that create more lymphatic stagnation and perpetuate the tendency to earaches. Parents are often afraid to treat earaches naturally for fear that the ear infection will cause permanent hearing loss.This is simply not the case. There is no scientific evidence that antibiotics do anything but shorten the duration of pain and infection. The trade off, however, is more frequent earaches.

There are many very effective natural remedies for earaches and ear infections. Garlic Oil is very effective for ear infections. Warm the oil to body temperature and place a few drops in the ear. You can also rub some of the oil down the side of the neck to improve lymphatic drainage.
For adults or Older children, cut a clove of raw garlic, put a little olive Oil on it, and place it on the outside of the ear (sort of like a hearing aid). This will rapidly eliminate infection, stimulate lymphatic drainage and relieve the pain. High Potency Garlic or raw garlic can also be taken internally.

Another highly effective therapy is to bake or steam an onion and place a few drops of the onion juice into the ear. (Make certain it has cooled to body temperature first.) You can also cut the cooked onion in half and place it over the ear while it is still warm. In most cases, the onion or onion juice almost instantly relieves the pain and eases the inflammation and infection.

Other good ear drops include lobelia, Silver Shield and essential oils like lavender, tea tree or thyme diluted in olive Oil (1 part essential oil to 10 parts olive Oil). Make certain to warm all of these substances to body temperature before putting them in the ear. An excellent ear oil can be made using garlic, mullein and/or St. wort in combination.

Where children have frequent ear infections, eliminate the possibility of food allergies and yeast infections. Eyebright is very effective at preventing the eustachian tubes from swelling, or opening them after they are swollen. It is the herbal equivalent of tubes in the ears. The herb works best as a tincture of the fresh plant, but large doses of the dried powder or the EW formula can also be effective. Taken regularly, ALJ can also help reduce allergic reactions that create earaches.

CBG Extract is also widely used for relieving congestion in the ears in both children and adults. It is used as ear drops.

Internally, echinacea can help fight infection and reduce inflammation in earaches. Herbs that promote lymphatic drainage such as Lymphatic Drainage can also be helpful.

Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
For details and ordering simply copy a product's name in the search box above or click on the bold name.


Therapies: Aromatherapy, Cleansing Programs, Eliminate Allergy-Causing Foods and Gluten-Free Diet

Herbs: Echinacea Purpurea, Eyebright, Garlic oil, Golden Seal, Mullein and St. John's Wort

Herbal Formulas: ALJ, CBG Extract, E-W, Echinacea/Golden Seal, IF Relief, IF-C, IN-X, Lymph Gland Cleanse,
Lymphatic Drainage and Ultimate Echinacea

Nutrients: L-Gluramine and Silver Shield

Nutraceuticals: Yeast/Fungal Detox

Foods: Xylitol

Essential Oills: Helichrysum, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil and Thyme