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Friday, February 18, 2011

Home-Made Ear Ache Oil

About one in five kids with an upper respiratory infection will also develop an ear infection, according to a new study published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 

Whenever your child has ear pain, she or he should be examined by a doctor. An infection is likely, but it could also be related to ear wax, injury, a foreign object or even meningitis.

If your doctor determines that the problem is only an ear infection and can confirm that the ear drum has NOT ruptured, consider treating it naturally with this home-made Ear Ache Oil. The main ingredient is garlic, which has been proven to be an effective anti-microbial agent.

A study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine followed more than 100 children with ear infections and ear pain for 3 days. The children were randomly assigned to two groups. One was treated with ear drops containing garlic in olive oil while the other group received standard treatment with prescription analgesic ear drops. All kids experienced significant improvement and researchers concluded that the garlic oil was as effective as the prescription ear drops.

If you're not the DIY type or don't have time to make it yourself, you can purchase Mullein and Garlic Oil Compound, made by Wise Woman Herbals. (Get it from Emerson Ecologics.)

Ear Ache Oil


5 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 glass bottle with a glass dropper lid
Funnel (preferably stainless steel)


In a pot of boiling water, carefully sterilize the bottle, lid and funnel. Set all parts aside and allow them to air dry completely. (You may want to do this one day in advance to make sure that they are completely dry. A single small drop of water can cause the oil to spoil prematurely.)

Mince the garlic. Add it to a small skillet or saucepan with the olive oil. Warm the mixture gently over low heat for 15 minutes, then set it aside to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, strain the oil into the dry, sterilized bottle and discard the garlic solids. Label the bottle with the contents and date. Store it in the fridge.

CAUTION: If you're not certain that your child's ear drum is intact, do not put anything in the ear.

Before use, warm the oil. Add an inch or two of water to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and place the bottle of Ear Ache Oil in the water long enough to warm it. Then place 2 to 3 drops of the warm oil in each ear, every 4 waking hours, followed by a small, easily removable piece of cotton.

Talk to your naturopathic doctor about other natural ear ache remedies, like vitamins, probiotics, plant medicines and homeopathic remedies.

If your child develops a stiff neck or becomes unusually lethargic, seek medical treatment immediately.


Sarrell EM et al. Efficacy of naturopathic extracts in the management of ear pain associated with acute otitis media. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2001 Jul;155(7):796-9.

Klein JO. Management of acute otitis media in an era of increasing antibiotic resistance. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 1999 Oct 5;49 Suppl 1:S15-7.

Marinov T. [Treatment of chronic otitis with garlic phytoncides]. Khirurgiia (Sofiia). 1957;10(3):233-6.

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