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MAY 7, 2015 by MAE CHAN
12 Effective Natural Remedies For Ear Infections


Common causes and contributing factors that lead to ear infections are wax buildup, upper respiratory infections, food allergies, environmental allergies, fetal alcohol syndrome, genetics, nutritional deficiencies and internal injuries. Regardless of the cause, running to your Doctor for antibiotics will not address the infection any faster than many of these natural remedies, most without any side effects compared to conventional drug treatment.

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What Are Ear Infections?


Ear infections are often defined by whether they are acute (acute otitis media) or chronic (otitis media with effusion).

Acute Otitis Media (AOM). Acute otitis media (AOM) is an infection in the middle ear that causes an inflammation behind the tympanic membrane.

  • Often it develops during or after a cold or a flu.

  • Middle ear infections are extremely common in children but are infrequent in adults.

  • In children, ear infections often recur, particularly if they first develop in early infancy.


Otitis Media with Effusion
(OME) . Otitis media with effusion (OME) occurs when an effusion (fluid) builds up in one or both middle ears. When this is chronic and severe the fluid is very sticky and is commonly called "glue ear.";

  • It is not painful and the only clue that it is present is a feeling of stuffiness in the ears, which can feel like "being under water.";

  • Children who are susceptible to OME can have frequent episodes for more than half of their first three years of life.

  • The episodes can last from weeks to months.


Infecting Agents

Bacteria. Certain bacteria are the primary causes of acute otitis media (AOM) and are detected in about 60% of cases. The bacteria most commonly causing ear infections are:
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called the pneumococcus) is the most common bacterial cause of acute otitis media, causing about 50% to 80% of cases.

  • Haemophilus influenzae is the next most common culprit and is responsible for 20% to 30% of acute infections.

  • Moraxella catarrhalis is also a common infectious agent, responsible for 10% to 15% of infections.

  • Less common bacteria are Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus .


Of note, about 25% of these bacteria are now believed to be resistant to the first-choice antibiotics.

Viruses. Studies have reported the presence of viruses in the middle ear fluid in about 40% of children with ear infections. While viruses are not usually a direct cause of otitis media, they may play an important role by causing inflammation in the nasal passages and impairing defense systems, such as cilia, in the ear.

  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus responsible for upper and lower respiratory infections, and influenza viruses ("Flu";) are prime suspects in this process.

  • Rhinovirus, a cause of the common cold, has been found in between 1% and 8% of otitis media cases, and, in one study 74% of patients with rhinovirus caused colds had middle-ear pressure abnormalities.


12 Natural Home Remedies to Treat Ear Infection
s

Many doctors, particularly in the U.S., are concerned that without antibiotics, bacteria lurking inside the middle ear can grow out of control. However, some types of bacteria have grown resistant to antibiotics; critics of heavy antibiotic use in the U.S. point out that the millions of prescriptions of amoxicillin for ear infections that were not bacterial in origin helped to create these resistant bacterial strains. Your first choice for treating ear pain and infections should be natural remedies which are more effective at treatment than antibiotics.

1) Heating Pad/ Warm Water Bottle

To get quick relief, first and foremost remedy one should opt is to press a heating pad or warm water bottle against the ear. You can also dip a clean cloth in lukewarm water and apply it on the infected ear. It is to be kept in mind that the heating procedure should not exceed for a long period of time. Start with five minutes, and repeat the process, if required.

2) Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known for its mild antibacterial and healing properties. With the use of tea tree oil, one can get instant relief in ear pain. Prepare a mixture of one tsp of apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3 drops of tea tree oil, and a tsp of colloidal silver. Slightly warm this mixture. Put your head on a towel, keeping the infected ear upright. With the help of dropper, put the mixture in the ear, and leave it for five minutes. After sometime, turn your head and let the mixture drain out completely. Follow this procedure thrice a day for effective results.

3) Garlic

Garlic is considered to have antimicrobial and pain relieving characteristics. Put some drops of fresh garlic oil or juice in the infected ear. This will provide an immediate relief. The process should be practised three times in a day.

Else, boil 2-3 garlic cloves in water for five minutes. Add some salt after crushing the cloves. Wrap up the mixture in a clean cloth and put it on the infected ear.

Apart from making these mixtures, one can eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves to facilitate the healing process.

4) Mango Leaf Juice

The extracts of mango leaf are effective for the treatment of ear infection. Take two or three mango leaves. Grind or crush them to extract juice. Slightly warm the extracted juice. Put 2-3 drops of juice in the infected ear with the help of a dropper. Leave it for a few minutes. After sometime, you will feel relief in the earache. If the procedure is practised for three times a day, then ear infection will surely get healed.

5) Onion

Onion is not only used as the main ingredient for cooking, but also used for medicinal cure. It is very beneficial for ear infection. Take a small onion and chop it. Put the chopped onion in a pan under medium heat for 1-2 minutes. After allow it to cool and extract its juice. Put two-three drops of onion juice in the infected ear and leave it for a few minutes. After sometime, turn your head and drain out the juice from the ear.

You can also bake the onion for 30 minutes. After baking, cut in into two pieces. Wrap one piece of baked onion in a cotton cloth and place it on the infected ear for at least five minutes. If required, repeat the process after ten minutes.

6) Fermented Cod Liver Oil

According to Dr. Michael Gerber, “Vitamin A deficiency disrupts the clearing mechanism of the ear.” Adequate levels of Vitamin A have also been found to improve outcomes in other illnesses, such as measles.

Dr. Gerber makes a distinction between betacarotene and true Vitamin A, which is only found in animal products such as fermented cod liver oil.

7) Salt

Salt is considered to be the best remedy, available at home. Heat one cup of salt for at least 5-6 minutes. After that, put the hot salt in a sock. Tie the open end of the sock using a rubber band. Lie down and put the sock under the infected ear for ten minutes. The heat from the sock will facilitate in draining out the fluid from the ear. To get relief in swelling and pain, the process should be repeated multiple times in a day.

8) Basil

Basil leaves are also one of the remedies used to get relief in ear infections and minor earache. Take 4-5 holy basil leaves. Crush them to extract their juice. Apply the extracted juice around the infected area. It should not be put into the ear canal.

Apart from this, mixture of basil juice and coconut oil can also be used for healing the ear infection. Take a cotton ball and dip it into the mixture. Apply it gently on the inner part, outer edge and behind the ear. This process should be practised two times in a day.

9) Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is the best solution for removing fungus from the ear. Prepare a solution of apple cider vinegar and water, taking both in equal quantity. You can also use alcohol in place of water. Take a cotton ball and soak it in the solution. Put the soaked cotton ball in the ear for almost five minutes. Now, remove the cotton ball and lay down on the opposite side to flush out the solution from the ear. To dry the ear, you can use a hair dryer.

White vinegar can also be used in place of apple cider vinegar.

10) Breast Milk

Breastfeeding infants have very fewer infections than a normal child or adult. Breast milk is considered as the best remedy for curing any type of ear infection. It is also used for treating eye infections, minor cuts, wounds or burns. It has natural antibodies, which lessen swelling and pain. With the help of dropper, put 2-3 drops of breast milk in the infected ear. If the process is repeated after every two hours, ear infection will surely get cured.

11) Olive Oil

As we all know, ear infection is mainly caused due to the deposits of wax in the ear, which results in germination of bacteria and fungus. This ultimately blocks the ear. Olive oil is one of the best solutions to this problem. Warm some olive oil. After warming, put some drops of warm oil into the infected ear. Olive oil will help in softening the wax. The wax can be removed safely with the help of a cotton bud. Don’t put the bud too far in the ear; otherwise, it may damage your eardrum.

Mustard oil can also be used to treat the ear infection.

12) Mullein Drops

Mullein is a wild flowering plant grown in several areas. To get relief in ear infection, take a teaspoon of mullein flowers and put them into ½ cup of boiling water. Allow it to cool. Now, mix one tbsp mullein tea and one tbsp olive oil in it. Leave the mixture for overnight. Put one drop of the resulted mixture in the infected ear. Instead of preparing mullein oil at home, you can also buy it from the market.

Homeopathic Remedies for Ear Infection

Apart from the above mentioned natural remedies, homeopathic remedies are also available for healing the ear infection. Here are some recommended homeopathic remedies for ear infection.

  • Homeopathic Ear Drops

These ear drops are easy to use and very effective in getting immediate relief from earache.

  • Homeopathic Earache Tablets

These tablets are taken orally for treating the ear infection.

  • Belladonna

It is used when ear is red, and the patient is suffering from high fever along with intense earache.

  • Pulsatilla

When yellow or green discharge from ears and nose is seen, it may be used.

  • Hepar Sulphuris

It is beneficial in the case of sharp earache and thick coloured discharge.

  • Mercurius solubilis

It is used when extreme ear pain is accompanied with pus formation.

  • Chamomilla

It is used for intolerable ear pain in children.

Sources:
hbmag.com
homeremedyshop.com
webmd.com

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

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