Natural Remedies for Earache

There are several possible reasons one might have an earache.

Image of a holy basil plant (tulsi)

Ear pain can be caused by plugged Eustachian tubes, changes in atmospheric pressure, sinus infections, teeth grinding, debris in the ear canal, and can result even from a problem elsewhere in your body (probably somewhere in or near your head though).

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Cause-dependent, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Draining*
  • Fever*
  • Itching
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain inside the ear
  • Redness and swelling outside the ear
  • Ringing
  • Sore throat
  • Stiff neck*
  • Temporary loss of hearing
  • Vertigo*

*Seek medical care

PREVALENCE

Earache is most common in children. Acute earache affects about 80-90& of children (NCBI) under 5 at least once.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Many ear infections clear up without medical care. Treatment depends on cause. Some possible underlying conditions include:

  • Cervical spine pain
  • Dental pain
  • Earwax
  • Eustachian blockage
  • Infection causing fluid build-up
  • Injury
  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Pharyngitis
  • Sinus pain
  • Teeth grinding
  • Thyroid inflammation
  • TMJ
  • Tonsilitis

SELF TREATMENT

If you are satisfied there are no serious underlying causes requiring medical attention, research some of the following treatments for use at home.

For young children, you should always consult a pediatrician first.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against infections and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth
  • Wholesome diet of fresh, whole, living foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Dairy
  • Fried foods
  • Sugar

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUID

Some to fight infection and others for relaxation:

  • Angelica
  • Chamomile
  • Echinacea
  • Holy Basil (Tulsi)
  • Yarrow root

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Basil
  • Bayberry bark
  • Bishop’s Weed
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Neem
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Yellowdock root

ESSENTIAL OILS

Some home remedies call for essential drops inside the ear. Some advisors say to never put essential oils in the ear. You can try instead diluted oils rubbed on the skin around the outer ear and jaw. You can apply diluted oils to a warm compress and place it over the ear.

  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Mullein and garlic oil
  • Peppermint
  • Sandalwood
  • Tamanu oil
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Garlic
  • Potassium
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. It’s important for an effective immune system. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Apple Cider Vinegar ear drops
  • Avoid flying or diving when you have a head cold.
  • Blow some warm (not hot) air into your ear (with a blow dryer).
  • Chew gum, which will help to open the Eustachian tube.
  • Eucalyptus steam bath
  • Herbal steam inhalation
  • Honey rubbed around the ear
  • Hydrogen peroxide drops, a weak solution
  • If you have problems equalizing the pressure in your ears, try holding your nose and trying to blow air out through your nose.
  • Inhale herbal steam to help reduce nasal swelling, which in turn will increase airflow to the Eustachian tubes.
  • Keep the sufferer away from smoke from any source.
  • Naturopathic drops
  • Neck exercises
  • Onion slices over the ear
  • Place a hot water bottle or warm, damp cloth over your ear.
  • Put a couple drops of warm olive oil (body temp) in your ear unless you think the eardrum could be ruptured; then don’t put any fluid in your ear.
  • Raise the head of the bed to assist drainage.
  • Rest while you are in pain.
  • Salt in warm water drops
  • Sip on water.
  • Sit up to help the eustachian tubes drain.
  • Use a humidifier near your bed at night if the air in your house is cool and/or dry.
  • Yawning may help open the Eustachian tube.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Avoid air travel with earaches.
  • Beware of home-treating children under 2 unless approved by a physician.
  • Don’t use ear drops if the patient has ear tubes.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Don’t smoke or breathe in second-hand smoke regularly.
  • For your baby: breastfeeding
  • Keep ears clean and dry.

 

 

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