Having an ear infection is no fun, no matter what your age. And neither is messing up your gut with an antibiotic. But do we have other options? Yes!
I remember getting an ear infection as an adult in my 30’s. I mentioned to a friend on the phone how I was in pain and she said, “Don’t go to the doctor yet! Let me bring over something for you to try.” She came and brought a little bottle with a dropper in the lid. I don’t remember the exact product, but I do recall it contained garlic and mullein oil. She told me to put several drops into my ears before I went to bed that night, with a piece of cotton ball to keep it from dripping. I woke up the next morning pain free! I couldn’t believe it!
She explained to me how an antibiotic didn’t really allow the body to learn to heal itself, how those who treat ear infections with antibiotics often get subsequent infections (especially children), and when that happens multiple times, the body builds a resistance to the antibiotic. Soon a child is on a more potent antibiotic, and often those stop working, too. She told me how garlic oil was anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory–great properties for healing an inflamed, infected ear canal. I was convinced.
So when one of my little ones developed an ear infection, after having had several already that year, I decided to try a new approach. I took her to the doctor, who verified an ear infection and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. But instead of fulfilling it, I went to the health store, bought some of those bottles of garlic and mullein oil drops, and gave her something for the pain.
For several days, at nap time and bedtime, I put the drops in her ears, tugging gently at the earlobe and massaging behind the ear to help the oils drain into the canal. The symptoms and pain quickly subsided. When I returned to the doctor for an ear check, he verified the ears were clear!
“How long have you been off the antibiotic?” he asked. I told him I didn’t give it.
“What did you do, then?” was the next response. When I told him, he replied, “Well, if it works, then do it!”
Besides healing that particular infection, I found that by using the drops, my child’s body did learn to fight the illness and she stopped getting ear infections. Yay! I also found that I didn’t need to buy those drops from the store–garlic oil alone worked just fine. It’s inexpensive and you can get garlic gel capsules most anywhere. Using a sterilized pin, poke a hole in the capsule and then squirt the contents into the ear canal. The oil soothes and its properties heal. Plug with a piece of tissue or cotton ball and you are set.
I recall a frantic phone call from a friend one evening at 9 pm. She told me that her toddler had an ear infection and she was worried about him. They went to the doctor, started on an antibiotic, and saw a bit of improvement. Then things turned for the worse. The little guy began to lose his balance and fall over. Feeling so miserable, he would just lie there on the floor. That’s when the phone call came with the request that I tell her again about the garlic oil. I explained the directions and then jumped in the car to take some to her so she could start him on some garlic oil that night. Some days later, she called me again, this time with good news–his symptoms had disappeared and the doctor had declared his ear infection gone. Another success story!
Garlic oil is also a great immune booster and can be taken internally when you are sick, so next time you are at the grocery store or pharmacy, grab some garlic oil to have on hand for unexpected ear pain or illness. You’ll help your body heal itself without the dangers and side effects of antibiotics.
In Part 2, we’ll discuss some homeopathic options for healing ear infections. So stay tuned!