In 11 years (and 5 children) we’ve only had to deal with two or three ear infections that were quickly treated at home. That was true until this past month. A few weeks ago Ethan got an ear infection and then Myra started having a terrible earache in one ear and then a few days later in the other ear! Obviously they had a cold that lends itself well to ear infections.
Ear infections are one of the most painful experiences that many children will go through. Knowing how to treat the infection can help to minimize the pain and speed the recovery. The way they are treated by doctors has changed dramatically in recent years. It used to be that ear infections were immediately treated with a course of antibiotics. Time has shown though that the chance of a recurring ear infection is significantly higher after having antibiotics. Thankfully medical treatment has caught up with statistics and standard practice now is to wait 2-3 days to see if it will clear up on it’s own. But how do you treat an ear infection then?
Garlic is often used to treat ear infections because of it’s powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral characteristics. I use garlic oil as a treatment and I make it by placing a cut up clove of garlic in a pot with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I gently heat the oil for about 10 minutes and then carefully strain the oil. Once the oil is cooled to body temperature (test it on your wrist, it should feel neutral or slightly warm) place a few drops in the ear. This is quite soothing and the garlic is quickly absorbed and begins fighting the bacteria right away.
Ear massage can be comforting and it also helps to relieve the pressure by encouraging the fluid to drain from behind the eardrum. Apply a few drops of oil to the area to be massaged. Start by gently stretching and massaging the lower lobe of the ear affected. Then massage from the area just behind the ear down towards the throat.
Please note: Some people are allergic to the allicin in garlic and this can cause pain and irritation when garlic is applied to the skin. One way to check to see if you are sensitive to the allicin is to put some garlic oil on your inner arm for one hour to see if there are any reactions. Never put raw garlic juice in the ear. This can cause irritation even if you are not allergic to allicin.