Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mom tip: Ear infections

Ear infections - they are pretty common for babies to get, even exclusively breastfed ones. It has something to do with how much of their time they spend lying down or even just reclined. If their sinuses are already backed up from having a cold (which can happen even if they are still able to breathe through their nostrils), they are even more prone to getting one.
So we all know about the downsides of overusing antibiotics, which are the typical cure for ear infections. In response, more and more pediatricians are in favor of waiting a few days to see if the infection clears up on its own, which it usually does. But who wants to be home with a baby that cries and fusses in pain all night, right?
That's where my tip comes in: a natural, safe, and highly effective cure for ear infections.
The product is called "garlic mullein oil" and is made by HerbPharm. You could make your own, though I only ever buy the one pictured above. It is a critical staple item in my at-home natural home remedy kit. One drop per ear for babies and children under 10, two drops for anyone above that age. I usually stuff a little cotton into the ears after I put the oil in, as the extra warmth seems to be both soothing to the ear, as well as helping the oil do its work. Important: do not add ear drops if you suspect the ear drum might be ruptured.
The ingredients are all organic or wildcrafted.
In my experience, this works better than any antibiotics I ever used back when Solomon was a baby. I remember one time, he went through three courses of antibiotics before they finally started working. This oil, on the other hand, has never yet failed me. I typically notice almost immediate relief of the ear pain (some of the ingredients have analgesic properties), reduced symptoms within 8 hours, and the infection completely cleared up within 24-48 hours (though treatment should continue for a couple days more to prevent a relapse). Also, be sure to treat both ears, even if you think only one is infected.
Just this past week, with a cold making its way through the kids, the baby had been incredibly fussy. Particularly at night, he would not stay asleep for more than minutes at a time, and even then only in the swing, not actually lying down. During the worst night, I got 1 (!!) hour of sleep total. While his nose was just a little runny, I didn't even think about the possibility that he might have an ear infection until yesterday afternoon. I treated his ears immediately, and slept well for the first night all week. Today, he was back to his usual happy and mellow self.
If you have a baby or toddler, and do not already keep this in stock, I highly recommend buying some right away. You don't want to be at home with a crying baby at midnight without this, when no health food store is open.
And please remember: This post is purely informational, and not intended to cure, diagnose, or treat any disease. I am not a licensed medical specialist, I just play one on the internet.


  1. Wow this is great!!! I love natural remedie!:)
    A good free course I took was on called herbalism 101. It was very interesting, and I would suggest it to anyone who wants to look into natural herbal remedies.

  2. Thank you for the post, one question though, how do you warm the oil? Amy

    1. I think you place it in hot water. Hot pads, simple as 2 handfuls of table salt wrapped in tin foil, and then you wrap the thing in kitchen cloth, so the tinfoil won't burn the little (or big) one's face and ear, you can reheat it numerous times, and it keeps the infected ear and the oil inside of the ear warm. We only tried this with regular ear drops plus the tin foil and salt pillow, and I wish you never to have to try it out yourself, but just in case, here it is.

  3. Htis is what I use as has always worked amazingly! Unfortunately, three of my four children just finished antibiotics for massive ear infections because thismoil didn't work and I was floored. It ALWAYS works so not sure what happened this time around. :( I love natural remedies! Yesterday I made the season's first batch of Elderberry Syrup which is fantastic for building the immune system. :))

  4. Ear pains are HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE! I remember being a "fülfájós" kid, it was agony. Sheer agony. I have only experienced two other nonsensical (non-labor or non-workout-soarness) pains: one was toothache, now that's the same intolerable horror and the other one was the pre-birth "non-birther" menstrual cramps which landed my rear in the emergency room every month.
    I understand how good garlic is in general and it is an old Eastern European remedy for ear pains to shove half a clove a garlic in the ear canal. There's that cute, simple, low maintenance, meaty little plant "kövirózsa" which is also very useful. I think that to both parents that know what it's like to raise a "fülfájós gyerek", and to people who suffer (literally, SUFFER) from ear infection, this remedy must be a true blessing. Thanks for sharing and I wish you all NEVER EVER to experience that horrible, nonsensical, absurd pain ever again :/

  5. Wow. This is really helpful for me, I've had problems with my ears since I was a child, and prefer natural remedies. Thank you so much for this information!

  6. My mom always freaked out over anything. If something was the wrong shade of pink, we saw the specialist. these are some good tips. I hate the idea of an ear infection, especially for a baby.

  7. Garlic has antimicrobial properties and natural pain relieving qualities.

  8. Thank you for this! My son (8 months) has had well, let say, runny diapers and a mild cough. He's been unusually tired and cranky, but he has been sleeping pretty well. And I caught him twice grabbing at his ear. I was worried that he had an ear infection and thought you HAD to get an antibiotic for an ear infection. Then I came here about a week back and clicked on "medicine cabinet" and this is the first thing I saw. I have already gotten him some from Whole foods and he seems like his old self. I just put it in last night and this morning and he is acting perfectly again! Thanks for sharing your tips because it really does help us who read your blog!!!

  9. iam deaf in one ear, so if the garlic goes in it relieves pain, though i thank God at least its my hearing ear! :)

  10. Do you have an idea as to how to get a swollen lymph node to go down? My 15 month old got one from an ear infection and its painful for him. Hard for him to turn his neck even. Any advice would be so helpful. I put the drops you suggested above in his ear and he is a much happier boy now :-)


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