Friday, February 19, 2016

Ear Infections and Organic Home Remedies

Ear infections. They are childhood diseases, right? That's what I thought anyway. I hadn't had an ear infection since I was maybe 8 or 10. I used to get them all the time, but that was years ago. Fast forward to age 49 when I rolled out of bed with that all too familiar throbbing pain inside
my ear. It was as though I stepped backward in time into the 1970's. It may have been nearly forty years since I had this kind of malady, but that didn't seem to matter. My memory banks clicked into overdrive as though it were merely yesterday since my last battle with this ailment. 

First of all, what is an ear infection? According to Healthline, "An ear infection occurs when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear—the sections of your ear just behind the eardrum. Ear infections can be painful because of inflammation and fluid build up in the middle ear. Ear infections can be chronic or acute. Acute ear infections are painful but short in duration. Chronic ear infections do not clear up, or they recur many times. Chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage to the middle and inner ear."

Allergies and colds seem to be the common trigger for ear infections. I had bronchitis at the time, so that made sense. An excess of mucus seems to put the ears over the edge. Smoking, ear wax buildup, and swollen adenoids are yet another set of culprits. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Adenoids are two small pads of tissues high in the back of the nose believed to play a role in immune system activity. This function may make them particularly vulnerable to infection and inflammation. Because adenoids are near the opening of the eustachian tubes, inflammation or enlargement of the adenoids may block the tubes, thereby contributing to middle ear infection. Inflammation of adenoids is more likely to play a role in ear infections in children because children have more active and relatively larger adenoids."

So, now I knew what an ear infection is and how it is caused, but what are some methods to get rid of it—organically? Sure, I could run to the doctor and he or she could give me a prescription for antibiotics, but I don't want chemicals in my body anymore. It's natural medicine or nothing for me these days. Not to mention the fact, that if the cause of the infection was viral and not bacterial then an antibiotic wouldn't work anyway. Therefore, a little research was in order.


While an allopathic doctor usually ignores food allergies, a naturopath might steer your way to look at the food you are ingesting. Considering that conventional foods tend to be at the core of many of our maladies, there is a good chance that they could be the problem with an ear infection too. Try releasing gluten, milk products and all so-called conventional NON-organic foods and see if the ear infection goes away. You may also find that any number of other issues in your body may clear up, as well. Changing the way we eat is always a helpful hint for a happy, healthy body.


The first thing I tried was the  salt in a sock method—only I didn't use a sock. I used a washcloth instead. I didn't like the idea of putting a sock on my ear. Clean or not, I just kept thinking about all the floors these socks of mine have walked on. A washcloth seemed more hygienic to me. I heated up a cup or so of salt for about 5-10 minutes over the stove. Afterwards, I bundled up the now warm salt inside my wash cloth and tied a rubber band around the top to keep the contents inside the cloth. It was too hot to touch, so I waited a few moments before putting it over my ear. I also used another towel in between my salt cloth and my face, so I wouldn't burn myself. The trick is to know your limits with regards to the heat. Don't over do it. After 5 or 10 minutes on my ear, I felt better, but it wasn't a cure. I needed to do it again the next day. 


Dr. Josh Ash states in his YouTube video that Tea Tree oil around the ear (please note to NOT put it inside the ear, but on the outside only) is beneficial for aiding in the treatment of ear infections. It is a wonderful antiseptic that I personally use on all sorts of cuts, scrapes and other minor wounds. So, I placed some around the exterior of my ear for good measure.


Dr. Ash also claims that chiropactric care is helpful in healing ear infections. I did not try this method myself, but decided to add it here in case someone else is interested in trying it.


Garlic Oil? That one sounded rather strange to me. Was I trying to ward off vampires from making their way inside my ears? Would I suddenly be in the mood for a bowl of pasta? It might have seemed strange, but over and over again I found this remedy plastered on the internet. If it worked for other bloggers and naturopaths, maybe it would work for me too. 

I assumed when I went to the grocery store to buy my supplies, the clerk would guide me to the salad section for an over-sized bottle of olive oil. Thankfully, I was mistaken. Instead we made our way to the medicinal area. Lo and behold there was a small one-ounce bottle of organic olive oil with garlic, calendula, St. John's Wort, and mullein just sitting there waiting for me to pick up. Its bottle top was an ear dropper, which certainly made the pouring process much easier than how I had envisioned it. I had imagined myself dressed like Lucille Ball in an I Love Lucy episode trying to manage handling a large bottle of olive oil over my ear without spilling (which of course, I would fail miserably at), followed by having to shove garlic in my ears with my fingers. So, this seemed like a breeze. I just needed this tiny bottle and I was good to go. 

The directions said to heat it up before each use. I boiled some water and poured maybe half of an inch or so into a coffee mug where I had already placed the bottle. After five minutes, the contents were warm and ready to go. 

A few drops into the ear was all I needed. I laid down for a few minutes so that my ear could absorb whatever it needed to absorb and then used a cloth to gather the excess. The good news was that my ear felt better immediately. I decided to use it twice a day for a week for good measure, and it worked!

Apparently, garlic is an excellent antibiotic, without the use of chemicals. Mother Earth already knows what it's doing, so instead of spending a bucket load of money at the pharmacy, I spent maybe $10 at the grocery store.

...And that is certainly a good thing!  

Thank you for reading about my Organic Bliss!

***Please keep in mind that all healing tools that I discuss on this blog are what worked for me. Every 'body' is different and therefore each person must find the treatments that works best for them. Also, I am not a medical doctor. So, please consult your physician prior to trying any remedies offered on this site.