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Medic for Earaches

Earache or ear pain can be sharp, piercing and very uncomfortable. Although painfully frustrating, many a times it may not be dangerous.

Earaches occur in all ages and many factors can be behind this. Common reasons ear infection, sinus infections, cavities, hole in the eardrum, ear wax, tonsillitis and fluid build up in the middle ear .

Other causes include the common cold, blockage in the nasal passage, physical damage to the inside of the ear, an increase in air pressure and so on. Earaches are more frequent in small children than adults.

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The current trend in medicine is not to prescribe any antibiotics unless it is necessary to treat ear infections. Usually, the ear infection clears on its own within a few days .

Ear pain is a signal from the body that something is wrong. It is hence important to find the root of the problem or where the pain originates before finding a suitable remedy. After a careful evaluation, please try a remedy which corresponds to your problem.

A simple earache can be taken care of easily at home with natural remedies. It’s likely you’ll have one or more of these readily available in your kitchen.

home remedies for earaches

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Here are the top 10 home remedies for earaches.

Note: If you do not get relief using these home remedies or if you have fever accompanying the ear pain, pus or blood discharge from the ear, vertigo, increasing intensity of ear pain or hearing loss, please consult a doctor immediately.

1. Olive Oil and Tea Tree Oil

Olive oil can provide fast relief from an earache. Although there is no direct scientific evidence, a paper published in 2001 suggests that a naturopathic herbal ear drop with olive oil as the base was found to be comparable to anesthetic ear drops in relieving pain associated with acute otitis media (AOM) .

It serves as a lubricant and helps get rid of an infection in the ear.

Olive oil can also be helpful in stopping buzzing sensations inside the ears

It can be used in combination with tree tea oil to reduce earache. Tea tree oil is well known for its powerful antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties .

It has shown promising effect against several strains of bacteria. A 2005 study suggested the potential role of tea tree essential oil in combating external ear infections .

  • Put 3 or 4 drops of lukewarm olive oil as ear drops into the ear canal once daily for a few days.
  • Alternatively, you can dip a cotton bud in the oil and put it firmly into the ear.
  • Another option is to add 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil to 4 to 6 drops of lightly warmed olive oil. Put a few drops of this mixture into your ear using a clean cotton ball. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes, then tilt your head down to drain out the oil.

You can also use mustard oil or coconut oil in the same way.

2. Garlic

Garlic has both analgesic and antibiotic properties, which help reduce earache caused by an ear infection.

A study published in 2001 showed that a naturopathic medicine containing garlic worked as well as the standard ear drop medicine used to treat ear pain .

  • Heat 1 teaspoon of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Cool and filter the oil. Put 2 or 3 drops of this garlic oil in the aching ear.
  • Another option is to extract the juice out of a few cloves of garlic and put it into the ear that hurts.

You can also use olive or mustard oil to extract the garlic oil.

3. Onion

Onion is one of the most readily available home remedies for an earache. Onions have antibiotic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

They are rich in two types of compounds, flavonoids and alkenyl cysteine sulfoxides, which are responsible for the beneficial health properties of onion . Plus, the antiseptic and antibacterial properties in onions work well in treating the problem.

  • Extract 1 tablespoon of onion juice from a grated onions and heat it over low heat. Then put 2 or 3 drops of the juice into affected ear 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Crush a fresh onion and wrap it tightly in a piece of clean cloth. Hold the cloth over the infected ear for 5 to 10 minutes. Do this several times a day.
  • Chop and microwave a small onion for 1 or 2 minutes. Strain the juice once it is cooled and place a few drops in the aching ear. Leave it for 10 minutes, then tilt your head and drain it out. Do this 1 or 2 times a day.

4. Hot/Cold Packs

Putting moist heat around an infected ear can work as a great pain reliever. You can use this for both adults and children, as this is a very safe remedy.

  • Simply wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and press it against the aching ear for a few minutes.
  • Ice packs can also be used for ear pain in the same way. Place an ice pack over the ear and press it over the affected ear for a few minutes.
  • You can also place hot and cold packs alternately on the aching ear for 10 minutes.

Follow any of these remedies several times a day as needed.

5. Ginger

Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in treating ear infections. It is also an excellent natural painkiller.

earache home remedy

Ginger oil is believed to have antioxidant properties . According to Ayurvedic system of medicine, warm ginger juice is used to treat ear pains.

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  • Extract juice from fresh ginger and put it into the outer ear canal but not directly inside the ear, to get relief from pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Another option is to mix 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Leave it to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes, then put a few drops of the oil in the aching ear.

You can follow either of these remedies 1 or 2 times a day.

6. Basil

Due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic properties, basil is considered good for relieving earaches.

This was substantiated by a paper published in 2005 that showed basil essential oil cured ear infection in 56 to 81 percent of the animals in an experimental model in comparison to that in the placebo group .

  1. Crush a few basil leaves and extract the juice.
  2. Put three or four drops of this juice in the aching ear.
  3. Repeat once or twice a day.

7. Chewing gum or Xylitol

If your ear pain is due to air pressure difference, like when you are in an airplane at high altitudes you can resolve your problem with an ordinary chewing gum.

Chewing or even yawning are very helpful in relieving the pressure in the middle ear. At times you can hear popping sounds from within your head which is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tube attempting to equalize the pressure.

A review published in 2016 regarding xylitol, a natural sugar substitute containing gum, showed that when taken regularly it can prevent occurrence of middle ear infection in healthy children .

Even sucking a candy or feeding a bottle to an infant work in the same manner to ease the pain.

8. Salt

Salt can do wonders even for your ears! Salt has antimicrobial activity. So it can help.

  • Put some salt in a spoon and heat it. Dip a cotton swab in this heated salt and place it in your aching ear for roughly 10 minutes. The salt will draw out the liquid and help reduce the swelling in your ears.
  • You can also gargle with salt water to thin the thick fluid in the throat or even kill harmful bacteria and viruses during a throat infection accompanying earache. It can also help clear the eustachian tubes.

9. Bishop’s Weed

Bishop’s weed, also known as ajwain, is another effective natural cure for earaches as it has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties (10).

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of Bishop’s weed oil with 3 teaspoons of sesame oil and warm it slightly. Put a few drops of the oil mixture in the affected ear. Do this once or twice a day.
  • Alternatively, heat 2 teaspoons of mustard oil and add ½ teaspoon of Bishop’s weed and a couple of garlic flakes. Heat the mixture until the garlic turns red. Strain it and put a few drops of the oil in your ear as ear drops.

Follow either of these remedies once or twice a day.

10. Herbal Inhalation/Steam Inhalation

Applying moist heat using a steam inhaler or vaporizer can be a great way to reduce earache. You can also put your head under a warm shower. The moist air opens and relaxes the airways, thus relieving the pressure and earache.

Adding essential oils such as eucalyptus oil to the vaporizer makes it more effective in combating the ear pain .

You can put any of the essential oils mentioned above for this on a cotton ball and then place it at the mouth of the vaporizer or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Here are 2 BONUS remedies for those who would like to explore more!

1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has been used as a natural remedy for earaches for many years.

  1. Put a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into the affected ear.
  2. Let it sit for several minutes before tilting your head and letting it drain into a sink.
  3. Rinse your ear with clean, distilled water.

2. Hair Dryer

After taking a shower or bath, do not towel dry your ears. Instead, use a blow dryer. Keep the dryer setting on warm and hold it slightly away from the ear. Let the warm air dry the moisture in your ear. Do not use the blow dryer for more than five minutes.

Resources:

  1. Australia H. Earache. 2017. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/earache.
  2. Vergison A, Dagan R, Arguedas A, et al. Otitis media and its consequences: beyond the earache. Lancet Infect Dis. 2010;10(3):195-203. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70012-8.
  3. Sarrell EM, Mandelberg A, Cohen HA. Efficacy of Naturopathic Extracts in the Management of Ear Pain Associated With Acute Otitis Media. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(7):796. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.7.796.
  4. Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley T V. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(1):50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006.
  5. Farnan TB, McCallum J, Awa A, Khan AD, Hall SJ. Tea tree oil: in vitro efficacy in otitis externa. J Laryngol Otol. 2005;119(3):198-201. doi:10.1258/0022215053561495.
  6. Griffiths G, Trueman L, Crowther T, Thomas B, Smith B. Onions?A global benefit to health. Phyther Res. 2002;16(7):603-615. doi:10.1002/ptr.1222.
  7. Malhotra S, Singh AP. Medicinal properties of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.). Nat Prod Radiance. 2(6). http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/12292/1/NPR 2%286%29 296-301.
  8. Kristinsson KG, Magnusdottir AB, Petersen H, Hermansson A. Effective Treatment of Experimental Acute Otitis Media by Application of Volatile Fluids into the Ear Canal. J Infect Dis. 2005;191(11):1876-1880. doi:10.1086/430003.
  9. Azarpazhooh A, Lawrence HP, Shah PS. Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;(8):CD007095. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007095.pub3.
  10. Dwivedi, S. N.; Mishra, R. P.; Alava S. Phytochemistry, Pharmacological studies and Traditional benefits of Trachyspermum ammi (Linn.) Sprague. Int J Pharm LIFE Sci. 2012;3(5):1705-1709.
  11. Levi JR, Brody RM, McKee-Cole K, Pribitkin E, O’Reilly R. Complementary and alternative medicine for pediatric otitis media. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013;77(6):926-931. doi:10.1016/J.IJPORL.2013.03.009.

Medic for Earaches was last modified: June 18th, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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141 thoughts on “Medic for Earaches”

  1. My very old home remedy book says to boil a clove of garlic in a half cup of water until soft, not mushy and tuck it in your ear (not pushing down into your ear canal) and cover with cotton held in place with scotch tape. Change daily and leave poultice in place for several days until infection clears. It has worked for me and others. Also a cupful of hydrogen peroxide poured into the ear (tilting the head to keep it in) and left in the ear until it stops bubbling works well for me too.

  2. I found the article helpful except for one instruction…never put an earbud firmly in your ear. Nothing smaller than your elbow should be put in your ear (now try to put your elbow in your ear and see how that works for you). Olive oil is the same as the more expensive sweet oils being sold for ear ache relief. I currently have a sinus infection and am using herbal teas with red pepper flakes, ginger, sassafras, cloves, cumin, and honey. Plus the olive oil ear treatments. I’m healing much faster than my father who has been through 2 rounds of antibiotics and is still dealing with a sinus infection.

  3. Wow. This is unbelievable. For hours my 3yrs old son had been In pains. I tried giving him ibuprofen but to no avail until I decided to open up this page. The first option which is the olive oil works wonders n he jst slept off n am glad I can as well rest my head cos it’s bn a crazy nit. OMG. The olive oil works like magic. thanks a lot.

  4. i have another way take 1 or 2 ml of mustard oil and add 3 or 4 crushed garlics warm it and let it for 1 or 2 minutes and put 3 to 4 drops of it. It works but not all the time.

  5. My mom used to use the ‘warm olive oil on a cotton ball’ remedy for us when we were kids……I always thought it was weird and must have been one of those funny “Portuguese home remedies” that my grandmother invented. I stand corrected!

  6. yep the olive oil works my grandma started using it on me when I was 2 and kept using it on me until I was 12 when I stopped getting ear infections until now. This is the first one since I was 12 and I knew she used oil but I couldn’t remember what kind.

  7. I was called back from work as my year old baby screamed with ear isipain,desperate for immediate relief I severe,thisstumbled on this page and captured the olive oil remedy which I applied immediately,i wasn’t sure baby would sleep at night as the attack was eepquite severe,this is now 5 in the morning and baby is still in a deep peaceful sleep,thankyou everyone for your encouraging testimonY,olive oil works wonders on ear pain,and actually me it was called oil as I did not notice the warming part but it still worked wonders.

  8. Hi I’m 15, A couple days ago I started to have a sore throat and within a few days it got a lot worse, today my ear started to hurt and I went to the doctor, they said I had an ear infection and possibly strep! Only when I went to pick up my prescription the pharmacy had closed so I was in need of some quick relief, I only tried the olive oil and it helped so much!!!!! Thanks to this list I stopped whining to my mommy and am already starting to feel better!! I just have one question how many times should I put the olive oil in my ear before the infection will go away? Thanks TA

  9. I use what my momma used on me & her momma on her & her momma on her & so on & so on. It was the only thing that worked for me as a child, no medicine would work, heating pad, nothing & this doesn’t cost a thing. It sounds GROSS, but it does work. My mom used warm urine. My kids think it’s funny bc they think mama peed in my ear. LOL! I reassured them that she would do it in a bowl & then use an ear dropper. 🙂

  10. My always had a small bottle of olive oil in the bathroom. I dont remember it working. Yesterday I was diagnosed with influenza virus and I am in so much pain.I will be trying olive oil for sure

  11. My step daughter is 6 years old. Her mom dropped her off today (sick). She had the worst earache. She wouldn’t even let us touch her ear! I warmed the olive oil put a few drops, she still cried but only for a minute. Now she is knocked out! Thank God & the olive oil remedy! Poor baby was in so much pain!

    1. You sound like a wonderful step mom!!! Thanks for loving someone else’s child….takes a huge heart ❤!!! Just wish my grandson’s step mother was so caring ❤!!!!

  12. I warmed some olive oil, & added some oil from crushed garlic & onion, & also basil. It smelled so good, I put it on my salad instead! It was so yummy, I forgot about my ear for a few minutes, but now I have to make another batch for my ear!

  13. The item I found that works the best is….Sweet Oil. Pour yourself a teaspoon, take a lighter and heat up the bottom of thespoon, to make the oil warm. Pour it in your ear, place a cotton ball in your ear…..heals it immediately. My mother would do this for us as children. You willbe amazed on how quickly it works. You can find Sweet Oil in the pharmaceutical isle in your store.

  14. Thanks for saving our night and relieving my 4 year old son’s earache after he was suffering from cold. He was crying for an hour and I landed at this wonderful page.

    Lukewarm olive oil works instantly just in 2 mins.

  15. My child 6 year old…midnight he got severe ear pain…I just put 3-4 drops of musturd oil (lukewarm)and 1/2 tablet of paracetamol..it worked best..

  16. I tried all these remedies and none worked. I went to the doctor and he said he saw no signs of infection. I went to an ear specialist and he told me the same thing. I went to a local witch in the neighborhood botanica and she came out with a 50/50 mixture of 100% metholated alcohol and white vinegar and after several applications with an eyedropper the pain went away. I found out later that this unexplainedear pain is usually associated with bed bugs burrowing into your ear canal to lay their eggs and sometimes the larvae doesn’t come out but burrows in deeper towards the nerves thus causing the pain. The alcohol and vinegar poisons them so they stop digging thus relieving the pain. Check your beds for fleas ticks and other night crawlers that bite for blood.

  17. My son is 11 and is finally asleep. I will try the olive oil. Anything to help his pain. Poor guy, he’s been sleeping with us these last two nights.

  18. When I was a kid, my Dad, said his family would warm ½- to1 cup of salt, in a sauce pan over med. heat until it good & warm, but not to hot, then poured it into a dry wash cloth, & put a rubber band around it, & hold it up to ur ear, until it cools, & repeat it needed. Worked great, & most everyone has salt @ home. But “Do Not” put *rubberband* in a microwave *around washcloth* it will catch fire!!! Put salt in glass bowl if using microwave to warm it up, then pour into washcloth, or sock. Good Luck☺

  19. I just tried the warmed up Apple cider on my 5 yr old and it worked like a charm. A few drops into the ear and a warm compress to soothe and she’s out like a light. Thank god for Google !

  20. Olive oil works! My husband has an earache that’s either from an infection or wearing his earbuds too much or being too eager with the Q-tip. I poured a few drops of olive oil into his ear (no eye dropper on hand so I just grabbed a clean straw from the kitchen) and placed a fresh cotton ball in his ear to absorb any extra. He said it immediately felt better. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  21. What also works is aloe vera. 3 to 5 drops in the ear. But i just put some on a qtip and rubbed it on the inner part of the ear canal. Already, i feel better. And I’ve had this earache for several days. Finally some relief

  22. When I was in Viet Nam we were swimming in the Gulf of Tonkin where the river from Saigon entered the sea and I caught an ear infection and it hurt just to touch it. Later we were hauling some air force guys on our boats and I mentioned it to one of them and he said his grand mother had a home remedy of vinegar and alcohol mixed 50/50. I rounded some up and put it in and in a couple days it was much better and went away.

  23. Without any olive oil in the kitchen, I decided to use coconut oil! And immediately it provided relief! Coconut oil proves to be a miracle worker once again.

  24. After trying the olive oil my daughter was still in excruciating pain,I turned the hair dryer on med. heat and had my screaming, crying daughter stand about a foot away while I aimed it at her aching ear, after 20-30 sec. she stepped away in unbelievable releif! She hugged me with tears fo happiness and told me thank you over and over again. She said her ear finally popped.

  25. Urine also helps cure poison ivy , athletes foot ect ..and plain yogurt cures a yeast infection when applied directly on the sight .

  26. put olive oil in a onion half thats partially carved out and microwave till oil just boils. cool till tolarable to touch and drop oil in ear with qtip or eye drop

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