Natural Treatments for Ear Infections

Natural Treatments for Ear Infections

Last update: 26 July, 2015

Is there anything more excruciating than the pain of toothache? Ear infections, perhaps? You know when you’re suffering from one – and you need fast relief. They’re caused by a number of things. Sometimes, water enters the ear canal during swimming or bathing. Foreign particles or insects can make their way in and wreak havoc. Even a dreaded tooth infection can spread to your ears. Agony. We’ll help arm you against these ailments. Read on for natural treatments to fight ear infection.

All about ear infections

Internal infections are more serious than external ones – and if you don’t treat it promptly, you’re courting potential hearing loss, dizziness and troubled equilibrium. It’s easier to identify one if you know the hallmarks.

  • Otitis externa is an infection of the outer ear. It’s characterised by discharge, redness, pain and temporary hearing loss. Bacteria is a common cause, but viruses and fungi can also contribute to its development.
  • Otitis Media affects the middle ear. More frequently found in children, its symptoms include fever, pain, irritability, partial hearing loss and reduced appetite. When the middle ear is clogged with fluid and mucus, otis media can develop. It’s one of those conditions that can become chronic in some people – particularly those who are younger.
  • Otitis interna is an inner ear infection that produces nausea, dizziness, vomiting and compromised balance. When the innermost part of the ear becomes inflamed, you may be in the throes of otitis interna. Symptoms are especially intense with this infection. Mercifully, it’s less common than the others.

Ear cleaning

Effective remedies for your ears, dear

  • Fill an insulated hot water bottle with freshly boiled water. Be sure to wrap it in a towel or cover, then place it on the affected ear. The heat increases blood flow to the painful area and alleviates soreness.
  • Wash three large apricots. Chop them quite finely. In a saucepan, heat the apricots. When they’re warm to the touch, make a poultice of them and apply it to the infected ear.
  • Add a handful of basil leaves to a handful of plantain leaves and mash them together until you have a pulp. Heat through just until warm, then make a poultice and put it on your ear.
  • Soak a cotton pad in half a tablespoon of warm olive oil. Gently insert the cotton pad into your ear and leave it there for an hour.
  • Slice one onion and crush it to a pulpy consistency. Put the onion in a cloth and heat it in the microwave until warm. Use it on your ear as a hot compress.
  • Crush one clove of garlic and add it to a tablespoon of warm extra virgin olive oil. Soak a cotton pad in the blend and put it just inside the painful ear.

Clean ears

  • Heat two handfuls of uncooked rice and tie them up in a cloth bag or a towel. Put your rice bundle on a pillow and lie with your infected ear against it.
  • Add seven drops of olive oil to the contents of one vitamin E capsule in a clean, dry bottle. Crush two cloves of garlic , add them to the mixture and blend well.  Seal the bottle and heat it in a hot water bath for about one minute. When the liquid is thoroughly warmed, filter it and put a few drops in your painful ear. Caution: do not do this if you have pus oozing from your ear or you suspect that your eardrum is perforated!
  • Add two tablespoons of absinthe to a litre of water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let the steam from the cooling liquid enter your infected ear.
  • To one cup of boiling water, add two tablespoons of rue (a herb that you can buy at health food shops or online). Cover and leave to cool. Saturate a cotton pad with the liquid and place inside the affected ear.
  • Just before you go to bed, juice one lemon and soak a cotton pad in it. Gently place in your ear for 10 minutes. This is great for relieving pain caused by an accumulation of wax.
  • To four tablespoons of olive oil, add ten crushed chamomile flowers. Let it age for two days, then apply to your ear with a cotton ball. This is another remedy that addresses pain as a result of excessive wax production.
  • Warm two tablespoons of almond oil. Once it has cooled to room temperature, put two drops in your ear canal and cover your ear with a cotton pad.
  • Add a handful of oregano leaves to half a cup of water and boil for three minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool, then strain it. Pour it into a bottle with a dropper and put three drops into the affected ear. Caution: do not do this if you have pus oozing from your ear or you suspect that your eardrum is perforated!

Earache remedy


  • Microwave a potato on a low setting until it’s hot. Wrap it securely in a towel or cloth and hold the potato over your ear. Don’t go out in public…or do – and see how the neighbours react.
  • To half a cup boiling water, add a handful of salt. Saturate a cloth with this saline solution and apply to your painful ear.
  • Grate and heat one radish. Wrap a thin cloth around it and hold it over your ear until the heat has subsided.
  • Put three or four drops of aloe vera in your ear canal and tilt your head to retain the drops. Rest this way for several minutes. This remedy should not be used on perforated eardrums.
  • Extract the juice from several leaves of chard. Put the liquid in a dropper bottle and place three to four drops in your ear.

Prevention is better than cure, so avoid ear infections

  • Never use cotton buds to clean your ears.
  • If you suspect that you have a throat infection, get it seen to! 
  • Eat foods that fortify your immune system.
  • Avoid sharing headphones or earpieces.
  • If you’re prone to infections, it’s best not to swim in ponds, lakes or rivers.
  • Swimming in heavily chlorinated pools is ill-advised.
  • Don’t put foreign objects into the ears. If you end up with an infection, the joke will be on you.
  • Favour sleeping on your side to promote proper drainage.