I was an ear infection kid. I had several as a baby and young child. Along with that came a lot of antibiotics. And somehow as I grew older, I seemed to always be the one who got sick out of us four kids.
My sweet children inherited some of the aspects of my immune system. Within the first year of my son’s life he had several ear infections. “Technically” I remember the doctor admitting, he should be scheduled to get tubes. But our little guy had at that point already been hospitalized for respiratory issues and we decided to give him some time and see if things got better. But they didn’t. Ear infection after ear infection cropped up. Every time we went to the doc there was an ear infection, even if he didn’t have symptoms. Because he had been on antibiotics for so many of these infections, he began to develop some symptoms from the antibiotic use. Food sensitivities showed up early on. He became resistant to one of the medicines. He developed yeast related issues (caused by the depletion of his gut bacteria from antibiotic use) that caused him a lot of digestive distress. And then there were the respiratory problems, especially during the winter. Keeping him well and out of the ER felt like our main focus for a while.
And then we moved to a new state and met an inspired neighbor. I mentioned to her that our son seemed to have a bad ear infection and I was dreading taking him in and putting him on more antibiotics. And she introduced me to one of the greatest home remedies of all time. It is so simple it seems stupid. Mothers have used this for generations to cure ear infections. And yet after probably 15-20 ear infections, I had never even heard of it. This simple remedy requires only two ingredients, and you probably have them sitting in your pantry right now: garlic and olive oil. My neighbor explained how making an oil using fresh pressed garlic and dropping a drop in each ear several times a day would clear up an ear infection in a very short period of time. She also mentioned an herb called mullein which we have also had a lot of success with, but today I’m talking garlic and olive oil because it is so doable for any body. The ingredients are cheap, accessible, and easy to store for a long time.
In the two and a half years since we have started making and using this oil, my two children have never had to take antibiotics for their ear infections. Between the two of them we have probably resolved about 15 ear infections. For us the symptoms clear up within one to two days of starting the drops (which means more sleep for EVERYBODY). Our doctor knows that we use this remedy and when she catches or diagnoses an ear infection, we treat it at home and come back to have her check the ears two weeks later. They have always been clear. Without exception.
So, are you ready to learn the recipe? It’s so easy you will wonder why you never knew about it before.
WHAT YOU NEED:
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
An eye dropper (you can find one at any pharmacy)
A fine knit kitchen towel, cheesecloth, or fine strainer to strain it with
Heat your oil. You can do this on the stove, but when I have a fussy kid I am all about efficiency to I usually zap it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or so. You want it nice and warm, almost hot really.
Next mince the garlic and add it to the oil. Or, using a garlic press, press it into the oil. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. You will not want to use it on your child’s ear until it has cooled to room temperature.
Once it has cooled you can strain it through a kitchen towel and you will end up with a nice oil without any chunks. I typically pour it into a baby food jar or mason jar to keep in our medicine cabinet for future use.
Using your eye dropper, suck up a couple of drops and drop into the infected ear. This is perfectly safe to put inside the ear. The only time it would be unsafe is if the ear drum has ruptured (you would already know this because your child’s ear would have been leaking fluid).
Place drops into the infected ear or ears several times a day, before bed, and if the child wakes in the night. Continue until all symptoms have completely cleared up. If my child has had a severe infection, I will continue this for a few days after symptoms have resolved. Typically they are feeling better within a day or two in my experience.
NOTE: If you don’t have an eye dropper and can’t get out to get one when you need to try this, just dip your finger in the oil and let it drip into the ear.
This simple remedy has saved us a lot of trips to the doctor (I start the drops as soon as I notice symptoms and it usually resolves so quickly we don’t have to go in). It has also allowed us to forego antibiotic use several times when we had not caught the infections and they have been diagnosed by the doctor.
As always, parents should consult with their physicians as needed and trust their intuition. But believe me, this remedy is worth a try. It’s time for you all to start sleeping again.
Best of luck, and let me know how it goes!
*Photo courtesy of LoboStudio Hamburg, Unsplash photos.