Home remedies and alternate natural treatments for ear infection

Home remedies for ear infection

Our ears have three main parts – outer, middle and inner. Hearing loss is one of the most common ear problems. There can be 3 types of hearing loss – conductive, sensorineural and mixed which is included previous both types. Also, tinnitus is a very common ear problem and it is known as ringing in the ears. It can be a result from loud noises, medicines and other different causes. The most common illness in infants and young children are ear infections. The Meniere’s disease is also common ear problem and it can be a result of fluid problems in the inner ear. They symptoms of this problem include dizziness and tinnitus. The ear barotraumas is an injury to the ear which has happened due to changes in barometric (air) or water pressure. There are some ear disorders which can result in deafness and hearing disorders. It is very important to talk with your doctor about what type of ear problem you have so he or she will tell you the right diagnosis and therapy. If you have some kind of ear issue, then you need to talk with your doctor before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies.

Home remedies for ear infection

Vitamin D: This vitamin is known for its ability to boost the immune health and there are some studies in which are said that it can help in the natural treatment of ear infections. There was one study in 2017 in which was shown that the risk of chronic otitis media with effusion can be decreased by increasing the serum levels of Vitamin D [1]. You can increase your amounts of Vitamin D through sun exposure; adding foods rich in this vitamin in your diet or taking Vitamin D supplements.

Heat and rest: It is very important to rest when you suffer from some kind of ear problem. When the body is trying to fight off an ear infection, then getting a rest and eating a healthy diet are very important. Also, when you apply heat to your ear, this can help with the pain. You can use a warm washcloth but you should be sure that it is not too hot and that you have wrung out it well.

Mullein: This is a plant which has the scientific name Verbascum Thapsus. The mullein oil is made from its flowers and it is known as one of the best home remedies for ear problems. You can easily find a tincture of mullein either alone or in a combination with other herbs. You can use this home remedy as your natural treatment for ear infections and earaches. There are some studies in which are said that an herbal ear drop which has mullein is effective to give you a relief from the pain. Also, you can mullein oil to treat the ear infections

Cold or warm compress: You can use ice pack or warm compress, like a heating pad or damp washcloth to get a relief from the pain [2]. Also, you can use this home remedy to get a relief from the ear pain. This is a safe home remedy for both children and adults. You should put the ice pack or warm compress over your ear and alternate between warm and cold in a period of ten minutes. If you prefer either warm or cold, then you can use just one compress.

Processed foods: You should avoid processed foods because they have added chemicals and young children can be sensitive to them.

Ginger: This natural cure has anti – inflammatory properties which can help to soothe the pain from earaches [3]. You should apply ginger juice or strained oil that was warmed with ginger in it and apply it around the outer ear canal. You should not put this home remedy directly into your ear.

Zinc: It is recommended taking 10 mg of zinc, two times per day for people who are older than 2. This home remedy can boost the immune function and promote the healing process.

Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid which is possessing anti – bacterial properties that mean it kills bacteria. In one study was shown that apple cider vinegar can help to kill fungi. In another study, was said that this home remedy is effective against viruses, fungi and bacteria [4]. This home remedy should be used only for outer ear infections. You should mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm but not hot water. You should apply five to ten drops in each affected ear using a clean dropper bottle or baby syringe. You should cover your ear using a cotton ball or a clean cloth and you should lean on your side to let drops enter and sit in the ear. You should do this for about five minutes. You should repeat this natural treatment as often as desired to fight against ear infection. Also, you can gargle with apple cider vinegar as your home remedy for the ear infection. You should mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar with warm water. You should gargle with this home remedy for about thirty seconds, 2 – 3 times per day to help with the ear infections or their symptoms.

Avoid secondhand smoke: It is known that smoking can make your symptoms worse even you are surrounded by smokers. You should not allow anyone at your home to smoke. When you are out of home, it is very important to stay in smoke – free environment.

Sugar: You need to avoid sugar because it can reduce the immune function and it encourages inflammation.

Sleep without putting pressure on the ear: There are some sleep positions which can aggravate the pain from the ear infections while other sleep positions can give you a relief from it. You should sleep with the affected ear raised instead of having it faced down towards the pillow. This can help your ear to drain better if it is necessary. Also, you can sleep with your head elevated by using extra pillows. This can help ears to drain faster.

Probiotics: There are many studies in which are shown that probiotics are effective home remedy in a case of pediatric ear infections [5]. When you have an ear infection, then you will want to do everything which can help to boost your immune system. Probiotics are some of the best ways to boost your immune system and you can get them from your diet by eating things like kefir, kombucha, kimchi and other probiotic – rich foods. Also, probiotics can help to prevent ear infections from happening.

ear infection treatmentGarlic oil: There are many studies in which are shown that the garlic oil has antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties which have shown positive effects on the immune system. Garlic can help to rid of the root cause for your ear infection. You can easily find garlic oil at local markets. Ear infections, especially in children come suddenly. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics but they should be prescribed when the ear infection is caused by bacteria. You can get the garlic oil and use it before the ear infection gets worse. You can make olive oil at your home. You should mix 1 – 2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil with one clove minced garlic. You should put this mixture in a dish and let it stay there for two to four hours. This will retain all the benefits of the raw garlic and also the olive oil is soothing for the inflammation in the ears. You should strain the oil and then out two to three drops in the infected ear. You can do this natural treatment up to four times per day. If your children are small and they have ear infection, then you should use more olive oil because this mixture will not be concentrated.

Oregano essential oil: This is a powerful natural antibiotic which can help in the fight against stubborn infections. Usually, this home remedy is prescribed to be taken internally for adults but for children who are under the age of 12 it is not recommended taking it unless the doctor has confirmed. You can place one to two drops of oregano oil in a gel capsule and you should take this home remedy two times per day.

Neck exercises: There are some earaches which are caused by the pressure in the ear canal. There are some neck exercises which can be used to get a relief from the pressure. Also, neck rotation exercises can be very beneficial. You should sit straight up with both feet flat on the ground. You should slowly rotate your neck and head to the right until your head is parallel with your shoulder. You should rotate your head the other way until your head is parallel with your left shoulder. You should raise your shoulders high as if you are trying to cover your ears with your shoulders. You should make the movement slowly and hold them gently stretching more for a count of 5 and then relax. You should repeat this exercises often throughout waking hours. [6]


[1] Walker RE, Bartley J, Camargo CA, et al. Higher serum 25(OH)D concentration is associated with lower risk of chronic otitis media with effusion: A case-control study. Acta Paediatrica. 2017;106(9):1487-92.

[2] Dehghan M, Farahbod F. The efficacy of thermotherapy and cryotherapy on pain relief in patients with acute low back pain, A clinical trial study. Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research. 2014;8(9):LC01–LC04.

[3] Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, et al. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: Review of current evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;4(Suppl1):S36–S42.

[4] Yagnik D, Serafin V, Shah AJ. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports. 2018;8:1732.

[5] Scott AM, Clark J, Julien B, et al. Probiotics (‘healthy bacteria’) for preventing acute middle ear infection in children. Cochrane. 2019.

[6] Michiels S, Naessens S, de Heyning PV, et al. The effect of physical therapy treatment in patients with subjective tinnitus: A Ssystematic review. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2016;10:545.


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