This article is shared with permission from our friends at New Health Advisor.
Ear infection is common in both adults and children. The middle ear infection, also called Otitis media (OM), is probably the most common among all types of ear infections. It causes an obstruction in the Eustachian tubes, which connect your middle ear to your nose. It could happen due to a viral or bacterial infection. Whatever the type, an ear infection will result in severe pain. The problem is that you can improve your condition if you have a bacterial infection, but antibiotics will not work on viruses. This is when you can make use of essential oils for ear infection. Keep reading to learn more about using essential oil to treat your ear infection.
Causes and Symptoms of Ear Infection
When you develop an ear infection, your Eustachian tubes will become blocked that will lead to fluid build-up in your ear. This may happen due to several issues, including colds, allergies, excess mucus, sinus infections, tobacco smoking, and swollen tissues called adenoids, which are near your tonsils.
If your child has developed an ear infection, you may notice symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, pulling at an ear, loss of balance, headache, drainage of fluid from the ear, and a fever higher than 100° Fahrenheit. Your child will also cry more than usual, act more irritable, and lose appetite as well. However, adults will experience drainage of fluid, ear pain, and diminished hearing after the development of an ear infection.
Essential Oils for Ear Infection
It is possible to alleviate ear pain by using essential oils. And while there haven’t been many resources invested into essential oil research, many people report that using these remedies worked for them. Here are some essential oils you can use.
1. Lavender Oil
Extracted from flowers of the lavender plant, lavender oil offers several health benefits. It helps relieve pain, enhance blood circulation, remove nervous tension, and treat respiratory problems. You will experience its calming effect when using as aromatherapy. It works amazingly well to relieve earache caused by an infection.
How to apply: Simply take some lavender oil and apply it to the outer ear. Rub gently for some time. Repeat several times a day for relief.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the best essential oils for ear infection because it not only decreases the irritation in your inner and outer ear, but also helps open up the Eustachian tubes. It also produces soothing effects when it makes contact with the swollen eardrum. This will also reduce pain sensations. Regular use of olive oil may also prevent excessive build-up of earwax, which ensures the water drains out of your ear canal.
How to apply: Simply apply some warm olive oil to your ear and wait until the wax gets softer. This will make it easier to remove. Be sure to cover the ear using a cotton ball after pouring a few drops of warm olive oil in your ear. Repeat several times a day for pain relief.
3. Tea Tree Oil
It serves as a great home remedy for a variety of infections. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties, so it’s effective against ear infections caused by viruses or bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can reduce inflammation and pain. Your earache is partly due to the build-up of fluid in your ear, but tea tree oil helps to dry it up, which in turn will reduce pain.
How to apply: Take a small pan and add 3 drops of tea tree oil in it. Also, add a teaspoon of colloidal silver, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in the pan. Heat it slightly. Now, place a towel under your head and lay with your affected ear towards the roof. Use a dropper to pour warm mixture you have just prepared in your ear. Leave it in your ear for about 10 minutes and then change sides to drain it out. Repeat a couple of times a day for 3 days.
Oregano oil is among the most effective essential oils for ear infection; however, you should dilute it before use and avoid it if you are on blood thinning drugs.
How to apply: Take some oregano oil and rub it on the outside of your ear. Never put it in the ear canal.
5. Basil Essential Oil
Basil is an antiviral, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and a muscle relaxant, and is an effective way to treat ear infections as well as throat, respiratory, and lung infections.
How to apply: Dip a cotton ball in basil oil or place a few drops of oil on a cotton ball to make it wet. Now, place it in your ear. Do not push it further; just put it inside to let the vapours to reach the infection. Change the cotton ball several times a day and replace with new ones to clear infection.
6. Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties due to the presence of an active compound called thymol. Using it regularly will help clear your ear infection and relieve pain.
How to apply: Mix a tablespoon of almond oil, 2 drops of thyme oil and 2 drops of lavender oil together. Apply a couple of drops of this mixture on the outside of your infected ear to relieve pain. Do not use it inside your ear canal or it may worse the condition.
7. More Essential Oils to Help
- Bishop’s weed oil is also among some of the best essential oils for ear infections. Make a mixture by adding a teaspoon of bishops weed oil in 3 teaspoons of sesame oil and pour 5 drops of it in your affected ear for relief.
- Use peppermint oil or peppermint juice to treat your ear infection. Be sure to use it around your ear.
- Mustard oil may also help because it has antibacterial properties.
- Combine sesame oil with the castor plant leaves and heat it for some time. Strain it and leave it to cool. Pour a couple of drops of it in your affected ear for pain relief.
More Remedies to Treat Ear Infection
In addition to using essential oils for ear infection, you can also try some other home remedies to relieve pain. For instance:
- Apply a heating pad on your affected ear for pain relief.
- Crush some garlic cloves and pour its juice in your affected ear to clear infection.
- Take some mango leaves and extract their juice. Warm it a bit and put a couple of drops of juice in your affected ear for relief.
- Chop a small onion and put it in the microwave for a few minutes. Let it cool and extract its juice. Put a couple of drops of this juice in your ear to get rid of your pain.
- Take water and apple cider vinegar in equal quantities and make a mixture. Soak a cotton ball in this mixture and put it in your ear for five minutes. Remove the cotton ball after five minutes and lay on the opposite side of your infected ear to drain out the solution.
- Breast milk can help fight infections. Add a couple of drops of breast milk in your infected ear with the help of a dropper and repeat after every couple of hours for pain relief.
Important Safety Note:
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Essential oils are very highly concentrated and potent and it is important to always check the specific safety data provided. Keep out of reach of children, the elderly, and pets. For external use only. Avoid contact with mucus membranes and eyes. If any essential oils have contacted your eye, wash out with a vegetable oil such as olive oil, not water.
Some oils may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is recommended to perform a patch test before use. To patch test, place one drop on the back of your wrist and leave for an hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs wash the area with olive oil then cold water and do not use the oil.
We do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils except while under the care and direction of a qualified health practitioner.