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Kids’ Ear Infections: A Home Remedy?

BEST Natural home remedies for an ear infection – what you can do NOW and to be prepared for next time a kid or an adult has an earache. If you want to avoid antibiotics, this one’s for you.

Baby with ear infection sucking on her thumb.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Sheila Kilbane, M.D. of Infinite Health in Charlotte, NC, and founder of Healthy Kids, Happy Moms.

I didn’t think I’d ever fit this neatly into the “nuts” or “off the grid” category. I’ve always been a rebel, but never like this.

My 4-year-old son woke up Friday morning around 5 a.m. with pain, that by 7:00 he could articulate as being in his ear after coming to our room three times. He is a tough kid, so I knew that he was really in pain when he couldn’t stop whimpering, and the nail in the coffin was that he said he wouldn’t care if we missed school to go to the doctor. Out the door we went!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some drugs to make him feel better.

I wanted to know what was wrong and how to fix it, and I wanted it taken care of NOW.

Katie here, interrupting because I was so curious why some kids seem to get ear infections over and over, to the point of needing surgery and tubes in their ears! I wanted to know WHY? I interviewed Dr Sheila Kilbane to ask this and other questions about how diet might affect this, and what we can do at home to help our kids in the throes of an ear infection.

An ear infection is not something to be taken lightly. They are really, really painful, as I learned when I got my first (and only) ear infection as an adult when my son was a baby. In a twist of fate, I got the ear infection when it would have been common for him, and I had been teething for a few years – cutting my wisdom teeth – when my kids should have been the ones with new pearly whites. Instead of living vicariously through my children, they’re living vicariously through me – in the pain category!

After diagnosis and prescription, I wanted the quick fix so badly I even tried to go to the closest possible pharmacy on the way home. The mechanical drawer at the drive-through was broken, and my son said he’d rather wait the 20 minutes to get to our end of town than get out of the van and go in.

By the time he had a snooze on the way home, waited for the prescription to be filled at the pharmacy near our house, and I got both kids bundled up to go, he said he didn’t want the ear drops to relieve the pain instantly. He was feeling fine. I had been uncomfortable about the antibiotics all morning, and with the help of my Twitter community, I had some natural remedies for the ear infection up my sleeve. I couldn’t give him the first dose of antibiotics until I had read a little more and talked to my husband.

Heal Ear Infections with Garlic Oil

The Treacherous Antibiotic Question – Would I Use It on the Ear Infection?

I knew that if we started the antibiotic regimen, we needed to finish it. All ten days’ worth. For a pain that had only lasted 2-3 hours, that made me nervous. I was thinking:

  1. What if he doesn’t need the antibiotic? Maybe we can get over this without it.
  2. If he has the antibiotic, his natural flora (the balance of good and bad bacteria) will be off, and he’ll be more susceptible to bacterial problems over the next few weeks. We make homemade yogurt, and already eat a lot of it.
  3. If he doesn’t neeeeeeed the antibiotic, are we contributing to the dangers of bacterial resistance if he takes it and shares it with our ecosystem?
  4. I read that some ear infections are viral and wouldn’t be touched by an antibiotic anyway. The thought of 10 days of medicine for nothing makes me shudder.
  5. What did our grandparents do before antibiotics? (Husband says: “They were in pain.”  I said, “But he’s not anymore. I think they always had some sort of remedy for earaches.”  Hubs:  “They died a lot sooner.”  Me: “Not from earaches!!!”)
  6. My husband thinks I’m nuts to “experiment” on our kid. Am I nuts?
  7. If he was in pain, I would give him the antibiotic. Can I get away with waiting since he’s feeling fine?
  8. Is it a problem to put off the first dose? Now I’ll be a half day or a whole day farther away from healing…

Home Remedy for an Ear Infection

While I waited to make the final decision, I crushed a clove of fresh garlic for each foot and put it in my son’s socks, much to his dismay. And yes, it felt a little like voodoo. Would you do?

Note: Many folks have since told me that raw garlic can be pretty intense, almost abrasive, and that I’m lucky it didn’t hurt my son’s skin. Yikes! I would cut it with oil to do this again, but now I’ve purchased some garlic oil from a health foods store that I use instead.

I crushed more garlic and warmed it with extra virgin olive oil, allowed it to cool to just above body temp, and poured a few drops in his ear. We sang the ABCs twice and he tilted it out. We did that about three times throughout the day. Voodoo? Not quite. EVOO and garlic both have antibacterial properties, and anecdotal evidence confirms that the warm oil also takes away the pain in the short term.

I also wouldn’t let the poor child drink his milk after a Twitter friend mentioned avoiding dairy to avoid ear infections and remembering that one of my milk group ladies doesn’t let her kids have milk when they have colds.

Our house – and my son’s head – smelled like a posh Italian restaurant all weekend. But no one was waking up in the night with an earache, praise be to God.

So, my husband may joke that he’s never heard of someone curing an ear infection by pouring FOOD in their ears, but the medicine remains on the kitchen table while the food in the ear and the socks seems to have done the trick.

I’m No Doctor…Just a Mom

I post this not to teach you anything, but because I’m still in awe that I tried it…and it worked. But don’t skip your medicine on my account – be sure to do your own research and make your own decisions. As for me, my pediatrician is probably reading this. *cringe*  I’m wondering what she’s thinking! (I’m still wondering how I feel about the whole thing…)

I Know More Now: My Experience with Home Remedies

Two years and two more ear infections later, this is what else I’ve learned about battling infection naturally:

  • A Home Remedies Medicine Cabinet including Natural Antibiotics – everything I know!
  • Antibiotics vs. Essential Oils – same son had antibiotics for strep, then developed a nasty ear infection immediately following. I have lots of new thoughts on the hazards of antibiotics after that…and we managed to let another prescription hit the garbage instead of my son’s system by using essential oils…
  • Note: My post on the potential dangers of essential oils. They can be great if used correctly, but you need to know enough to know what you don’t yet know…
  • After the third ear infection that we battled naturally, a double job with two ruptured eardrums, (Here’s the whole story with lots more on antibiotics, GBS tests for labor, ear infections, and strep throat) I recommend:
    • USE THE GARLIC (Here’s a recipe for garlic-mullein earache relief oil, which you can make without the mullein if you don’t have any, or buy on amazon)
    • Oil of oregano didn’t do it for us this time, and I was SO disappointed. I thought it was supposed to be a very potent antibiotic…? Be sure to use probiotics if you use oil of oregano or any antibiotic, natural or unnatural.
    • Warm compresses for pain are the very quickest form of relief. Try a microwavable heat thingy.
    • Ruptured eardrums are ok – they may increase the child’s risk of needing hearing aids when they’re elderly, but it needs to happen multiple times to cause that kind of scar tissue. It’s blessed relief when they rupture, actually, because the pressure releases and the germs can come out.
    • A friend swears by Hyland’s homeopathic ear drops, (also sold for infants), although the advice came too late for this latest bout. 🙁 Check your local stores as this item can be found in big box shops like Meijer. I’m ordering some from Amazon to have READY for next time!
    • The same friend uses olive leaf extract (or here or here) to fight infection, recommended by “her crunchy nurse practitioner friend” and says it’s amazing. (8-10 drops for a toddler, half that for infant, mixed in OJ because it’s yucky tasting)
    • Another friend tried Trilight’s ear drops, a company I trust, and I really like them. You can put them inside the ear (but never if there’s any draining!) or on the outside, and that’s a nice choice for the parent and the child, especially if they don’t like the idea of something going IN the ear. These smell really garlicky but they work!! If you want to buy directly from Trilight’s website, here’s a link to a coupon for your first order!
    • A reader recommended mullein, and this one is the brand of garlic oil that worked with the oregano on ear infection no. 2 (and I wish I had used it on no. 3).
    • Another friend swears by “onion juice,” which I believe is just food processed raw onion, dripping the juice right into the ear. Don’t quote me on that one. Others say to bake the onion for 30-60 minutes and then squeeze out the juice, or to put the baked onion cut in  half, wrapped in fabric, on top of the ear, not inside.
    • Get an otoscope so you can confirm the presence of an ear infection and watch it dissipate. It costs less than one visit to the doctor, especially if you include gas.
    • Many readers are saying that chiropractics prevents and heals ear infections (and more) better than anything else out there. Body work helps the lymphatic system to drain properly and provides a lot of relief. It’s “on my list” to find a good natural chiropractor.

Wish You Knew All the Answers to Keep Your Family Healthy?

How about a crash course?

I’d love to send you a 7-day “Quick Start Guide” email mini-course to give you Health Agency! When something goes wrong in your family, YOU can be the agent of healing and not allllllways have to call a doctor for every little thing.

Imagine this email series as a virtual chat over the backyard fence with your own neighbor, a wise older mom who’s raising 4 kids with intention, trying to avoid unnecessary medication and being kind to the earth.

Looking forward to connecting to help you learn EXACTLY what you need to know to stock your natural remedies “medicine cabinet,” deal with normal childhood ailments, and even the dreaded, “What’s that on my skin?” issue! 🙂

home remedies for ear infections

Book Recommendations from Readers

The Bottom Line on Natural Remedies for Ear Infections

My final wisdom for you on ear infections is this (copied from this post in case you only want the practical stuff, not the story):

  • Be prepared. The time to buy a few natural remedies is now, not when your child wakes up in the middle of the night with ear pain. I recommend:
  • Recognize it. If your child is waking up more than once an hour throughout the night, whether they complain of ear pain or not – if they don’t throw up by morning, they probably have an ear infection, especially if they’ve had any sort of cough or runny nose in the last week.
  • Hit it early. Don’t wonder if you should use something. As soon as your child wakes up or can’t sleep because of ear pain, hit it hard and fast!
  • Wait until morning to consider the doctor’s. There’s nothing a doc can do for immediate relief in the middle of the night anyway. (caveat: Unless there’s a serious reason and your gut says go! Don’t be over stubborn just to be stubborn and avoid modern medicine. There’s a place for everything.)
  • Know that any improvement means the body is still fighting. Don’t despair; natural means often take longer than quick-fix medicine, but they should have far fewer negative repercussions.
  • Give yourself some grace. If the only conventional medicine you give for an ear infection is children’s acetaminophen, you’re doing just great.
  • Pray. The Lord loves your child even more than you do, and you are also His beloved child. Ask Him for help in decision-making and trust that whatever happens, He is sovereign.

Don’t do as I do and throw a fit if you do end up with antibiotics. Just continue to trust, pray, and give probiotics to your child for at least a few months.

What if you’re already using antibiotics (or end up filling the prescription after the natural remedies don’t seem to be cutting it)? Then you switch modes to damage control. Antibiotics are sometimes necessary, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re nasty for the body. Here’s how we are recovering and rebuilding after an antibiotics regimen. (By the way, I hope it goes without saying that you must always, always finish the entire prescription, no matter what…of course newer research might say the opposite. Always always talk to your doctor!)

Childhood Ear Infections: A...Shop on Amazon Healing Childhood Ear Infec...Shop on Amazon Allergy Relief for Baby by ...Shop on Amazon Herb Pharm Mullein Garlic H...Shop on Amazon

For your further information, I read the following online:

Other Natural Health Posts:

Have you ever tried a home remedy for something most people would medicate? How about Removing Warts Naturally?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

63 thoughts on “Kids’ Ear Infections: A Home Remedy?”

  1. Pingback: Your Natural First Aid Kit | How We Flourish

  2. can’t go past garlic….but when my partner has ear infection pain she puts on a small therapeutic Nikken magnet and presto! no pain – it does not cure anything but the theory goes that it helps the body’s natural magnetic field to assist in the body’s own healing mechanism
    cheers Jenny

  3. Several years ago after antibiotics were not cutting it for repeated ear infections on my child, I read about garlic being a cure. Call me a lazy mother – but who wants to make complicated concoctions? I just went outside, pulled up a wild garlic bulb, cut a small “cork” out of it, wrapped that in one layer of toilet paper, and put in his ear, letting him push it in as far as he felt comfortable doing it. By morning his ear didn’t hurt at all. I’ve used this method on numerous ear aches with both the kids and myself, it works. To keep it in all night, I apply a bandaid over the ear. Also, laying the sore ear on a sock full of hot table salt gives tremendous relief.

  4. I know this an old thread, and perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but we have been using Tea Tree oil (melalueca) for over ten years to treat ear aches. We have not had to go in for antibiotics through 9 children.

    At first sign of earache:

    I dilute a few drops of Tea Tree with the same amount of Olive oil. Place a couple drops in ear and place a warm rice sock over ear (I fill a baby/toddler sock about 3/4 full, fold over end, and then secure by folding the matching sock over it. Heat in microwave a few seconds at a time until desired warmth). Usually after 24 hours of doing this a couple of times in the day, the earache is gone!

  5. Thank you for not dispensing medical advice and following up with your pediatrician rather than shunning the modern medical system. It sets a good example for those of us trying to strike a balance between proven natural remedies and mainstream medical treatment options. I also give you kudos for having your son tilt the oil out of his ear… that is the first time I have seen this when the oil/garlic remedy has been recommended, and it is an important reminder because oil is ultimately food and a perfect growth medium for bacteria. It has not been shown to have long lasting antibacterial properties… if bacteria is present and enough oil is too, the bacteria could proliferate due to the oil. I am all for evidence based approaches and appreciate all the links and other ideas! It would be so great if these remedies were independently, thoroughly researched so the ones which don’t work can be culled and those that do obtain a more legitimate standing in the medical field! 🙂

    1. Regarding your vaccine comment, Danielle. Both my kids have been unvaccinated. They are 21 and 26 now and VERY healthy. My daughter got whopping cough at 5 as did many of her vaccinated classmates. The only vaccine I gave them growing up was one dose of tetanus when my son stepped on a rusty nail at age 6. They did of course get sick occasionally like we all do. Ear infections stopped when I found homeopathy – here’s an article I wrote on basic kids remedies:
      If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch the first 30 minutes free of the movie Bought at – it has a lot of great info including interviews with top doctors/scientists. The amount of vaccines that Big Pharma are trying to force on our kids now is concerning and there has never been testing in how this giant vaccine cocktail can affect health. It’s a pretty balanced movie and I think is important for everyone to see in this crazy time of parent shaming and forced vaccine discussions…

  6. Rebecca Mills

    My children are adults now but never once did I give an antibiotic for an ear infection all we used when I was growing up and then with my own children and now with my grandchildren is body temperature virgin olive oil. A few drops in the ear massage the ear to get the air bubbles out and a piece of cotton ball to keep the oil in leave it in over night and most of the time by morning it’s gone once in awhile you may need to repeat the process if the infection is bad. Simple as that. Three generations and it has never failed.

  7. I would be very careful doing this, my sister in law is very anti-western medicine and such and her kid went deaf because of this.

  8. I haven’t read any of the comments to know if this has been mentioned before or not, but breastmilk works wonders on just about any type of ailment. I put it on cuts and scrapes, and have used it to knock a few ear infections out as soon as I have felt them coming on. I even had a friend use it to treat a wart on her son, and it only took one application. I have also used it for cradle cap on my daughter. It’s really not that surprising if you think about it. It’s full of antibodies to fight whatever mom is exposed to so she can pass protection on to baby. So if anyone just happens to be a breastfeeding mama, don’t hesitate to use it.

    I also know a chiropractic adjustment can do wonders for an ear infection. I had a really nasty double ear infection last spring. I couldn’t even walk straight from the vertigo. I had to go to the chiropractor daily for a while, but every time I could feel my ears draining immediately and I was good to go until I slept on it every night.

  9. On a recent visit to a GP (not our usual one) with my 5 year old daughter who had very sore ears, we were prescribed antibiotics. He mentioned that before we had the script filled we should try saline nasal spray to try and loosen the fluid that was building up behind her ear drum; after all, the nose and ears are all connected! It worked realy well for her – one day later the pain had virtually gone.

  10. I am wondering about an inner ear infection. My son already had ear tubes and one of them fell out. That ear keeps getting infected due to lack of drainage. How can the garlic oil reach an inner ear infection?

    1. Lydia,
      Very good question – my pediatrician would say that the garlic in the ear oil can do absolutely nothing. Many will say that it’s just basically an alternative to a heating pad for pain, not anything antibacterial. Others will say that our skin is very absorbent – rub a cut clove of garlic on the bottom of your foot, and in about 10 minutes you’ll taste garlic in your mouth! So if it can travel that far…why not outer ear to inner ear? But…with an inner ear infection I wouldn’t rely only on ear oil, and also you need to ask your doctor if it’s safe to put anything in there with tubes. I have no idea! But I hope you can get it all sorted out for your poor guy’s sake! 🙂 Katie

  11. Someone may have already mentioned this, but I use equal parts rubbing alcohol and vinegar. Just a couple drops and let sit for about the same amount of time. I do this from time to time to clean my ears and it has greatly helped decrease my excess ear wax and drainage. I got repeated ear infections as a kid and tend to get them more often than other adults if I don’t do this regularly. I will try the oil and garlic too though. That sounds like it would feel nice. The alcohol/vinegar mix doesn’t do much for immediate pain, but I always wake up the next day much better.

  12. Kristian Whitesell

    As someone who has had multiple ear infections (four in one year; including one that turned into a double ear infection), I can finally say that I have found something that has helped tremendously: sinus rinsing. This natural method of rinsing sinuses (through the nose) has kept me “ear infection-free” for the past 18 months. I highly recommend trying it. I also have not contracted a cold since I began rinsing my sinuses. Hope this helps someone!!

  13. Dennis Hupka DC

    Hello, I am a chiropractor and have had tremendous success helping children with ear infections. It is amazing to see the little ones begin to heal almost immediately. I can’t understand why a doctor would just keep on prescribing antibiotics and not give supportive care to help boost the child’s immune system so they don’t get another one. One ear infection is not overall concerning, but I have parents bringing in children who have had multiple in a short period of time. THERE IS something wrong, and when we help correct the issues, we see another happy child!!

  14. Lauren Leonard

    Country Herbals has a great product called Ear Oil that can be used on both people and even dogs!
    It works AMAZING!
    Here’s the description
    “Our unique formula provides a natural alternative to sooth ear aches associated with infection, viruses, and chronic ear inflammation. Garlic, tea tree, and oregano have natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal components to help heal and sooth the ear.”
    Visit for the info 🙂

  15. What a brilliant site you have here! Well as Hipporates once said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. I’m all for your line of thinking Katie. It’s wonderfully validating for me to see that others also share the same thoughts. How refreshing! as I don’t have alot of friends that think like this!! I’II be back to have another read some time. Thank you for putting it out there. Cheers!


    US evoo isnt all that safe.

  17. Hi Katie! What a great post and thread! I’ve learned a lot, and am reminded of what I already knew from experiences as a child, when my father used warm garlic oil for my intense ear infections. Many times it worked! I’m definitely going back to my roots on this health problem in the future.

    My 5 yo daughter has a lot of wax in her ears. About a year ago, a doctor we saw had her nurse try to remove it in the office. It was traumatic for our child. At our last appointment a few months ago we learned she now how scarring on that eardrum! The otc products for wax removal all seem to be for children 12 and over. My daughter’s hearing is definitely diminished, and she still picks at wax from her ears. I”m going to check out the books and links you and your readers have posted, but right now would love to learn of any natural treatments for earwax you’ve tried or heard of. Thanks, and keep up the great blog!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I wish I could help! The only thing I’ve ever heard of it the ear candle thing. ???? What a mess for you, so sorry to hear it! Katie

  18. 2-4 drops of colloidal silver on the ears. And 1 tsp 5x a day for a few days internally until recovered. And follow up or use during with probiotics. This cal be alternated once a day with h202 and silver.

  19. Carrie Wibright

    My 8 yo woke up this past Tuesday with HORRIFIC ear pain. I used my go to, garlic oil ear drops, warm compresses, ibuprophen, colloidal silver ear drops. Nothing helped, he was still in extraordinary pain. We have spent the last 3 years healing ourselves and getting off of all the allergy/sinus prescriptions. When the pediatrician told me ear infection, I thought surely we can kick this because it more than likely started out as a sinus infection (which are SO hard to treat because they are viral or fungal and lack adequate vascularization). We have totally kicked earaches in the past & I did.not want to give him Augmentin. To me, that is like asking for Rotovirus. Well, not exactly, but close enough.
    Anyhow, my whole point is, we have NOT used any antibiotics this week & we have started seeing a chiropractor. And so far so good. I keep telling myself the prescription would just further his illness by upsetting his GI flora and making him feel yucky.
    My question is regarding your comment on the ruptured ear drums. What happened and how did you know? He has fluid leaking out of his ears and I keep telling myself it a combination of water from bathing and the ear drops. Please provide this SAH, homeschooling, used to be hardcore ICU nurse some reassurance that I have NOT scarred my son for eternity. Thank you in advance!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      There was clear drainage from the ear, usually related to a release of pressure and thus less pain. The pain would come back again later, sometimes, but we always thought he was getting better! Our ped said it’s not a huge deal, although if there are LOTS of ruptures in one’s life, it can impact your hearing when elderly. I don’t think one ear infection could do that. You’re doing good, natural mama! 😉 Katie

  20. Many thanks and praises to you for posting this. I treated my 1yr old with prescribed antibiotics (against my gut) for an ear infection only to have to have it return with a vengeance several days later. I knew that his intestinal flora were compromised and was apprehensive about giving him a second round of stronger prescribed antibiotics. Thank god I found your site just in time.

  21. Katie: I don’t even know if you’ll see this comment…but my 7yo has an ear infection now. It’s been about 7 days. I’ve been doing garlic oil in her ears for about 4 or 5 days. She’s going up and down–she wakes up and it’s better, then by the end of the day, she’s got a fever again and is complaining of hurting.

    I guess I’m just wondering (from any mom who’s done this with their kid), how long does an ear infection last? When should I be worried? Are earaches like other things that just run their course? Or will it advance to something worse?

    Yes, I’m freaking myself out a bit! Any advice would be appreciated! 🙂


    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Ack! I’m so sorry! I did see the comment, but clearly too late. (You can always tweet at me!) My 7yo had an ear infection for about 5-6 days last spring, but we finally got abx…then saw the email from my doc that as long as he was on the upswing, he should be fine. His ears both ruptured and drained, though, giving him relief, then it would start back up again another night. What ended up happening? You (and she) held out for a long time!

      Rupturing is not a big deal, btw, unless it happens multiple times in the course of one’s life, and then it can have an impact on hearing once elderly…

      So sorry I wasn’t here to support you!!
      {hugs} Katie

      1. No worries, Katie!

        It was really the next day that it cleared up. We had her adjusted at the chiropractor 2-3 times (we go 2x/week anyway). We did some homeopathic oral “meds” for about 2-4 days. Then we did the oil anywhere from 3x/day to every hour and I also massaged her neck below the ear hoping to help release that pressure/swelling inside. We used lots of hot compresses for pain. Oh, and I did make her stick a garlic clove in her ear whenever she’d let me! 🙂

        My worry was about what was happening long term–was this viral and she was contagious? was it damaging her ear? would it only escalate? or was it like croup and other sickness that only last for a certain amount of days?

        This was our first attempt to treat something serious on our own. So, I felt more worried than normal. But I’m glad we stuck with it!

        Thanks for your care, friend–and for a place to meet like-minds w/lots of advice and experience. 🙂

  22. I think it was Hippocrates who said, “let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food”. We’ve become so accustomed to allopathic medicine that so often poisons, that we forget healing can most often be simple and affordable.

  23. Another great remedy I discovered reading the GAPS diet book is to open and sprinkle a pro-biotic capsule on the tongue right before bed (or crush it if it’s a pill) and it stays in the nasal cavity for the flora to work in the eustacian tube/throat/nasal cavity-surprise! good bacteria need to be present there too, just like our gut! We were doing the garlic infused oil and taking garlic, but she told us too late that her ear hurt and we think it might’ve ruptured, although we did give her something for the pain, we didn’t ruin her “good bacteria” by giving her antibiotics and she healed quickly after doing that for 2 nights!

    There’s a chapter in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride just on ear infections. It’s a very informative book-it started out as a way to help her patience and her own son with autism and it turned in to realizing how many diseases come about as a result of our intestanal system being thrown off by feeding the bad bacteria and never having the “good” bacteria in balance to keep us healthy! I’m loving it! From autism, ADHD, to gluten and lactose sensitivities and seasonal allergies-our guts need to heal and our body can better resist outside “intrusions”. I wish I had time to write more-but thought I’d pass on another great tip! hope it makes sense, I have lots of farm work to do today, but was too excited about how well it helped to wait and write this to pass on the information!

    Like Katie said we want to do something quickly for our children when we know they are in pain, I can’t quote exactly where I heard it, maybe on here, but 70% of ear infections will clear up on their own. It was even quoted in the GAPS book that a study on two groups of kids with ear infections-one with antibiotics and another without, there was no difference in the time it took the ear to heal, except the one’s with the anti-biotics are now left suseptable to another infection because the antibiotics have killed all the good bacterial flora in the body to resist having a relaspe and another infection following soon after the first. Like I said, I’m quickly paraphrasing-hope it makes sense! God Bless all you mothers as you take care of your little one’s with all these infections going around. Remember, preventive medicine is better by laying off sweets and juices, eating raw fruits and veges, probiotics and cod liver oil with Vit D3 work best than treating the infection later!

  24. Thank you so so much for posting this!! i used to put garlic in my oldest ear overnight and it has worked ok, but my little one wont let me. This with the warm oil has saved our night tonight! Otherwise with the pain we would have had to gone to the After Hours clinic and treated with antibiotics. Thank you thank you!!!!

  25. Ok, this is a great article, but I need help… I put crushed garlic (raw) in my son’s socks while he was sleeping and an hour or two later he started saying “ow… ow… oww”. I asked him where it was hurting and he said his feet so I took his socks off and the garlic had turned bluish green! Creepy. I can’t seem to find any info online… any ideas of why this happened? Anyone else have this happen before?? Thanks.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I don’t know about the bluish green, but raw garlic can be pretty potent actually. I’d cut it with oil nowadays…guessing I need to reread and edit this post! Some people were very surprised that my son handled the raw garlic okay. I’m sorry your son’s feet hurt him; hope it healed up quickly!!!
      Be well, Katie

      1. Thanks Katie :). I’m thinking about trying this recipe tonight: . I hope it’s ok to post that here, if not I can remove it.

  26. HEY!
    To me i have great mourning and i thank God.Have been struggling with nerve imbalance ,my ears have been aching seriously until i used to be denied sleep.Recently i learn t that coconut oil is a good anti biotic and clears the bacteria which affect teeth and used it and worked on my teeth.Yesterday i had a terrible earache and i decided to use the the same oil the pain ceased instantly and i had a good sleep.But be careful to use natural.

  27. Hello! I also wanted to add that my husband and I frequently use the Olive Leaf Extract as an antibiotic treatment. I have not tried the garlic and EVOO yet, but it is next in line for use. We also use the ear candles somewhat often, especially when our children start to have pain-so that would be perfect to pair with the garlic oil. If the infection is severe enough to be accompanied by a fever, I have also found that raw potato slices in the socks overnight, help pull the fever out, and make the next morning much more bearable.

  28. From last comment of the ONION JUICE. I forgot to mention that before taking the juice into the dropper I passed the juice trough a very fine colander. Also this post has gone ten minutes after she fell asleep I’ll make sure I’ll post any updates for those who may want to know want happened later. Any way, I did not doubt about the onion because I knew is the best thing for burns, even deep burns, a clean mashed onion does wonders if you cannot get fast help.

  29. My two and 1/2 year old started to cry inconsolably and pointed to her ear. I was alone and it was too late to get someone to help me. I wanted to do the garlic cure but my last drop of olive oil was gone so i tried the “ONION JUICE” cure. I put an onion in the processor, got a clean dropper and dropped three drops inside of the ear. She almost immediately started to calm down, then for five minutes she was just half crying and so I asked if she wanted more drops. She nodded, i put three more and she stopped crying and fell asleep.

  30. Botulism, is much worst than an ear infection.
    Infusing garlic and oil (any oil), doing that is providing a medium for “botulism”
    When garlic is deprived of oxygen it will, not maybe, but will host botulism.

    So: Mother, yeah please do a bit of reading before you EXPERIMENT on your child or children,,.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      First of all, the oil was used right away, so no time for botulism to form. Second of all, my pediatrician was not in the least concerned, as long as I didn’t get a chunk of garlic stuck in my son’s ear canal. So I feel pretty safe on that one.

      Your capital letters are the equivalent of yelling at me in my living room.

  31. So, question. If you know your child has an infection, why do you get the prescriptions? Just save your money and use the info from the doctor. If the doc gives you a prescription (on paper), hold on to it just in case your methods don’t work. But don’t fill the prescription, pay for it, and then not use it. It’s just downright wasteful. The amount of energy that goes in to producing the product is far too much to just throw the prescription out when it expires. That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

    I’m all for the natural way of healing. I use a Neti Pot when I’ve got a sinus infection (fairly common for me-4 a year when the seasons change). I use several other remedies. But I still can’t understand why someone would PAY for the doctor’s visit to find out what the child had, then PAY for a prescription they won’t give to their child. Just take the info from the Doc and use your natural remedies, resorting to filling the prescription as a last measure.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      We try not to name-call here at Kitchen Stewardship. I filled the prescription because I had every intention of using it. I didn’t want to, but I thought I would. Then I learned more. Prayed more. Hoped more. And ended up throwing them out.

      I bought soybeans once because I thought they were healthy, too, then learned more and never used them. Stupid? Not really? Just a simple mistake. I hope I’m at the point now, with all the paid learning I’ve done, that I won’t be paying for any more scripts or dr.’s visits for ear infections. I wish I hadn’t wasted materials and resources, but it was better than giving a child a scrip he didn’t need just because I had already, with the best of intentions, filled it.


  32. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this! I am 23 and still have HORRIBLE ear infections. I woke up yesterday with a very sore ear and knew right away what I was going to have to deal with. I really didn’t want to have to go to the doctor and be prescribed an oral medication (I think that drops work better but my doctor refuses to prescribe them) and then have to wait for them to begin working. So I took to the internet. I found several home remedies and I tried one (a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar). The solution helped temporarily, but I woke again this morning and can barely stand the pain. I am off to the kitchen now to find some garlic! I’m looking forward to seeing if this works (which I have a feeling it will because every other site I have looked at says to do the same things you said). Thank you again so much for posting this!

  33. The only thing about the garlic and.onions is thar yes they may feel like its cured completely but SOMETIMES its not. A ear infection can move to a brain stem and then tutn into a blood infection which is mu h more severe than a little bit of low bacterial defenae foe 10 days. So me and my husband give our kids the antibiotics but don’t use extra paon killers we use the onion 🙂

  34. “let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food”-Hippocrates
    This time honored quote from the “father of medicine” Hippocrates, from which Drs. take the Hippocratic Oath on becoming MDs. Yet somehow that sage advice has gotten lost thru the centuries. The natural has become suspect, while often toxic drugs(ALL pharmaceutical drugs have many side effects) prescribed & ingested w/o question. Food & herbs few if any when used appropriately.

  35. My mother-n-law use to swear by “sweet oil” in the ear for children with ear aches. Does anybody know if “sweet oil” is the same as “extra virgin olive oil”?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I’ve never heard of that one – checked “Dr. Google” yet? 😉 Katie

  36. Thank you very much for this post! My 9 year old son has never had an ear infection. I believe this was brought on by swimming and having water stay in his ear. We do not believe in prescribed medications. I have MS and don’t take prescribed/manufactured medications for it. Though it’s painful and I can see the pain in his face, we have been approaching the ear ache/infection naturally. What the other responders have mentioned will be very helpful to continue to get him over this ear problem! THANK YOU to ALL of you!!

  37. Pingback: 4 Home Remedies to Knock Out a Cold | Green Your Way

  38. Brandis via Facebook

    I know my son has issues with wheat and dairy, and when his tolerances are down he gets sick and has a harder time kicking it. I occasionally have to eliminate them in his diet for a short time to get his immune system back on track. Upping probiotics is a must (all the time!) but have you tried eliminating dairy as well?

  39. via Facebook

    I know, I HATE antibiotics. Hate them. But, I have to work as a member of a team of parents here. A few weeks ago, my son couldn’t kick his ear infection for 5 days, and we finally gave in. Killed. Me. He totally didn’t need them, and when I finally got hold of our regular ped, 15 minutes after I’d give him the first dose, she agreed that he was “on the up” and didn’t need them. Never. Again. He of course got sick a week or so later w/fever, and I wasn’t even surprised. I just don’t know why he can’t kick the things, even with oil of oregano, which is supposed to be a crazy bullet against infections! So frustrating…I need to remember that he still needs probiotics daily now, as it’s hard to keep up on that when he seems “all better.” Grrr….I hate abx!

  40. Heather via Facebook

    Onion juice works wonders too. A couple of drops a few times a day. We’ve never had an ear infection last longer than 24hr in our house.

  41. Karen via Facebook

    Brandis – I so appreciate your post. I was surprised to see Katie using antibiotics with as knowledgeable as she is.

    Brandis is right: our bodies get infections mainly from the diet we consume: usually carbs are the worst offenders. Once those are eliminated from the diet, then the ‘dis-eases’ go away then there is no need for antibiotics, which, as Katie knows, screws our body oceans up.

    Here are some other thoughts along the same line along with some natural treatments for ear issues:

  42. We just had our very first ear infection and it was so hard! I knew I didn’t want to do antibiotics but I had a lot of pressure from family. I ended up doing a combination of things and let me tell you…the day I started it, the pain was gone! 2 days later…nothing. It completely worked. I got some herbal drops with mullein, garlic, olive oil, and arnica and put those in her ear. Then I got some homeopathic drops that were for pain and inflammation and put those in her ear. I also used Ferrum Phos (homeopathic) orally for inflammation and Chamomila for irritability. Then I put basil and lavender essential oil on a cotton ball and taped it to her ear. I did that a few times each day or when she was complaining and now she is FINE! I couldn’t even touch her ear before without her wincing. I’m amazed and SOOO happy that we fought this off naturally. I always knew I wanted to because we do everything else naturally but I always dreaded an ear infection because they are so painful. SUPER exciting!

  43. Brandis via Facebook

    You mentioned in the updates the risks of antibiotics, and instead of getting lost in the comments of an old post I thought I’d post my view on this here. My first child was healthy- other than a runny nose that led us to her dairy allergy in infancy, she never had a cold. Then when my second was about 7 months old they both got this really croupy cough. When I finally took them in (because the had no other apparent symptoms, but the cough was bad and not getting better) they had bilateral ear infections! Overwhelmed by this info I gave them the antibiotics the doctor perscribed, as well as a few days of albuterol (because they also had reactive airway). From this moment on they both had ear infections for 9 months. We finally figured out it was food allergies (dairy and wheat) and that is how I came to a traditional foods diet- through research on food allergies- and was able to essentially “cure” their allergies in about 8 months, although I think my son is having a bit of a relapse. Anyway, my thoughts on this whole thing is that my otherwise healthy daughter (who did have the dairy allergy as an infant, but who didn’t have any problems with dairy from about 13 months until 2.5 years) came by that first ear infection honestly, and the antibiotics messed up her system and caused the food allergy and the months of agony we suffered because of it. My son, on the other hand, I think had a more complicated problem, as he has had issues with food since birth (I couldn’t eat dairy while I was nursing, when we switched to formula at 7 months, which I also believe was a contributing factor to both kids’ allergies BTW, he was severely allergic to dairy formula… Anyway, I just thought this bore saying on a post on antibiotics vs. natural treatments. I haven’t given either child an antibiotic since. I would use them if either had a life threatening infection, and I am glad they exist for this reason, but in 98% of cases they are so not necessary and I feel they do far more harm than good.

  44. Stephanie via Facebook

    I came to this post after 4 rounds of antibiotics and a referal to ENT. Garlic oil cured the ear infection that had not improved for 5 months. No surgery for us!

  45. Greta via Facebook

    I google searched this last night, haha! I did the garlic on the feet and in the ear, and my daughter said her ear doesn’t hurt this morning. Not sure if she actually had an ear infection or not, but she was up most of the night with ear pain.

  46. Diana via Facebook

    We cured ours naturally this year Katie! My son had a inner ear infection and what helped most us was time and warm compresses. No sugar, no milk during the entire bout. It took us about 2 weeks to finally get over it.

  47. Lauren via Facebook

    I just searched for and read that article this morning! My seven month old and I both are miserable today. I’m a huge believer in garlic oil…have used it on my two year old and myself with great success. In fact, as soon as morning nap is over for the littlest we’re all getting a dose.

  48. I don’t know if this has been recommended yet,.but as kids my parents would take the core (bulb part) of an onion and warm it, then place that in our ears with a damp warm wash cloth over it. Always worked!

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