Garlic Drops - Ear Infection

Updated on January 12, 2010
S.B. asks from Beaverton, OR
24 answers

Has anyone had success using garlic drops instead of antibiotics for toddler's ear infection? My 19month old son developed an ear infection and the doctor gave him amoxicillin. I gave him all of it but Target only gave me enough for 8 days instead of 10 so his infection returned (I'm unhappy with Target!). We recently started seeing a Natropathic doctor who recomends Allimax garlic drops in his ears and orally.

I am wondering
1. have any of you had any success getting rid of an ear infection using garlic drops?
2. if so, how long did it take?

it seems as if it helps somewhat but if we miss or delay a dose his symptoms return in a milder form but they do return.

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So What Happened?

we went to the doctor this morning and received good news that my son's ear infection is gone! the garlic drops worked! I bought the Mullen/Garlic drops for his ears and continued to give him the Allimax drops orally twice a day. thanks for your sugestions!

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answers from Portland on

Hi S.,
Yes! Use the garlic drops. We also see a Natropath, and even though my daughter has only had one ear infection, it seemed to work almost instantly (as far as comfort is concerned). As far as completely healed, it takes a few days tops. I take them with me whenever we go to the coast and they work very well for us. Kind of stinky, but it works. Hope this helps. Good luck!



answers from Portland on

We use a combination of garlic and mullein drops. You can get both at any health food store. My 2 year old has had 1 dr. diagnosed ear infection and we opted to use this first before antibiotics. Took him back in 10 days and ut was all cleared up.

I have also put garlic and olive leaf tablets in smoothies when they are having symptoms of "colds" or "flu". Everything clears up super fast!

Best of luck, S.

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answers from Portland on

Hello S.-

I have never tried garlic drops for ear infections, but I believe if the drops reduces the symptoms, great!

I've been working with toddlers and preschoolers for more than 16 years, and have taken care of many children with ear infections. During this time, I wanted to learn more about ear infections so I could help the children in my care more when they had one. I found out that most ear infections are viral not bacterial, so antibiotics won't help. I also learned doctors cannot know for sure which type of infection your child has.

It is now recommended that parents used alternative treatments to ease symptoms allowing the body to heal its self. If the child develops a high fever or is in serious pain, then it's time to call the doctor.

I suggest you keep up with the children's Tylenol, your natropath's drops. If you're looking for a different treatment, I've always have had luck with the Similasan line of drops. I used their ear drops a few years back when my husband had an infection and he felt better soon.

I wish you the best of luck. Ear infections are tough, because they happen so often and your child is in pain. I hope this clears up soon!

R. Magby

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answers from Portland on

I used them exclusively with my son and had great success. He always seemed better within a few days, but more importantly, did not ever seem worse. We used the garlic mullein from Herb Pharm.

In your case, if he was already on antibiotics, I would be concerned a stronger strain of something had come back.... If it were me, I might we willing to try a more natural course as long as there was no high fever/major behavior changes.

Also, are you breastfeeding by chance? Some milk in the ears would be great as well. It is like magic for just about all illnesses. Cleared up a recent pinkeye case in a flash!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I've had no experience with garlic drops in ears, but I'd like to address your Target experience.

Why didn't you return to claim the last 2 days of antibiotics? I've had a few experiences where the pharmacy didn't have enough of my drug on hand to completely fill my scrip, but I've always been instructed to return to pick up the remainder in a few days.

Taking the full course of antibiotics is extremely important, because if you don't, all you've done is killed off the weakest bugs and allowed the strong resistant ones to reproduce. This is why we have such a huge problem with resistant strains of bacteria.

Sorry, but my opinion is that you dropped the ball and didn't make the effort to obtain the full course of antibiotics for your child. This was not Target's fault.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We use willow/garlic oil for ear infections plus we take our 22month old to the chiropracter every month,

My little one got a ear infection at 14 months, we personally not a fan of medicated meds, so we got the willow/garlic oil from the health food store , just slightly heat it up and drop it in the ear, it took about a week but we also went to the chiropracter every 3 days to make sure her ears were draining, after we would leave she would sleep so well, we are believers....

Good luck if you have questions about how to do it feel free to email me

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bellingham on

Great questions, S.! This is a miracle cure!! Especially if it has mullein in it (herb for pain) I have been using it for the entire 10 years of my twins' lives! if you do it right when the symptoms occur, then you can usually "nip it in the bud." Even if you get on it in the middle of the will still shorten the duration.

To use:
Twist the bottle top just open (but so it still sits
on top.)
Heat the bottle in a pan on the stove on very low
heat until it reaches the temp of your inner wrist.
Put three drops in each ear and place a small plug of cotton ball to help it stay can rub behind the ear(if it doesn't hurt too much) or pull it from the bottom lobe downward and out.

Do this for three days. The problem should clear right up.
(or longer if needed)

if you don't finish antibiotics, you strengthen the bacteria with immunity to the antibiotics and they don't have so many ear infections/year until they reach a certain age and they are not necessary when the garlic/mullein oil works so well and does not create antibiotic resistant strains(wrong thing to do.)but instead allow the body to activate it's own immune response and take care of the invading "bugger." Voila! The miracle of the human body....amazing!

In it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hi S.,

Garlic is a natural antibiotic and I use it all the time in tablet form.

Health and Wellness Coach



answers from Seattle on


I am sorry your little one's ear infection had come back.
We did go through similar experience. And when ear infection had came back doctor perscribed second antibiotic :( it was very tough on his tummy, even though we took it along with probiotics. While taking the second antibiotic, I heared about garlic drops, but at that point things got too far and I didn't see them make any difference.

Lesson learned next time when the ear infection thretened - meaning the doctor was iffy whether perscribe antibiotic or not since he was just seeing very little inflamation in the ear, I jumped in with garlic drops plus home based remedies:
- garlic drops in the ear plus pug it with small cotton bud
- no sudden changes of temperature, open windows, drafts
- kid dressed much warmer, staying at home for a week
- drinking pleanty of tea with raspberry syroup or tea with lemon and honey. Those were the only ones he accepted, even though you will find many others working great
- taking immunoglobulin or echinacea with Vit C
The infection cleared up after a week. I was also putting ear drops in the healthy ear and 3 days after the doc said that he doesn't see any inflamation.

We went through the same scenario twice without letting the infection grow to the point when natural remedies don't help much.

Later I was super paranoid about hats with ear flaps and putting the one on my son even if all other kids were runing without any hats whatsoever. We don't have ear infection problems for over a year now (he is 2,5 now)

Hope your son will recover soon, take care



answers from Seattle on

I would suggest vinegar, actually. I use it in my son's ears when they get a little achy, and since I began using it, the pain goes away in a day or so, and stays gone.

I know it sounds weird, but I do it with my own ears. I actually got the idea from a relative who cared for poodles, which are often prone to ear infections. She used drops of vinegar in her dogs' ears, too. (That probably makes it sound even weirder, but I've never known it to hurt anyone.)



answers from Seattle on

I started taking my now 20 yr old to a naturopath for ear infections when she was very young and we used a combination of garlic ear drops, vitamin C and homeopathic remedies like Pulsatilla and Chamomile. Since learning about these other remedies, I rarely ever used antibiotics again and I had 6 kids. I don't know how long it took, but it did work. My now 30 yr old was given antibiotics nearly every month because of a recurring ear infection. He eventually had tubes put in. I wish I had known about the garlic then. We treat alot of things with garlic.


answers from Eugene on

Yes, Yes, Yes. And, I made it myself in advance stuffing garlic into a brown jar and olive oil over it. Two weeks shaking daily and letting it sit. Poured the contents into one ounce dropper bottles. And, it worked better than antibiotic.
I also gave my 4 year old a garlic clove for her mouth and that really did the trick.
No swallowing only let it stay on the upper back teeth. It took the infection right out of her ear.



answers from Seattle on

With my own kids I have never used the antibiotics, but when I was a childbirth educator many of my students did with results similar to yours.

However I have used the garlic with good results, I also remove all sugar and of course ( althought this is normal for us) no refined flour and most grains in general from their diets for a few days an suppliment with vitamin c and zinc during that time and be sure they get lots of water. It also helps to be sure lots of extra sleep....since yeast can be a factor in ear infections in my experience with my kids, antibiotics can make it worse.

I have found that adjustments from either an ABC practicioner if you can find one or if not from a chiropractor can make a real difference in ear infections too. Also helps to take hold firmly to the earlobe and the cartlidge right next to it and pull firmly down and then out and up, this helps the ear to drain and often relieves pain right away.

We also use highland's teething tablets for the something else for the pain stops the body from running a fever, which prevents healing.

So glad to hear you are seeing an ND!



answers from Seattle on

I have not used garlic, but have taken my little one to the Chiropractor. I know it seems weird to take a little kid to the chiropractor, but it really has worked for us. I am not one of those people that swear by them either. I go about three or four times a year, only when I really need it. I have a very physical job and sometimes I get bad tension headaches, which the chiro helps with. I see someone that specializes in kids and pregnant women, which i recommend and shouldn't be too hard to find.



answers from Anchorage on

i swear by garlic drops but have them body temp to put in the ear the time from my sons first dose and releife was like 34-48 hours and sorry this is late and i hope that you used them to rid him of the infection by now



answers from Portland on

Yes! I make my own garlic oil by putting some
chopped garlic into olive oil and letting it marinate over night. Then I place a few drops into my ears. It works. I had a chronic ear infection that didn't respond to antibiotics but this cleared it up.

Good luck.




answers from Seattle on

My doc always told me to return to him if the infection returns, so I would do that. I have never gone to a Natropathic doctor so I have nothing to say about that.



answers from Medford on

Hi S.,
Both my husband and I have been commited to addressing childhood colds and flu's naturally. My husband was in his previous marriage, married to a naturopath. She did her research on children's ear infections and as a result my husband felt knowledgeable and confident in treating ear infections naturally. Fortunately, for us, in our town we have a Homeopathic doctor who is also a MD family practitioner. I would always take the boys, I have twins to see her to check their ears, just in case we were looking at something that might need something stronger, like antibiotics. As an MD and a homeopath I trusted her completely when she would suggest, garlic ear drops and warm compresses. These did work! Also, it was helpful to know that the reason children get ear infections so much is that until they are older it's like a "sore throat" because of the angle of their tubes in their ears at such a young age. It's hard when they have ear infections because they are in so much pain and they scream and you feel terrible. My boys are six and a half now and I can assure you, they are healthy and hear fine. Best of luck to you! Mary

ALAM: I'm a happily married mother of fraternal twin boys, who are in first grade. I work p/t.



answers from Seattle on

we used the garlic mullein. does the allimax have mullein? my daughter had a few ear infections despite her love for nursing. we always used the drops and she never needed to be put on antibiotics. i noticed results within a day as far as her discomfort. by the time we saw her doctor the following week or so for a re-evaluation, her ears were fine. hope all goes well. it is so hard to see our children in pain. C..


answers from Medford on

I had repeated success. Mullen oil w/garlic was what worked for us. Many doctors are avoiding antibiotics as they are not the proper treatment, but western medicine doesn't have any answers and they don't want you to leave empty handed.

If your child is eating lot's of milk, cheese or white flour these can be cause of the congestion.

Since you are seeing a Natropathic doctor, you have most likely already been given the advice to take probiotics to balance the antibiotics.

One of the best books I have found is Eat Right for Your Type. Even though we have different blood types in our family, we all thrive and have worked it out.
If you child is a blood type O, milk, cheese and flour are among the worst foods you can feed them. I grew up in constant pain, until I found this blood type information, now I am healthier at 45 then I was at 15.

Always do your own research. Doctors have a limited amount of information and are under untold stresses these days. Take responsibility and participate with the have to live with the results.

Garlic and Mullin oil have been around a very long time.



answers from Seattle on

my mom used to use garlic when we were kids for ear infections. always worked, but i can't remember how long it took.



answers from Portland on

ok this is going to sound awful but when my son had chronic ear infections for the first two yrs of his life, after the first couple times using anti-biotics that didn't work, i just used.....nothing. Tylenol to ease the pain is it. they wanted to put tubes in his ears but one doctor told me to wait till after he turned 2 to see if the infections would stop and they did....he hasn't had one since and he is 3 1/2. i know not everyone is the same so.....? the doc just said that they usually always clear up after age two.



answers from Seattle on


My grandmother used to take a garlic clove, cut it in half, peel it and put one piece in tissue and gently put it in the infected ear.

Now I would suggest exactly that as I wouldn't want the garlic glove to disappear into your infant's ear. Which is a real possibility because as the garlic does it's work it shrinks.

I would recommend garlic drops. I did have an ear ache/infection recently and the garlic clove did work. the earache was gone in three days.

Good luck, let us know how it works!




answers from Portland on

I've used this with my son & it works every time. Even the American Pediatric Association recognized that antibiotic don't work for ear infections & recommends that docs stop using them for this. If your kid has gotten an ear infection so early, he may be allergic ot something he's eatting like my son. I eliminated cow dairy from his diet completely & he hasn't gotten one since. Good luck.

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