Soothing an Ear Infection with a Home Remedy

Updated on May 14, 2010
M.C. asks from Ann Arbor, MI
16 answers

Hi Moms,

My 5 year old started complaining this evening that his ear hurts. I checked it out and I'm certain it's an ear infection. He also is running a temp and has a cold/cough, all signs of an ear infection. I want to know if anyone has any home remedies that they use for an ear infection. If he's not feeling better by tomorrow, I'm calling his doc, but want to soothe his ear in the meantime. Any advice? Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thank you:) I did the peroxide--it bubbled, so it's an ear infection. I put in two drops of olive oil and within a few minutes, he says that it feels better:)

Thanks for the great advice.

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answers from Detroit on

I know the original request has been answered but another 1 is to try Sweet Oil, available from drugstores. There's no brand name as that's a home remedy like Coke Syrup for stomach upsets.

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answers from St. Louis on

My only guess is Motrin for the pain. :( Maybe a warm compress on that side of his head may help him feel better.

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answers from Detroit on

I have always used garlic oil (fresh garlic roughly chopped with 1 T olive oil drizzled over it..let it sit 10 min). Put 2-3 drops in the ear, having your child remain lying on his side for about 10 min (TV comes in handy here). place a cooton ball or folded up piece of tissue in outer ear to keep oil from possibly dripping when he stands up. Do this 3 times a day. I have always done this (10 years now) and my husband has always thought I was crazy (tend to have a lot of home remedies ;). But then just the other day, low and behold, Dr. Oz announced it as a home remedy his own family uses.
This has actually cured some of my kids' ear infections, but for others that have I caught too late, I have had them on (dreaded) antibiotics. The important thing is to have him checked after a few days if it is even the tiniest bit sensitive. The ear is not something to mess around with
PS...keeping him off dairy for the time will help too

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answers from Gainesville on

Don't put anything into his ear until you have it checked by the doctor. My little one perforated her ear drum with an ear infection and we had no way of knowing until the doctor looked.

Use tylenol or motrin and the warm compress idea sounds like a good one. Also, try letting his sleep slightly elevated with an extra pillow. Laying flat can be very uncomfortable if it is an ear infection.

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answers from Detroit on


There are a number of natural remedies that can really help an ear infection and it's pain. Garlic being one of the top 'home remedies', as it strongly anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Raw (sometimes even a child will eat it raw or lightly baked smashed with lots of butter on toast), as much cooked as he will eat, many raw cloves blended or whized (then strained) in hot foot bath, or crushed, then lightly cooked in olive oil, strained, and dripped (just a few drops) barely warm (don't burn) into the ear. Usually very soothing.

My family store in Ann Arbor specializes in natural remedies of this sort, and there are medicinal essential oils that can be rubbed under the ear that REALLY help both pain and infection, immune-boosting tasty drinks and herbs and probiotics, homeopathic earache remedies by which our customers 'swear', and many other things if you would like support and products to help you in this direction.

Good luck!

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answers from Albany on

I second the Motrin advice, or Tylenol, use generics if worried about the recent recall!

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answers from Columbus on

I heard to that you can heat a bag of rice or a potato and have them hold it to the ear- not so hot that it burns.

Motrin and tylenol work wonders until they get to the doctor- and elevating the head so they don't lie flat.

I would not put anything in the ear until the doctor looked at it. Once you have the doctors OK, they might be able the give you a prescription for Americane, it will numb ear infections and you can keep it on hand.

Glad he feels better-

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answers from Mansfield on

Garlic oil is soothing. It has worked for my kids. Also there is this stuff called similasan- which we use if we don't have garlic handy. And a warm compress will help ease the pain too. I always get my kids to our chiropractor at the first sign of an ear ache or infection and do not have to put them on antibiotics to get rid of it.
I disagree with Dr. Oz and the peroxide thing...... my family has used peroxide about once a month to clean out ears for several generations. Mine always bubbles and I haven't/don't have an ear infection for the past 29 years! Infact I have only been diagonised with an ear infection once in my whole life. So maybe peroxide is a good preventative but not a good diagnositic tool.
Do not give pain releivers, without all the recent recalls, that stuff is dangerous. Go to ER if your son is that miserable that you feel the need to give tylenol or motrin.
Hope this helps :)

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answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi M.:

One remedy for an ear infection that I have always used is a little sweet oil in a teaspoon, heat it up so it is warm, pour down the ear and place a cotton ball in the ear. The sweet oil will coat the inner ear and help with the pain. Hope this helps.



answers from San Francisco on

If you have it, body temperature baby oil can help soothe. There is also an OTC product for ear pain (can't remember the name right now), but I often have it around just in case.



answers from Detroit on

Mullein (sp?) oil drops and oh gosh something else. This won't be in time I'm sure, but my youngest used it when he had an earache years ago. If you want something for future incidents, drop me a line and I can give you the name of the alternative practitioner that recommended it. meanwhile use the doctor. It's only temporary and you can meanwhile be prepared for future aches.



answers from Detroit on

Take a little bit of olive oil and rub it around the ear, and genlty in the ear.



answers from Jackson on

M., I have had excellent success with onion juice. Can make your own quickly. Either with a blender or shredder finely grate/juice a couple tablespoons of onion. Separate the juice by filtering (paper coffee filter or paper towel, tea towel) Keep juice at room will last for the couple of days you need it.

Put a few drops in the ear and have your child lay down with that ear up for 10-15 minutes. It is very soothing...removing the pain and swelling. If you've caught it right away this often prevents it from going into full blown infection. For example, if you know your child has a tendency to ear infections, do this after swimming.

There are other very successful things to do to counter overall infections. I have several resources I could share with you. The garlic ideas are good however raw garlic can be quite hot and burn the tender skin of youngins. There are some ways around that too.

Glad your son feels better!



answers from Detroit on

Awww poor little guy...try moist warm heat, like a warm damp wash cloth. And Motrin works better than tyenol because it reduces the inflamation and helps with the pain. Good Luck.


answers from Detroit on

Ear infection - One of Dr. Oz's family home remedies is hydrogen peroxide in a dropper to treat and diagnose an ear infection. Fill up the ear drum. If it bubbles there is an ear infection and it will help to treat it. If it does not bubble the ear is not infected. He says this has never been proven through study but it works for his family. He also said something about olive oil I think. Maybe if you google it it will show up. It was on a show this week( monday or tuesday). Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

Not a home remedy but regular chiropractic care can prevent or reduce ear infections, or speed healing. I've seen it happen with my kids and at least ten others personally!

Next question: Help for My Itchy/painful Ear Until I Get to the Doc!!