Recipe by Kate Tietje and written by Sarena-Rae Santos
As someone who has had recurring ear infections since infancy due to vaccine injury, I understand the importance of ear infection relief.
Otitis media, also known as an ear infection, emerges in the space behind the eardrum called the middle ear. Ear infections are more likely to occur after a cold or other upper respiratory infection has been present for a few days. Ear infections are most common in children younger than age 7. Ear infections in children present symptoms including:
- Ear pain, especially when lying down
- Tugging or pulling at an ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Crying more than usual
- Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Loss of appetite (1)
In 2006, 8.8 million (11.8 percent) U.S. children under the age of 18 reported having ear infections. Of the 8.8 million children, 8 million reported visiting a physician or obtaining a prescription drug to treat the condition (2). But what if they didn’t need to?
If you have read our Mullein Herbal Profile, you know mullein has astringent properties. An astringent property is when a substance, or an herb, can cause the contraction or shrinkage of tissues and dry secretions (3). Astringent herbs are typically used internally to reduce mucus and discharge and to remove the infection or unwanted bacteria from skin wounds. This makes mullein an excellent choice for infections.
One study found that a mullein ear drop used on a middle ear was just as effective as an anesthetic when used on a middle ear infection (4).
Mullein-garlic ear drops are easy to make and use. Drop 2 – 3 drops in the ear, massaging behind the ear and laying on the side. Repeat on the other side. Use drops 2 – 4x per day during an infection, once or twice daily for prevention.
I highly recommend Earthley’s Earache Ease if you’re not a DIY person.
DIY: Mullein-Garlic Ear Drops
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 3-4 mullein flowers or leaves (crumbled)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Step 1: Add one crushed garlic clove and 3 – 4 mullein flowers or leaves, crumbled gently, to 1/3 cup oil.
Step 2: Warm the oil on the stove, on low heat, for twenty minutes.
Step 3: After infusing, strain the oil with cheesecloth to prevent any small hairs or pieces of garlic from getting through. You want the oil to be completely clear (no ‘stuff’ inside your ears!).
Step 4: Store in a dark glass bottle and keep in a dark, dry place for 3 months.
Usage: Drop 2 – 3 drops in the ear, massaging behind the ear and laying on the side. Repeat on the other side. Use drops 2 – 4x per day during an infection, once or twice daily, for prevention.
Whether you’re struggling with an ear infection or a swimmer’s ear, these homemade drops should do the trick. Don’t run to the doctor for a toxin-filled prescription if you don’t need to. Instead, make this alleviating alternative in a matter of minutes.