Mullein infused oil can be used as ear drops for relieving pain associated with middle ear problems. (See recipe and directions below.) Use a couple of drops at room temperature two times a day and at bedtime. Castor oil and calendula infused oil also make good drops -- but do not put anything into the ear if a ruptured eardrum is suspected.
Ginkgo biloba, turmeric, yellow dock root, garlic, Echinacea root, and bayberry bark help the body to focus healing efforts on the ear. Drinking herbal teas or taking herbal tinctures can protect, soothe, and help heal the ears. Chamomile, yarrow, and angelica root teas help heal ear problems.
There are many reasons for earache including inflammation, infection, excessive wax, ruptured eardrum, dental problems, presence of foreign matter, and a condition known as swimmer's ear. Symptoms of ear problems range from mild pain to loss of hearing. There may be acute stabbing pain, localized swelling, fever, nausea, vomiting, discharge from ear, extreme tenderness when ear lobe is pulled, ringing sounds, or an aggravating blocked sensation.
Make your own mullein oil for the ears. Collect a cup of mullein flower petals. Put them in a pint jar and cover with good quality, cold-pressed olive oil or almond oil. Screw on lid. Keep in dark, cool cabinet or pantry. Gently turn jar daily to distribute plant material. After 2 weeks, strain and store with tight fitting lid for up to one year. In hot climates, store in the refrigerator. Before using as ear drops, warm to body temperature. Put one or two drops in infected ear twice a day until symptoms disappear or for one week. Do not use ear drops if ear drum is ruptured.
White willow or white oak bark tea can taken internally by mouth for mild earache pain and fever. Drink ginger tea for mild nausea and vomiting. Use natural plant antibiotics like yellowroot for infection and build immunity with astragalus. Make herbal teas and drink them several times a day.
In cases of severe pain, fever, discharge, and bacterial infections, consult with your healthcare professional. Sometimes phlegm or mucus buildup causes earache. In this case, antibiotics will not help and should be avoided. Drinking plantain tea and elder flower tea is recommended to help clear up excess mucus. Yellowroot and eyebright are also well known for having phlegm reducing properties.
Colds, bronchial infection, viral infection, food allergies, pressure, and high altitudes can cause ear problems. Ruptured eardrums can result from a hard slap to the ear, diving, loud explosions, or repeated serious infections.
Young children are especially prone to ear infection and should receive immediate attention from a healthcare professional. Symptoms in babies and young children include general fussiness and pulling at their ears.
Chronic ear infection may be treated with a change in diet. Eliminate dairy foods, additives, and preservatives. Avoid sugar, fatty foods, and protein concentrated foods like peanut butter. Drink lots of clean water and pineapple juice. Avoid sugary fruit drinks. Add green drinks to the diet as the chlorophyll can be very beneficial. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and a few servings of fruit daily.
Sometimes an ice pack or hot water bottle can relieve earache pain. Another old timey recipe is to soak a cotton ball in onion juice and put in ear overnight. Many herbalists recommend apple cider vinegar drops followed by a drop or two of sweet olive oil. Another remedy calls for warm vegetable glycerin and witch hazel drops three times a day or as needed.
Often an ear massage is called for. Gently rub the outer ear parts, the neck, and the temples. Gently pull on the ear lobe 10 or 15 times. Fold ear repeatedly until blood flow is increased and ear becomes pink (or red). Reflexology can also bring relief for ear problems.
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy. Never put anything into the ear if a perforated or ruptured ear drum is suspected.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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