Tips for treating earaches and ear infections with medicinal herbs

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.

Ear piercings should be cleaned with alcohol regularly.
© Shannon Neal | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Piercings and jewelry wires should be cleaned with alcohol on a regular basis to kill bacteria.


Medicinal herbs are very useful when treating ear problems.

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.

Reasons for earache include bacterial infection. Herbs can help!

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.

Mullein oil is an old home-remedy for earache.

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.

Medicinal herbs for earache pain, fever, and other symptoms

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.

Do not put herbal teas into the ear!

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, sinus problems, and trauma can cause ear problems.

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.

When babies and young children have earaches

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 calls for a change in diet.

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.

Other old-time home remedies for earaches

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.

Ear massage can help speed healing.

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.

Payne Mountain Farms

Buy yellowroot and other wild-harvested herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.

Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"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." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

"Ointment and Perfume Rejoice the Heart." Proverbs 27:9

Every Green Herb is a place to learn about medicinal herbs and essential oils. Visit my online store to buy wild harvested yellowroot, mullein, bee balm, and other herbal products at Payne Mountain Farms.

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