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.
Sometimes phlegm or mucus buildup causes earache. In this case, antibiotics will not help and should be avoided. Drinking plantain 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. Symptoms in babies and young children include general fussiness.
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 although most fruit juices should be taken on a limited basis due to sugar content. Add green drinks to the diet as the chlorophyll can be very beneficial.
Herbs are very useful when treating ear problems. Mullein, gingko 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 tea can really help.
Mullein infused oil can be used as an ear drop for relieving pain associated with middle ear problems. Use a couple of drops at room temperature two times a day and at bedtime. Sip warm yellowroot tea during healing process for building immunity and preventing reoccurring problems. Castor oil and calendula infused oil also make good drops but do not put anything into the ear if a ruptured eardrum is suspected.
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).
*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.
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