My 5 Favorite Natural Ear Infection Remedies

A few weeks ago my youngest, G, woke up in the middle of the night and wouldn’t go back to sleep. Since he was crying pretty loudly, I took him out to the living room and sat down with him, intending to rock, in the recliner. He would not relax, sitting straight up in my lap, just yelling inconsolably.

Finally I remembered what my mom had always told me, that the only time we kids ever woke up inconsolable was when we had an ear infection. Ugh, no mom’s favorite middle of the night realization.

Between pregnant brain and G having had only maybe 2 ear infections before, I was a little slow to realize that was probably the issue for his recent irritableness. It is spring in Oklahoma and all kinds of random things have started blooming.

So I turned to our favorite natural ear infection remedy: Mullein Garlic Oil. I put a few drops in each ear and we sat back down to rock. Within 10 minutes, he was calm. He was finally able to relax and lay his head down on my shoulder. I took this as my cue to head back to the bedroom where we were able to go back to sleep.

Ear infections are pretty much the bane of most parent’s existence. There is nothing worse than an inconsolable kid, especially in the middle of the night. We have quite a few techniques that we use to try to prevent infections, both on a routine basis and at the first sign of the common cold symptoms, such as a runny nose.

Bottle of ProbioticsProbiotic Supplements: For The Whole Family

Probiotics are one of the few supplements that we give our kids every day. We went through several children’s probiotic supplements and the only one that my kids like well enough to take every day is the Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies. See my post My Top 4 Best Probiotics for Kids for a few other great options.

One of the things I like best about this product is that no refrigeration is required so we can keep them in the medicine cabinet with the other vitamins. It does not contain a huge amount of probiotics, but it is enough for an everyday supplement for my kids.

I personally take a higher-potency probiotic. See my post 5 Best Probiotics For Adults for what I recommend and use myself. If for some reason my kids needed to use antibiotics, I would probably break open one of my capsules and put it in a drink for them to replenish their good bacteria more quickly.

Chiropractic Adjustment: Get Straightened Out

In general, one of the things my chiropractor preaches is that chiropractic adjustment helps the immune system work more efficiently. If the body isn’t having to work around a misalignment, then it can heal itself better. I have definitely found this to be true.

At the first sign of cold symptoms, we go to the chiropractor and get that person’ neck adjustment and almost every time, their nose starts running like crazy before we leave the office. One of the best ways to keep infection away is to keep the nose running.

Acetaminophen: Not The Most Natural, But Effective

I have found that just plain acetaminophen helps to prevent ear infections. I do not use this once there is a fever involved, even though it is advertised as a fever reducer. I want to let the body fight the infection naturally. When I use this is when someone has had a runny nose and is starting to get ‘stuffed up’. I give a little bit of acetaminophen in order to get their nose running again. My preferred product for my kids the Little Remedies brand version. I like that it is paraben, dye and gluten free. See my review: Why I Use Little Remedies Acetaminophen.

As I mentioned above, keeping the nose running really seems to help prevent infection. If anyone has a more natural (and preferably a renewable or easily stocked up on) suggestion to replace using acetaminphen, please drop me a note in the comments section at the end of the post.

Natural Allergy Elimination Techniques: Less Tissues Needed

One of the longer term strategies we strongly credit with reducing the number of ear infections that we get in the first place is the elimination of most of our allergies. We are fortunate to have a very reasonably priced NAET practitioner in our city.

It is one of the craziest techniques to try to describe, so I’ll let you read about it on their website, but we started going for allergy treatments about 6 years ago and the number of ear infections my kids (and myself) get has dropped dramatically. The incident I described at the beginning of my post was only the second or third time G has had an ear infection and he is getting ready to turn 2 later this month. He had his first allergy treatment at the age of 4 weeks.

I personally used to get at least two ear infections per year due to seasonal allergies. I haven’t had one in at least three years now. It really has been such a blessing to reduce all of our seasonal allergies.

Contents in a bottle of Mullein Garlic OilMullein Garlic Oil: Smell Like A Salad

So far I have focused on ear infection prevention, but now I want to talk a little more about the treatment that I mentioned at the beginning of my post.

A few year ago, my chiropractor (and some internet research) finally convinced me that antibiotics were not usually the best treatment for an ear infection. But what was I supposed to do instead? My chiropractor suggested Mullein Garlic Oil. All I had to do was put the drops in his ear twice per day until the infection was gone.

I have since used it myself when I felt congested and my ear started hurting. The pain really did go away within 10 minutes. I would normally link to the product that I use, but it seems to be a store brand and isn’t available online. The picture to the left has the list of ingredients so you can track down a similar product.

There You Have It

Now you know the techniques we use to prevent and treat ear infections. I feel that preventing ear infections is one of the most important preparations we can do and think we have a good start on that. If we relied heavily on antibiotics the way we used to, it would be tough if we were in a society where antibiotics were not readily available anymore.

I would love to hear how you treat ear infections naturally. Please leave me a note in the comments section below.

Amanda is the founder of Survival With Kids. She became a mother in 2009 with the birth of her oldest son. She is currently the mother of 4 kids (two boys and two girls) and has owned her fair share of car seats.
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14 Comments

  1. Gabrielle

    I’m so excited to try garlic oil on my ears. Even as an adult, I get the occasional ear infection. Great content!

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      Thanks, Gabrielle. As I mentioned, I have used it on myself and definitely recommend it for adults as well.

      Reply
  2. Grace

    I have a little one just over 1yr old, he can’t talk yet and I dread the day, hopefully it never comes, fingers crossed, when I would have to wake up in the middle of the night to a crying baby who is inconsolable and I don’t know why. I find this post to be very helpful to me personally and I think it’s helpful to anybody with kids. I had no idea about Mullein Garlic Oil until now and it sounds like a must have to keep around the house for just in case.
    Thank you again.
    Grace

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      Hi Grace. Yes, it is awful when they get ear infections. I would definitely get some Mullein Garlic oil to keep around. A 1 oz bottle last a pretty long time. I just bought my second one oz bottle. I think the first bottle lasted at least 9 months and that was with an spill of about the last third of it (kids can be so helpful sometimes), so it should last at least a year with the occasional suspected ear infection.

      Reply
  3. Russell

    Hi Amanda,
    Great info thanks. I am definitely going to give thew Mullein Garlic oil a go, it seems like a great solution.
    We take a few probiotics already so will keep that aspect of things going.

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      Thanks for stopping by, Russell. I would definitely get some Mullein Garlic oil to keep around. We have found it to be invaluable. And yes, definitely keep up the probiotics. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Lynne

    Yes my daughter had a terrible ear infection once, I had to take her to ER at the hospital it was so bad. It came on so suddenly as well which was really scary. One moment everything was find and then she wouldn’t stop screaming.
    One thing I can be grateful for is that I recognized it immediately for what it was. My little sister suffered from ear infections her whole life from a baby all the way into adulthood. Her ear drums have burst so many times, and she always had an infection. So I saw the way she was behaving and put her in the car to take her to hospital and my hubby thought I was overreacting.

    Long story short, we got some antibiotics and it was sorted quite quickly.

    Thanks for this great list of natural remedies, I’ll definitely make a note of all of those.

    Something awesome you could add to this list for babies is breastmilk.. yes believe it or not, but it is brilliant for like everything. Ear infections, eye infections, stuffy noses, nappy rash…

    Of course that is if you are breastfeeding! If you are breastfeeding it is a great thing to know because you have an incredible natural remedy on hand all the time! I was always using it for my babies.

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      Thanks for the comment, Lynne. I do breastfeed until about age 2 and know that that in and of itself is helpful in preventing ear infections. I have heard of using breastmilk for treating various things but have never looked into it much. I will make a note to do so now. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. misti cheeks

    Good to know about the Garlic oil, I’ll be sure to pass that good advice on.
    Also, loved the part about going to the chiropractor for misalignment.
    You give some very good advice.
    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      Misti, thanks for stopping by! Both are important parts of our ear infection control strategies.

      Reply
  6. Dancinscot

    I am happy to see these products being promoted. Very good ones, I’ve all of them.

    Reply
    1. Amanda (Post author)

      Thanks, Dancinscot. I have found all of them to be very effective for us as well.

      Reply
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