When my second child was young, he had constant ear infections. They were so frequent that we purchased an otoscope and learned how to use it so that we could diagnose ear infections at home. We wanted to determine if a trip to the doctor was necessary. Although I was using herbs to treat my children at that time, I did not know I could treat ear infections and ear aches easily and simply at home. Since learning this, the rest of my children have been treated with herbs and we have usually been able to avoid the traditional antibiotic course of treatment.

Evidence shows that antibiotics are so over prescribed in our society, that we are creating super bugs that are resistant to normal courses of treatment. Antibacterial soaps, shampoos, detergents, cleaning supplies, toys, etc. line our store shelves. Our bodies are not given the chance to develop normal resistance while at the same time super bugs are emerging. In our home, we avoid everything labeled “antibacterial” and have found our family to be much healthier.

The herbal treatment for ear aches and ear infections that we have found very successful is a mullein and garlic compound. It is very easy to make! Let me tell you how!

I use the following ratio:  Calendula flowers (30%), St. John’s Wort flowers and buds (25%), Mullein flowers (25%) and Garlic bulb (20%). Put all of this in a jar and make a hot oil infusion. Don’t panic!  All that means is you are going to heat some oil (olive for this infusion) and cover the plant material.  Let it set a few days and then strain well (you only want the oil), keep this in a dark brown bottle with dropper.

I warm the oil by rolling the bottle between my hands for a few minutes and then place 2 or 3 drops in the affected ear. You don’t have to warm the oil but it adds greatly to the comfort factor for the child (or adult!). This oil works very quickly to relieve the pain. I give this oil several times throughout the day. Be careful that the dropper or the mouth of the bottle doesn’t touch anything (ear, hands, skin etc.) that might contaminate it.

This oil works by destroying the bacteria/fungus living in the ear canal. It helps to reduce inflammation and relieves the itching. It also has the ability to relieve the pain associated with ear aches. One of our boys developed a strange looking fungus in his ear canal after swimming in  water that evidently was dirty. It was the weirdest looking thing – very swirly, attached to the eardrum and moving up the ear canal. It was also very painful. The pain relief was almost immediate and the fungus disappeared in a matter of days.

I encourage you to grow Mullein, Calendula, Garlic and St. John’s Wort and to make this compound at home. If you don’t feel comfortable making your own or don’t think your skill level is up to that yet, you can purchase a bottle to add to your home remedy arsenal this winter.

The only brand I recommend is

Believe me…I’ve tried them all and this was the only one that I found truly effective.  All companies have a slightly different formula. I found this to work the quickest and offer the greatest amount of pain relief to my boys.

You can also purchase a small book by Ed Smith of HerbPharm that lists over 150 liquid herbal remedies and their uses. I use the Therapeutic Herb Manual very frequently and highly recommend it. It gives you the formulas for most of his compounds! It is full of useful information on using herbs effectively and it is indexed in the back of the book by ailments. It is less than $1 on Amazon!

Even if you purchase the compound, I really encourage you to attempt making your own. You can usually purchase organic garlic at the grocery store (be sure it’s organic!). You can find all of the organic herbs you need at Mountain Rose Herbs, see the link to the right in my side bar.

May your winter be ear infection free!



Caution: What you have read here is based on my opinion and my experience in our own family. Ear infections can be very serious…and can turn into other serious medical problems. Therefore it is important to promptly seek qualified medical care in any ear disorder with fever or where redness, pain, or swelling is severe or persists. You are responsible for your own medical decisions.