herbal remedies for ear infection

Natural Solutions for Aural Afflictions

Aural afflictions, notably prevalent among the younger demographic, constitute a commonplace health concern. The clinical nomenclature for such maladies is otitis media. Ear infections manifest in two primary forms – abrupt instances known as acute ear infections and recurrent or chronic ear infections. The former typically manifests suddenly and often ameliorates within a few days, regardless of therapeutic intervention. In contrast, chronic ear infections resurface within a brief timeframe, typically within a span of three months.

Traditional medical interventions for ear infections predominantly involve the prescription of antibiotics. Although antibiotics generally prove efficacious against bacterial ear infections, their overuse has precipitated the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Herbal remedies present a holistic alternative, particularly for recurring infections, mitigating the risk of antibiotic resistance. Numerous herbal remedies possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immune-enhancing attributes, facilitating the resolution of ear infections.

This discourse delves into some of the most efficacious herbal remedies for ear infections:

Allium sativum

Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, harbors potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Active compounds such as allicin and ajoene endow garlic with its curative properties, effectively combatting the underlying infection causing the earache.

To employ garlic for ear infections, crush 2-3 garlic cloves and amalgamate with a teaspoon of either olive or coconut oil. Gently warm the garlic-oil amalgamation to unleash the allicin. Administer a few warm drops of the garlic-oil mixture into the affected ear using a dropper. Maintain a reclined position with the infected ear facing skyward for 10 minutes before cleansing the external ear with a cotton ball. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times daily, leveraging the oil to facilitate the penetration of garlic’s active properties into the ear canal.

The immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits of garlic can be augmented by oral consumption. Crush or chop a garlic clove, allowing it to rest for 10 minutes before ingestion with water, 1-2 times daily. Alternatively, garlic supplements are commercially available.

Origanum vulgare

Origanum vulgare, recognized as oregano, boasts formidable antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-parasitic attributes. Carvacrol, one of its active constituents, has demonstrated efficacy in eradicating prevalent bacteria responsible for ear infections, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae.

To employ oregano oil for ear infections, dilute 2-3 drops in a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil. Gently warm the oil blend and administer 2-3 drops into the infected ear using a dropper. Assume a supine position with the ear facing upward for 10 minutes, repeating this regimen 2-3 times daily. Additionally, oral consumption of 1-2 drops of oregano oil with food can enhance its immune-boosting and antibacterial effects.

Ensure the utilization of high-quality, unadulterated oregano oil, as certain brands may induce irritation to the delicate ear canal if inadequately diluted. Seek medical assistance should signs of exacerbation manifest during herbal treatment.

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea, a herb renowned for its immune-boosting properties in combatting colds and flu, contains alkylamides that fortify white blood cells, augmenting their efficacy in identifying and annihilating invading bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Oral administration of Echinacea can expedite the body’s immune response against ear infections. Opt for an Echinacea tincture or tablets, adhering to the recommended dosage on the packaging, typically thrice daily at the onset of ear infection symptoms. Alternatively, massaging a few drops of diluted Echinacea oil around the outer ear and instilling a few drops into the infected ear canal, blended with olive oil, twice daily, can be attempted.

Hydrastis canadensis

Hydrastis canadensis, commonly known as goldenseal, houses berberine, an alkaloid conferring potent antimicrobial properties effective against prevalent ear infection pathogens. Its anti-inflammatory effects contribute to the alleviation of earache and swelling.

To incorporate goldenseal, concoct a decoction by simmering a teaspoon of dried goldenseal root in half a cup of water for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly, utilizing a dropper to administer 5-10 drops into the infected ear canal 2-3 times daily. Alternatively, one can consume one capsule or a quarter to half a teaspoon of liquid goldenseal tincture thrice daily. Opt for organically grown goldenseal to mitigate over-harvesting concerns that have curtailed its wild populations.


Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees from tree buds and utilized as an antimicrobial sealant in their hives, encompasses active compounds like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids, conferring robust antibacterial and antifungal attributes. Research indicates propolis’ efficacy against common ear infection pathogens.

Several methods exist to administer propolis for an ear infection:

  • Dissolve a quarter teaspoon of propolis tincture in half a cup of warm water, applying a few warm drops into the ear with a dropper 2-3 times daily.
  • Melt a small propolis wax tablet or powder in a few drops of olive oil, applying a few drops into the ear 2-3 times daily.
  • Administer 2-3 drops of propolis ear drops or spray, formulated by a herbalist, directly into the ear as per packaging instructions.

Opt for green-colored propolis, signifying minimal processing and heightened flavonoid and phenolic acid content. Monitor for potential irritation and discontinue usage if it exacerbates.

Olea europaea

Olea europaea, or olive leaf, harbors antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds, rendering it a potent herbal remedy for ear infections. Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol within olive leaf combat bacterial and fungal culprits behind earaches.

To administer, simmer 1-2 teaspoons of dried olive leaf in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes. Strain and let it cool, instilling 5-10 drops of the warm olive leaf tea into the infected ear using a dropper 2-3 times daily. Alternatively, consume half a cup of the tea 2-3 times daily for systemic benefits. Olive leaf extract capsules or tablets, as per label instructions, offer another avenue.

Verbascum thapsus

Verbascum thapsus, commonly known as mullein, features demulcent properties that soothe irritated tissues within the ear canal. Compounds such as caffeic acid and rutin confer antibacterial and antiviral activity, alleviating pain and drainage associated with ear infections.

To concoct mullein ear oil:

  • Steep a quarter cup of dried mullein flowers in half a cup of olive or almond oil overnight.
  • Strain and warm a few drops of the infused oil, administering a few drops inside the infected ear canal twice daily with a dropper.

Pre-made mullein ear drops or spray, adhering to label instructions, offer a convenient alternative. Allow any oil-based application to linger in the ear for 10 minutes before wiping clean, capitalizing on mullein’s emollient effects alongside its antimicrobial attributes to expedite ear infection recovery.

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Glycyrrhiza glabra, commonly known as licorice root, contains anti-inflammatory compounds such as glycyrrhizin and glabridin, assuaging pain and swelling within the ear canal. Its antimicrobial properties further aid in combatting infections.

For ear infections, simmer a teaspoon of dried licorice root in half a cup of water for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, utilizing a dropper to administer 5-10 drops inside the infected ear 2-3 times daily. Licorice tea can be gently swished around the outer ear for topical relief. Consume half a cup of licorice tea up to three times daily for additional systemic benefits. However, exercise caution with prolonged licorice use in cases of high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.

Calendula officinalis

Calendula officinalis, recognized for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties, can expedite the resolution of ear infections. Active triterpenoid compounds contribute to diminishing redness, swelling, and discharge associated with infected ears.

To leverage calendula for an ear infection:

  • Soak a cotton ball in calendula-infused olive oil, gently massaging around the outer ear, and administering a few drops inside the ear canal.
  • Administer 5-10 drops of a calendula tincture, tea, or hydrosol into the ear with a dropper.
  • Utilize a pre-made calendula ear oil, serum, or spray inside the ear as per packaging instructions.

Calendula’s anti-inflammatory attributes, coupled with its capacity to stimulate new tissue growth, facilitate the healing process. Apply 1-2 times daily during an ear infection.

Syzygium aromaticum

Syzygium aromaticum, commonly known as clove bud, encompasses antibacterial properties, with eugenol delivering analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and local anesthetic effects that mitigate earache. Notwithstanding its potency, clove bud oil necessitates substantial dilution.

To utilize:

  • Dilute 2 drops of clove bud oil with 2 teaspoons of olive or coconut oil, gently warming and administering 2-3 drops inside the infected ear with a dropper.
  • Soak a cloth in the diluted clove oil, placing it over the outer ear for 10 minutes, up to three times daily to alleviate pain.