Tuesday, February 19, 2013

garlic oil for ear infections.

as i slowly get off the mainstream path, i'm constantly fascinated by the gobs of information on natural remedies. i used to often think about how lucky i was to be alive in the current era with all the modern science of care. not to say that doctors aren't a huge blessing when truly needed, but i'm surprised it never occurred to me that all the generations before us "somehow" survived. it seems the only things you hear about are the bubonic plague and how no pioneer ever showered or washed their hands and come to the conclusion that society as a whole was completely ignorant before modern care came around. at least that's what i thought.

one of the most basic and common remedies i've found is homemade garlic oil for ear infections. i've found several websites and blog posts about it, but all were a little different. if i'm going to attempt to heal my family naturally, i want to read everything i can! this is a collection of my findings.


  1. heat 4 TB olive or coconut oil on low. once warm, add 2 cloves minced garlic and remove from heat. let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. i read different places that it can be stored in fridge for 4 - 14 days {range from 3 different sources}. just to be on the safe side, i opted for the smaller number {i only needed it for 3 days anyway}. either way, when you apply it to the ear, this article warns that if done while oil is cold, can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and pain. heating in the microwave can cause hot spots, which would also be awful. i warmed my oil the same way you would warm a baby bottle - in a container of warm water, to bring it to room temp.
  3. you don't want to get garlic chunks in the ear! strain your oil through a cheese cloth or clean, fine mesh towel and squeeze all the excess into a bowl.
  4. now you're ready to go. i used a dropper from Whole Foods that cost about $2. {but i kept the oil stored in the glass bowl out of personal preference. i wanted to be able to feel that all the oil was the right temp, which i didn't feel like i could do if i stored and warmed the oil in a dropper bottle.} Apply 3-4 drops of oil per ear, about 20 minutes apart. this was not the easiest thing to do with a toddler, but she also had RSV so she was super lethargic and fell asleep in daddy's arms while he read her books. Andrew would hold her while she laid on one side, i'd add the drops, and they would read books or watch a movie until it was time to switch to the next ear.
  5. this is something i haven't come across on a blog, but that a friend {who's been doing this for years with her 4 boys} recommended - she slices a piece of garlic, sticks it over  the ear {large enough that it wont go in the canal},covers it with a bandaid, and leaves it for the day. While i'm sure it helped, i probably wont do this with a female toddler again. she was squirmy enough that i caught her hair in the bandaid which made her even more miserable during naps {she couldn't move her head without it pulling her hair}. If she was a boy with short hair or old enough to understand what was going on and hold still, i wouldn't have had the same problems and would do it again.
Misc. Notes:
  • our chiropractor told me a few days ago that a simple adjustment will often heal an ear infection. He explained that in young children, their ear canal is horizontal and often has a hard time draining properly. He said eventually, the canal forms a slant that enables easier drainage {which is why younger people tend to get infections more often.} He said that if a certain disk in the neck is slightly out of place, it can also effect the drainage. He said it's one of the most common reason he sees kids for adjustments and that it's simple and effective. We'll definitely be trying this next time!
  • garlic oil is the most basic way i've read to treat an infection on your own. it worked great for emery and i didn't have any concerns. if you feel like you need to do more, or that things aren't getting better, check out Creative Christian Mama's post on healing ear infections naturally. She did several things above and beyond the garlic oil that helped achieve a speedy recovery. She also notes several warning signs to look out for that might indicate the need for doctor's care.
  • i've considered buying an otoscope for personal use and reading up on what a healthy and infected ear look like for the times i can't tell and my kids can't communicate it to me. If we hadn't gone to the ER for emery's RSV, i would have had no idea she had the infection. She never tugged on her ears or acted like they were bothering her. i think i would be more comfortable being able to check her ears when she's acting differently just to make sure i'm not missing the signs!
  • if you're looking for natural remedies for other things, check out my pinterest collection! i've been gathering all sorts of information on treating different illnesses and have pinned them under several boards labeled "body care". If i have need for them in the future, i plan to post about my experiences with each of them.
what natural remedies have you tried? have they worked? i'd love to hear your experiences!

love and healthy toddlers,


  1. Awesome Amber! Great post. I've used garlic oil successfully on myself. It works.

  2. Thank you! Lucy was fussing over her ear the other night and I almost did this. I think she just had a bunch of sinus pressure but will be trying this next time. Sounds like you have a good chiropractor. ;) And I do peruse your Pinterest pages often!

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