If you have ever suffered discomfort because of an earache or know someone who has, then you may need no explanation as to how disconcerting it can be. Most people may not have encountered the misfortune of having an earache, which is good.
However, what I can assure you is if you did, you would want to know what options are available to you that can bring quick relief.
Natural remedies can offer swift relief from earaches.
It is, however, advisable to familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts to know how they function and whether they can help you out.
Among natural remedies for earaches, a good number of essential oils have proven helpful in treating ear discomfort.
But first, let’s try to understand better what causes ear infections, before we delve into the possible natural solutions for the same.
- Some causes and symptoms of ear pain
- How can essential oils treat ear pain?
- What essential oil is good for earache?
- Best essential oil recipes for ear pain and ear infection
- Risks and warnings (word of caution)
- Other natural earache remedies
- How to prevent earaches?
Some causes and symptoms of ear pain
Our inner ear is one of the most sensitive parts of our body. Several signs may alert you if you have an ear infection. Discomfort in the ear can be a result of infection, wax build-up, or simply water that logged there and has temporarily refused to come out.
Below we examine some of the issues that may cause the ear to feel pain or swelling.
1. Ear infection
Ear infections are particularly common in children but are also known to affect adults. The frequent causes of ear infections are by bacteria or viruses occurring within the middle ear.
That is the space where the ear’s vibrating bones are situated behind the eardrum. This type of infection is medically referred to as Otitis media and is often the diagnosis when you have an ear infection.
Usually, this type of infection is accompanied by pain due to inflammation and fluid build-up.
Have you ever had a stuffy nose?
Having a clogged ear is the same as having stuffy ears.
That is most common in children, but is also an experience that adults will have, especially when you have a cold.
Your ears might also feel clogged when there is a change of altitude, such as when flying.
But most commonly, clogged ears are as a result of wax build-up.
The ears have a mechanism within which they can discharge wax. If it is not working correctly, then wax may build up and cause clogging, leaving you with a feeling of stuffy ears.
Swimmers ear is an infection that occurs on the outer ear canal.
The external ear canal starts from the eardrum and runs to the outside of your head.
As the name suggests, the cause of this condition is often water that remains in the ear after swimming.
As a result of the moist environment, bacteria can grow in the outer ear canal. Otitis externa is the medical term given to this condition.
4. Fluid in ears
The medical name for fluid in the ear is also known to as serous Otitis media.
The anatomy of the ear has an auditory tube that is responsible for draining fluid to the back of the throat.
Any form of impairment on the auditory tube will lead to the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear space. The tube may fail to drain, as a result of clogging due to inflammation or mucous caused by a common cold, allergies, or an ear infection.
5. Ear pressure
Ear pressure is also known as ear barotrauma.
Simply put, this is ear discomfort due to pressure changes.
The eustachian tube helps regulate ear pressure. When it gets blocked for any reason, you will experience ear pressure.
6. Blocked eustachian tube
The eustachian tube is what connects the middle of your ear to the throat and nose. It is also responsible for regulating pressure in the ear.
Sometime this tube may block. Causes of blockage are the common cold, sinus infection, and allergies.
The obstruction of the eustachian tube is what causes ear pressure.
Babies are prone to ear infections.
A baby will likely suffer an ear infection by age three. That is when a baby has infected fluid or pus behind the eardrum.
The primary culprit is colds.
That is because they can cause secretions to get trapped in the middle ear where bacteria or viruses can cause infections.
A bulging or reddened eardrum will be the result.
How can essential oils treat ear pain?
What are the essential oils?
These are oils extracted from plants, usually through distillation.
The oils may vary in therapeutic properties. Some oils are known to be antimicrobial and antibacterial. The qualities of these oils make them helpful in treating infections.
Several essential oils have been proven to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These are qualities that can help in alleviating symptoms such as pain, swelling and ear discharge common with ear infections.
What essential oil is good for earache?
The number of essential oils are available for treating and managing various conditions, but not all oils are suitable remedies for earaches.
We have selected the choice essential oils that contain properties and qualities best suited for alleviating earache, infections, as well as the inflammation that the condition may come with.
In the essential oil family, tea tree oil arguably has one of the most potent antiviral and antibacterial properties that work well in fighting ear infections.
Additionally, this oil has an astringent attribute that effectively dries up any build-up of fluid in the ear. That makes it a part of a solution in alleviating discomfort caused by the build-up of fluid in the ear.
Lavender’s soothing effect is a firm favorite in treating ear pain and providing quick relief to an inflamed ear canal.
You can make use of this remedy by mixing a tablespoonful of coconut oil and a few drops of lavender. The solution is an earache remedy that you can be rubbed gently on the outer of your ear to reduce inflammation.
This essential oil comes loaded with useful natural properties that have made it popular in earache remedies.
Some of basil’s features include being a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral. It is this rich, yet the natural constitution of basil, that makes it so effective in soothing earaches for as long as it applied responsibly.
This oil is meant for use outside the ear canal for unblocking clogged up ears, as well as dealing with ear infections.
Owing to oregano’s antioxidant qualities, it is an excellent choice for bringing quick relief to an earache caused by infection or blockage. Oregano works well when mixed with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and gently rubbed on the outside of the ear canal.
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities of mustard oil are quite useful when used to soothe and unblock a clogged ear that is causing your ear to ache.
The antioxidant quality in mustard is what helps bring quick relief to a stuffy ear.
Creating a remedy using mustard is so simple, as all you need to do is add a few drops of mustard oil to a glass of warm water.
Gently pour the water into your ear canal and allow it to sit for one minute before draining it out.
This is recommended only if you are certain that you do not have a ruptured eardrum. If you suspect a ruptured eardrum, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Garlic is quite unusual in dealing with earaches due to the properties that it possesses.
As an antioxidant, garlic can readily sooth pain. The high concentration amounts of allicin found in garlic oil help reduce inflammation.
This is in addition to having antibacterial properties that assist in dealing with infection issues. Typically, a garlic remedy for earache will be diluted with olive oil and applied to the outer ear canal.
Peppermint oil does a fine job of reducing the pain caused by earache.
It also has a unique ability to alleviate inflammation and is well known for its gentle, soothing properties.
It is one of the few essential oils that is considered safe to use on kids. That said, extreme caution must always be taken when dealing with kids.
Since olive oil is not an essential oil, its constitution is fairly gentle and therefore safe to pour a few drops into the year.
You should be certain from your doctor that your eardrum is not ruptured.
Olive oil can soothe earache pain, as well as help in breaking hard earwax clogged in the ear.
That effect is a result of the analgesic qualities possessed by the oil.
It also acts as an antibacterial agent in addition to having antiseptic and anti-inflammation properties that help deal with underlying ear infections, if any.
Best essential oil recipes for ear pain and ear infection
Ear infection remedy
This is only to be used inside the ear if you have confirmed with your physician that your eardrum is not perforated.
Cook two raw cloves of garlic with two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until fragrant. If you do not have olive oil, you can substitute with coconut oil.
Strain and pour in a sterile bottle. Add 6 – 8 drops of tea tree oil. Use one or two drops of the mixture to infected ear once per day.
Store the mixture in the fridge. Use it again when you need it. Reheat the mixture by placing the bottle in a bowl of hot water for 1 – 2 minutes. Test to make sure it is not too hot before applying to the ear. Note that if not stored properly, garlic can grow that results in botulism.
This recipe is for a mild earache caused by milk infections or cold.
Use a 5 ml glass dropper bottle to combine carrier oil and essential oil
Apply 3 drops of the mixture to a cotton ball
Place in the external part of the ear. Repeat 3 times a day for as long as needed.
Hot compress for relieving ear pressure and congestion
- 3 – 5 drops of lavender oil (you can substitute lavender for chamomile)
- Soak cloth with hot water
Soak the cloth in hot water and ring excess water
Drop the lavender or chamomile to your hot compress.
Apply to the affected ear
Massage blend for soothing ear pain and pressure
- 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or sweet almond
- 1 – 2 drops of tea tree oil
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 2 drops of chamomile oil
Mix the ingredients
Gently massage outside your ear in the painful areas twice a day.
Cotton ball insert for ear infection
This should only be applied in the ear after you have been examined by your physician, to be sure that your eardrum is not perforated.
- 1 tablespoon of warm almond oil (you can substitute with olive oil)
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 1 cotton ball
Warm carrier oil and add lavender
Soak the cotton ball with the mixture
Insert cotton ball gently to the outer year
Risks and warnings (word of caution)
Essential oils should not be used inside the ear unless you have consulted with your physician and confirmed that your eardrum is not perforated.
It is always safer to use essential oils outside the ear unless you have established the above with your doctor. This is extremely important for your safety and to ensure that you are using a recipe in the right way and for the right purpose.
Essential oils for the ear should always be diluted using a carrier oil and should never be used in their concentrated form under any circumstance.
Always consult with your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or prone to allergies.
Other natural earache remedies
Other than essential oils, earaches can be remedied through other alternative treatments.
Here is a simple example that works wonders for ear pain:
Onion poultice for ear pain relief
Like garlic, onions are supportive medicines for earaches and infections because they possess sulfur compounds. When heated, these compounds evaporate and break down congestive mucus to bring swift relief.
The preparation and application is not complicated:
Using a flannel cloth, wrap a hot onion and apply it to your ear.
Apply for 30 – 45 minutes. Reheat the onion if needed.
Prevention is always better than cure.
Although not all earaches are preventable, a good number of them can be prevented, as their causes are avoidable.
Here are some tips on the prevention of earaches:
- Avoid inserting a foreign object to your ears
- Thoroughly dry your ears after a bath or swimming session
- Don’t smoke, avoid second-hand smoke
- Stay away from allergy triggers, such as pollen and dust
There is an excellent satisfaction in alleviating earache discomfort using a natural remedy that is readily available in your home. Using natural remedies does require some understanding of how they work.
So, when using essential oil recipes, or any other home remedies, you should exercise caution. Consulting with your doctor or a professional herbalist when not sure, is always a good idea.
The purpose of consultation where necessary to ensure the best outcome, especially when you decide to use essential oils inside your ear.
Have you ever used essential oils to treat an earache?
What was your experience and would you do it again?
Share your experience or just leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.