One of the most common ailments in children of all ages is an earache. Earaches are caused by a painful infection of the ear canal from a virus that has spread into the area.
The virus causes inflammation, swelling, and a build-up of fluids that puts pressure on the delicate region, which makes it impossible to sleep, eat, or relax without pain.
Usually, most parents take their children to the doctor for a hefty dose of antibiotics as soon as they begin to tug on their ear or complain that it hurts. But the overuse of antibiotics has led to the dangerous spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Because of this, more doctors are recommending that parents let their children fight off the infection on their own, especially since antibiotics don’t affect viruses anyway.
This ends up boosting children’s fragile immune systems, so they become stronger and healthier.
Best Essential Oils For Earaches
Avoiding antibiotics doesn’t mean that a parent has to stand by helplessly while their little ones suffer though. There are several essential oils that can be used to treat the symptoms of an earache naturally, so they get better fast. They are all extracted from special plants that are found in nature, and many of them are just as effective at alleviating pain and infections as pharmaceutical medications prescribed by a doctor. Read on for a list of some of the best essential oils to use the next time that your little one comes down with an ear infection.
1. Mullein Oil
Both garlic juice and mullein essential oil have antiseptic properties, so they can kill almost any infection fast. Luckily, making your own earache remedy with these two ingredients is really easy. First, drain off about a teaspoon of juice from a container of minced garlic. If you don’t have any minced garlic, you can also crush a few cloves of fresh garlic up to get the juice.
Then, add four drops of mullein essential oil to the juice. Mix them together well. Use an eye dropper to put one or two drops of the mixture in the affected ear. Leave it in the ear canal for several minutes before draining it out. Mullein is one of the best earache remedies known in herbal medicine, so when it is combined with garlic, the symptoms of an ear infection will clear up faster than if they are both used separately.
2. Lavender Oil
The purple flowers of the lavender plant have been used for centuries in perfumes and scented sachets for under the pillow. But this plant is good for more than just aromatherapy to induce sleep. When lavender flowers have their properties extracted in an essential oil, they work wonderfully at alleviating pain.
This essential oil can’t be used inside the ear canal though. But it is still effective if it is dabbed on the back of the ear. Most children will feel better within five minutes of it being applied. It works best for an earache that is keeping a child awake at night because lavender causes sleepiness. However, lavender essential oil can be used up to four times a day for severe earaches that are causing a child a lot of discomfort.
3. Basil Oil
Basil is known for its fresh flavor that makes it popular in Italian food dishes, but it has medicinal properties that make it highly useful for treating earaches too. It helps fight off inflammation and infections fast, especially if it is used with another Italian food seasoning called oregano.
Both basil and oregano essential oils are very strong though. So they have to be diluted with a carrier oil before they are applied to a cotton ball to treat the affected ear. Jojoba oil, almond oil, or olive oil will work best for diluting these two essential oils because they are very lightweight and gentle on the skin. Add two drops of each of the essential oils to one teaspoon of the carrier oil that you choose. Then, dip a cotton ball in the mixture. Press it gently into the ear that is hurting. Repeat this process until the pain is alleviated.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree essential oil comes from a tree that commonly grows in Australia. It is different from the common tea plant that is grown for the tea beverages so many people enjoy. It has numerous antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, which makes it very important to herbal medicine.
But it can be irritating to sensitive tissues that are already inflamed from an infection. So the best way to use it is in a dilution of apple cider vinegar, since this liquid is also highly effective for treating infections. Not just any apple cider vinegar will work though. It must be a type that is completely organic because some types of vinegar are distilled with petroleum products and chemicals that are harmful to the body.
The apple cider vinegar should be raw and unfiltered too. Mix one drop of tea tree oil with a half of a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Then, dip a cotton ball in the solution before applying it to the ear. This essential oil is too strong to be used inside the ear canal.
A sprig of rosemary has an amazingly aromatic scent and flavor that makes it popular for many culinary dishes. But it is also effective for treating a wide variety of health conditions. Some people use rosemary essential oil in their shampoo and conditioner, since it can help correct skin conditions that lead to dandruff issues and baldness. It is wonderful for alleviating depression, anxiety, and pain too.
To use rosemary essential oil for pain caused by an earache, combine a couple of drops of almond oil with one drop of rosemary essential oil in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together to warm the oil up a bit. Then, massage the oil into the back of the affected ear. Keep massaging the oil into the skin until it is completely absorbed. It should only take a few minutes.
6. Lemon Oil
Lemon oil and other citrus essential oils are amazing for fighting bacteria and viruses, which is why they are so popular for cleaning surfaces with. But if they are diluted, they are highly effective for killing infections on the skin too. One of the best oils to dilute lemon essential oil with is olive oil because it is very soothing for the skin.
In fact, warm olive oil can even be used alone as an earache remedy. But it is more effective when combined with another essential oil that helps heal the ear. Lemon essential oil is too strong to be applied directly to the skin, so even when it is diluted, it should still only be used on a cotton ball placed in the ear.
Another soothing herb that is good for earaches that are keeping a child up at night is German chamomile. The flowers have the most beneficial properties of the plant, since they are so safe that even babies with an earache can use them. Most people make a tea from the flowers when they are having trouble falling asleep at night. But this herb has healing properties to clear up infections and reduce inflammation too.
Mix one drop of chamomile essential oil with a half of a teaspoon of water. Then, use an eye dropper to put two drops of the solution in the affected ear. If the child is in a lot of pain and has a fever, then use a half of a teaspoon of colloidal silver to dilute the chamomile essential oil with instead of water. The colloidal silver will kill bacteria and viruses on contact. Be sure to insert a cotton ball into the ear after adding the drops, so the ear will be protected until it heals.
Combining Essential Oils for Ear Infections
All of these essential oils can be combined to make specific recipes based on a child’s individual health needs. For example, chamomile and lavender essential oils work even better when they are used together.
Basil and lemon essential oils are a good combination too. And so are rosemary and tea tree oils. Just don’t forget to always use a lightweight carrier oil that is gentle on the skin with all of them.
As you can see, these essential oils are all easy to use to treat an ear infection. However, it should be noted that it is still best to take children to the doctor to be sure that the ear drum hasn’t perforated before beginning the essential oil treatment.
A hole in the ear drum requires special care from the doctor to ensure that it heals properly. Otherwise, a child’s hearing could be severely impacted by it. So if there is any blood or fluids leaking from the ear, immediately take the child to the nearest emergency room for treatment, especially if the bleeding happened after trauma to the head. If the child complains that they felt a sudden “pop” before the bleeding began, then it is most likely a perforated ear drum. It should also be noted that all of these essential oils are effective for adults too.