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Ear Infections Part 2: Antibiotics or Natural Remedies for Kid’s Ear Infections: What to Use & When

My phone rang around 11 pm. I was on call covering our clinic so the late night call wasn’t surprising. “Hello,” I said kindly, in spite of rolling out of bed, trying to catch a little sleep in case I had to admit a patient to the hospital over night. I anticipated it might be a worried patient on the other end of the line and a kind voice can go a long way toward reassurance.
Sure enough, an anxious mom responded “Hello, Dr. Romm?” I could hear a toddler’s slight coughing in the background.
“Dr. Romm, I’m so sorry to bother you at night… My daughter Janie is almost 2. She’s had a temperature of a max of about 100.2 since this afternoon, and she’s been fussy and pulling on her right ear since just after dinner. Before that she was playing with her older brother, but by dinner she was cranky and didn’t eat much. She’s clingy. She’s taking juice and water which I’ve been giving her to keep her hydrated, and I gave her a Tylenol about an hour ago just to see if it would help her sleep. Her fever has been down to 99.6 since then and she’s settled down some. My son has had ear infections before, and both kids have had a cold for a few days. I’m a bit worried and don’t know if I should bring her to the emergency department or whether she needs an antibiotic right away. My son has gotten antibiotics every time he’s had an ear infection, so I just didn’t know what to do…

 

Hi Natural Mommas,

I know it’s super confusing to figure when your little one actually does – or doesn’t – need an antibiotic for an ear infection. I’m here to help you sort that out. In this article I’ve laid out the basics of ear infections, exactly when using antibiotics is appropriate, and my go-to natural treatments.

Here’s how it really rolls in my own practice…

Ear Infection Basics

Acute otitis media (AOM) refers to those typical painful ear infections kids get with fevers and upper respiratory infections – and that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this article. 

child_holding_ear

AOM is generally mildly to severely painful, making most babies and children fussy and irritable. Typically your child will start out with a cold, especially a runny nose, but occasionally the earache seems to come out of nowhere. There is often a fever. Younger children may pull on their ears or may scream or cry suddenly and unexpectedly; older children will generally tell you that they have ear pain. Ear infections are super common in kids under 12, and especially before grade school. Viruses generally cause them.

As I discussed in Part 1, antibiotics are highly over prescribed for kids with ear infections, and can lead to

  • Serious resistant infections in your child, for example, pneumonia
  • Can cause antibiotic reactions, and
  • May cause long-term consequences including asthma, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease

Antibiotic overuse also contributes to the global problem of antibiotic resistant infections.

But when it’s your kid that’s sick all you want to do is the right thing to keep him healthy and safe. So what should you do?

When to See Your Doctor

Any time you are seriously worried about your child, it is absolutely appropriate to call or make an appointment to see his doctor. Like most docs who take care of kids, I never mind getting a late night call or an office visit from a worried parent.

When I received the call mentioned earlier, I reassured Janie’s mom that since Janie had a cold, was able to be settled easily with only one age-appropriate dose of Tylenol, and had what I would consider a low fever at its highest (did you know that below 100.2 is not medically considered a fever?), this was likely a mild case of an ear infection and that waiting and watching overnight would be totally safe and appropriate.

I asked her to please call me back if Janie got worse. But if by morning she was better or even about the same, she could continue to wait and watch – but that at this point, and in most cases of acute otitis media, no antibiotics were needed. We discussed the safe use of Tylenol and ibuprofen, since she didn’t have any herbal remedies for pain relief at home (stocking a home herbal medicine chest is a great idea and will be discussed in a future blog and will be extensively covered as a whole lesson in my course Pediatrics for Parents – coming soon – I’ll tell you when!).

Here’s when I absolutely ask my patients to bring their little one in for a look-see:

  • Your child is under 6 months old
  • There is pain that won’t resolve
  • There is high fever (> 39 C or 102.2 F) and persistent ear pain
  • There is drainage from the ear
  • There is neck pain or stiffness

Janie, whose momma called me, met none of these criteria. Watching and waiting at home was safe – and actually best – for her baby.

When Are Antibiotics Needed?

The latest guidelines from the Academy of Medicine have come around to recommending what natural practitioners have known for a long time – that prevention and a watch-and-wait attitude are the best approaches for most kids with ear infections, most of the time. The new guidelines encourage doctors not to overuse antibiotics.

Antibiotics are recommended for:

  • Babies under 6 months old, or babies 6-23 months old with ear infection of both ears

And any children with severe infection defined as:

  • Rapid onset of symptoms
  • Moderate or severe ear pain
  • Ear pain lasting 48 hours, and
  • Signs of an ear infection on exam
  • Temperature > 39°C [102.2°F])

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree: Both recommend a watch and waiting period of 48-72 hours to see if mild ear infections in babies over 6 months resolve on their own before using an antibiotic.

When there is ear pain, treatment to reduce pain – not antibiotics – should be recommended unless there is a severe ear infection. Antibiotics should never be prescribed preventatively to reduce the frequency of AOM episodes in children with recurrent AOM. Keep in mind that just because antibiotics are recommended, it does not always mean they are necessary. Use good common sense and talk with your child’s doctor if your child meets these criteria but you’d like to try natural approaches before the antibiotics.

Here’s What I Tell My Patients

Most ear infections are self-limiting – that means they go away with time, patience, and supportive therapies.

kid_restingAmazingly, approximately 80% of kids with acute otitis media get better without antibiotics in 2-7 days! Not only that, they have no increased risk of hearing problems, ear infections in the other ear, or need for more invasive medical intervention. Also, they do not have any of the adverse outcomes that kids who received antibiotics experienced – including the development of antibiotic resistant pneumonia. Those who went on to need antibiotics did just as well as kids who had received them from the onset of infection.

So a watch and wait attitude with some comfort measures is often all that’s needed. But if your child doesn’t recover in 48 or so hours, or worsens, an antibiotic can still be prescribed. Let’s check in in 24 hours and see how things are going. You can speak with my nurse, and if she feels things aren’t improving, she’ll put you through to talk with me and we’ll figure out the next steps together.

In the meanwhile, you might want to consider natural therapies and comforting treatments. I’ve used natural remedies for kids’ ear infections for 3 decades and have not been disappointed! Herbal treatment can work quite well to relieve earache symptoms and infection. These are the first-line treatments I suggest to my own friends and family – in addition to my patients.

What can you expect? With a combination of the following approaches, ear pain and associated symptoms usually start to improve within a few hours, and are almost or completely resolved by 48 hours. Again, I always tell my patients to come see me if symptoms get worse or don’t improve noticeably within 48-72 hours.

For reducing pain:
  • Use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel (to avoid burning your child) can bring a lot of comfort to a painful ear. Let your child sleep on a slightly filled hot water bottle – if it is overly full it will be too firm to rest on comfortably. (Do NOT use a heating pad.)
  • Give firm but gentle massage all around the jaw and head in the area adjacent to the ear. Massage in a downward direction behind the ear on the neck and apply gentle inward pressure in front of the ear toward the cheek (about where sideburns would be). This will facilitate drainage of ear fluids and stimulate pressure points in the area. It may be uncomfortable to your child so do it a few times a day for short periods.
  • Give Children’s Herbal Compound (Herb Pharm) every 1-4 hours depending on the pain severity. Their formula contains chamomile, lemon balm, catnip, and fennel. It is very soothing and also helps with fever symptoms. For babies the dose is ¼ teaspoon, for children 2-6 ½ tsp., and for older children even up to 1 tsp. each time. It can be diluted in water, and is quite tasty. You can get it on Amazon. Of course, you can also make your own tincture or tea using these same ingredients if you prefer.
  • You can always give children’s doses of Tylenol or ibuprofen if needed. The herbs, which I prefer, are gentler and safer, but don’t necessarily work as quickly. I try to avoid things that reduce the fever much, because fever is an important natural process for fighting infection.
For infection:

In addition to the above, I like a combination of Garlic Mullein Oil in the affected ear, and a combination of Elderberry Syrup- Echinacea- and Anise Seed Blend to boost the immune system and break up upper respiratory congestion.

Garlic-Mullein Earache Oil

10 july mullein flowerThe classic herbal remedy for ear infections is garlic-mullein oil. Garlic is a natural antimicrobial, addressing infections of both a bacterial and viral nature. Mullein is an analgesic, relieving the pain associated with earaches. It’s very easy to make at home or can be purchased.

To prepare garlic mullein oil, place one whole bulb of finely chopped fresh garlic and 1 oz. of mullein flowers in a pint-sized jar. Add olive oil until the jar is full. Stir with a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon to release air bubbles. Cover the jar and place in the sunlight for 3 weeks (2 weeks in warm weather). Strain into a clean jar (discard plant material) and store in the refrigerator. This will keep for up to two years.

To use place 3-7 drops of the oil into the affected ear while the child lays on his side with the affected ear upward. The oil should be at room temperature or slightly warm. To warm it, put the drops in a spoon or a glass eyedropper and briefly hold a lit match close to it. Test the oil against the underside of your wrist to make sure it is not too hot. Have the child rest with the affected ear up for 5-10 minutes, keeping a warm hot water bottle on the ear. After this time let the child roll over and rest on the hot water bottle for as long as this brings comfort. Repeat on the other ear if necessary. This treatment can be repeated 2-3 times a day but may only be necessary once or twice as it is very effective.

NOTE: NEVER PUT ANYTHING INTO THE EAR IF YOU SUSPECT THE EARDRUM HAS RUPTURED OR IF THERE IS ANY DRAINAGE FROM THE EAR.

Echinacea -Elderberry Syrup-Anise Seed Blend

Echinacea_purpureaYou will need to purchase each of these products separately, and then mix them in equal parts (1/3 each) into a clean glass bottle. A medicine bottle with a dropper is ideal. This blend can be given preventatively starting during the season your child is most apt to ear infections, or at the start of an upper respiratory or ear infection. For prevention I give 1-2 teaspoons daily for children 2 and over (1/2 of that dose for babies), and or an acute infection, I give ¼-1 teaspoon 3-4 times daily, depending on severity. Continue at the preventative dose several times a week after all symptoms have cleared to prevent relapse. This product will stay good for a couple of years if stored in a cool, dark area. For babies under 1, make sure the Elderberry syrup is made without honey.

If your little one isn’t improving, or is getting worse, you can always start conventional treatment! But you might be delighted to find that you don’t need to!

In general:
  • Keep your child well hydrated, preferably with water and non-caffeinated herbal teas. 

Here’s when an antibiotic is appropriate:

  • If your child’s eardrum looks angry, red, and bulging. Because there is enormous variability in skill amongst doctors when it comes recognizing a true ear infection – even with a proper otoscope exam, they are likely to be over diagnosed.
  • If your child has severe symptoms and for some reason an effective ear exam is impossible to conduct (inconsolably screaming baby, narrow ear canals), it is also okay to prescribe an antibiotic
  • In babies younger than 6 months old with severe signs or symptoms
  • In children ages 6 months to 2 years with severe infection or if they have infection in both ears at once
  • In children aged 6 to 24 months with non-severe ear infection, either antibiotic therapy or observation with close follow-up is appropriate.
  • Antibiotic therapy should be started if symptoms worsen or fail to improve within 48 to 72 hours after onset.

As parents we have to do our part in the process of reducing antibiotic overuse – be informed and work in partnership with our children’s’ physicians – which sometimes may even mean educating them on antibiotic overuse (a great resource is CDC Get Smart!) . If you want to try alternatives, set up a reasonable plan for follow-up and switching to the antibiotic if needed, and offer to sign a waiver or informed consent that your doctor has explained the options and you have chosen the watch-and-wait approach.

Remember to refer back to Part 1 of this article for the prevention of ear infections! I’ll be sure to let you know when my amazing course, Pediatrics for Parents, is available. You’re going to love it! Now let me know how you roll with ear infections with your kids in the comments section below!

To your family’s good health,

AJR Sig

 

References

Hersch A et al. Antibiotic Prescribing in Ambulatory Pediatrics in the United States. Pediatrics 128:6, 2011.

Kummeling, I et al. Early Life Exposure to Antibiotics and the Subsequent Development of Eczema, Wheeze. Allergic Sensitization in the First 2 Years of Life: The KOALA Birth Cohort Study. Pediatrics 119;e225, 2007.

McCormick, D et al. Nonsevere Acute Otitis Media: A Clinical Trial Comparing Outcomes of Watchful Waiting Versus Immediate Antibiotic Treatment. Pediatrics 115:1455–1465, 2005.

Plasschaert, A. Trends in Doctor Consultations, Antibiotic Prescription, and Specialist Referrals for Otitis Media in Children: 1995–2003. Pediatrics 117;1879, 2006.

Romm, A. Overprescribing of Antibiotics for Children’s Upper Respiratory Infections, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 17:6, 2011.

 

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Comments

  1. I’ve used essential oils for ear infections and know others who have also avoided tubal insertion. Be sure they are pure and therapeutic though as there are many impure or synthetics on the market.

  2. Thank You! Aivia! I look forward to the course.
    I rember getting ear infections when young, it’s No Fun!
    Much Love keep the blogs coming! :)

  3. Halcyon Morrison says:

    Lovely article, thank-you so much! A comment and a question: I have added yarrow tincture to my garlic-mullein oil and find it really relieves the pain quickly; I’m not clearly understanding how to make the Echinacea-elderberry syrup-anise seed blend. Do the ingredients ever get strained out? Thanks so much for all you do. I turn to your books all the time for advice and recommend them whenever I get the opportunity.

    • Yes, yarrow is a wonderful herb to use as it is also antiseptic. The blend is made with tinctures and elderberry syrup, so nothing to strain -you just mix and store. Thank you for your generous support of my books and your very kind words! <3 Aviva

  4. Thanks you for this info. I’m just wondering when you mention the “Echinacea -Elderberry Syrup-Anise Seed Blend” is that echinacea and anise seed tincture blended with the syrup in equal parts?

    • Sure is!

    • I expect Aviva means for you to purchase elderberry syrup, kids echinacea Glycerite, and anise seed glycerite and mx them together. I rescanned the article to find her recipe, myself, though I am a master herbalist. It is always interesting to read others recipes.
      Good article, Aviva. Could’nt agree more heartily. My own nine were totally breastfed for two years with no juice or milk and I had no baby ear infections. The only ones we had later were when dairy was Introduced around three. When we took out the dairy, infections were no more. What a small price to pay!

  5. my kids are grown now but i had really good luck with homeopathic remedys and earaches.it takes a little deduction to figure out which remedy is closest to the symptoms but my kids responded very quickly to them

  6. I had a question on the bolded section which states “any child with severe infection defined as:”. Is the infection defined by having all/most of those symptoms or any one of them? For instance, my daughter currently has a 102.5 fever, which meets one of the criteria under “severe infection”. Would I give an antibiotic with that symptom AND some of the other symptoms – or based on that symptom alone?

    • Hi Rachel, She’s also have to have the visible infection on ear exam – and even then if she is not a baby, they will often still clear but I’d definitely use the herbs. I’ve treated hundreds of kids with ear infections even with symptoms of severe infection – as long as they were over 6 months – and were otherwise doing ok. But it’s a good idea to check with your pedi if she’s not getting better in 48 hours or if she gets worse or you are outside of your comfort zone for her. Watch closely and if you need to do the antibiotic – don’t feel badly!

  7. Francesca says:

    Love your blog. I wish I would have thought of natural remedies long ago. My daughter, now 8, had a horrible time with ear infections and seemed like she was on antibiotics for 6 months when she was about 1. So she recently got an ear infection but had a swollen gland and fever with it so I did take her to the doctor. And of course, antibiotics. She took them, still had the infection and swollen gland. I went to a wonderful herbalist at a local pharmacy and she gave me Congaplex. It worked awesome combined with Elderberry and she was good to go. I could not take having her be on antibiotics for a second round especially after the 10 days she had it. But will definitely try your suggestions above if needed (hopefully not).

  8. My 1 year old had an earache just last week. I reread some info which encouraged me to avoid antibiotics. It took a while to clear up from onset, but only 2 days after starting garlic/mullein drops it was gone! I was reluctant to start them because they stink! They do work, though. With my 6 year old who is prone to them, I do regular chiro care and homeopathic drops as needed. She hasn’t had antibiotics for them in 3 years and only mild pain when they come.

  9. Hi Aviva!
    How does this information transfer to adults? I’m sure it isn’t all that common for adults to get ear infections, but it happens to me often enough. Great article! This is so helpful! Thanks!

  10. Where can you get mullein flowers? Are they fresh? Dried? I have never heard of or seen them before.

    • You’ll want to use dried only because if you put fresh into oil they can get moldy – so if you’re just learning how to make oils, dried is a good bet. Mountain Rose is a great on-line herbal supply company. Have fun!

  11. Laura Beaver says:

    Thank you for the article! Please tell me more re. The anise seed blend, I have never used that. Also, what type of echinacea tincture do you recommend? Flowers, roots etc? For elderberry syrup we have used sambucus (sp?), is that the same?
    Thank you!

    • I use a combination of echinacea roots and flower tops around my house – but if you suspect pollen allergies stick with root- only products. Anise seed tincture is a sweet tasting herbal tincture that herbs to break up and thin out mucus – making it easier to drain from the upper respiratory passages. I mix this together with the echinacea and elderberry syrup. Many of them are Sambucus nigra but there are several usable species. Enjoy!

  12. Thanks for the article! Can you recommend any store bought preparations? I currently use Wally’s Ear Oil and Sambucus for kids. Thank You.

  13. hi, thanks very helpful. My son had such a bad ear infection when he was 5, he ended up being admitted to hospital for iv antibiotics and rehydration!! We didn’t know it was his ear because he doesn’t complain of pain much ever. The ent doc wanted to do grommets the next day,while he was so sick! We ditched that idea and he has been fine since!

  14. I was so grateful for this post, as I got an ear infection yesterday! I’ve never had one in my adult life and they are SO painful! I’m trying to avoid antibiotics, so your advice is amazingly timely.

    I have heard you mention zinc supplements to help boost the immune system, if the multi vitamin doesn’t have enough. How much is “enough” for adults and then for children under 12?

    Also, where can I find zinc for children? I’ve looked in our local health food store and couldn’t find one specifically for children, am I missing something? I have a few children who won’t swallow pills and I would like to find a chewable or drops. Is that possible?

    Thanks so much! I love reading your blog! And I am excited for your Pediatrics for Parents!

    • Thank you so much. And ouch – sorry to hear that you’re sick! Zinc up to 50 mg/day for adult – but a lotta’ folks get nauseated after 40 mg/day. It does have a toxic level so nausea = don’t take more than that dose. Kids under 12 I usually say max 20 mg/day, and really, 5 for babies and toddlers. Chewable lozenges are usually available at places like whole foods. Feel better!

  15. Hi,
    I have a question. My 19-months-old son keeps on getting ear infections all the time (and by all the time I do mean all the time, in last 6 months we’re on the 7th ear infection – recognized by his pediatrician during ear exam). In majority of the cases he’ll have very runny nose, coughs, low fevers (usually less the 102F, rarely higher) and that’s about it. He very, very rarely pulls on his ears, he isn’t unusually moody or inconsolable, he doesn’t cry much or complain about “ouch-y”, he’s a pretty normal happy toddler. But whenever we go for a routine checkup or vaccination or even to check on the runny nose&cough, he always seems to have an ear infection. We live in Hawaii, where the climate is hot and humid and we spend a lot of time on the beach and playing in the water, just for the record, so that may contribute to getting the infections. My question is, what can I do to help him stop getting the ear infections. I really do want another round of antibiotics, since even though they help clear it, they surely don’t prevent another infection from following soon after and doing antibiotics monthly doesn’t seem like a good idea at all. Any suggestions? Oh, and for the record as well, even though he was solely breastfed until 13 months, his ear issues and common colds started when he was about 6 months and mobile (and in daycare).

    • Hi Asia,
      I would start with diet first. Also, if this persists in spite of a really tight control on all juice and dairy, I’d get your son checked to make sure all of his immune markers ok – as constant colds and infections, even living by the ocean, shouldn’t happen…Daycare is a big culprit. See me blog for prevention ideas.
      Best wishes, Aviva

  16. Hi, My 4 year old son has epilepsy and has been getting frequent ear infections. He currently takes Valporate which controls his seizures. He tends to have seizures more when he is sick. I was wondering if the Elderberry blend would interact with his Valporate? He has had 3 ear infections since April and I want to try and prevent them. Thanks

    • GREAT question Kara. Neither valproate nor echinacea should interfere with valproate. Some other herbs yes, but these, no. Good luck!

    • Kara, I have a son with similar issues. Seizures started at age 10. We saw top neurologists and tried 6 different anti-seizure meds. They all increased seizures and caused reactions. After almost a year, we saw a D.O. who helped us figure out it was a gluten intolorence! He’s gluten-free, drug-free, seizure-free, and hasn’t had an ear infection since. Might be worth a try? Best of luck :)

  17. Hi Dr. Aviva! Quick question about the garlic mullein oil. Well, I guess just about garlic oil since that’s what I made as I didn’t have access to mullein at the time. I made the oil, and stored it in the fridge but it solidifies when chilled. In order to get any drops out of it, I basically have to leave the whole dropper bottle on the counter to warm up to room temp. Is that normal or did I do something wrong?

    • Hi Leila,
      Sure does get solid in the fridge! I keep a 1 oz bottle out so that’s available at the ready, and store the rest in the fridge. :) Aviva

  18. Hello. I love your blog and website! I have a question regarding antibiotics for ear infection. My 7 month old son just got back from the ped where we had a follow up appointment since she noticed he was starting an ear infection in his left ear last week. He had just gotten over a sinus cold and is about to get two teeth. She noticed his ear was still red and inflamed when she looked inside and also noticed fluid in the right ear. She prescribed amoxicillin. I was wondering if I should try the garlic-mullein oil first. He has not had a fever and still doest not, shows no signs of pain, is sleeping through the night, etc. it is only open examination of the inner ear do we know he has a slight infection. But it has been 7 days and the ear is still red. Do you recommend starting the Rx or trying the garlic-mullein remedy first! Thank you for your help.
    Julie

    • Hi Julie,
      Take a look at the CDC GET SMART site for when you can skip the antibiotics — there are great guidelines there. I often use garlic mullein oil instead of abx in a generally well child. But unfortunately can’t give out medical advice and without seeing the ear…. CDC will give you decent insights! No fever? No symptoms? Not USUALLY an indication for abx.

  19. What experience have you had with chiropractors and ear infections? My daughter has gone to one starting when she was only a couple weeks old. She’s almost a year old and hasn’t had a single ear infection, cold… Nothing. He’s treated many babies and helped with their ears and euchstation (sp?) tubes.

    • i’ve heard good things — but don’t let people adjust my kids’ necks — i’m a little cautious about that…

  20. Thank you Aviva for always sharing great info! My little one (12 month-old) hasn’t had any ear infections yet but I know they’re common so knowing this is great.

  21. Catherine Lalonde says:

    Dear Aviva, I’ve heard much about the risk of botulism with fresh garlic oil. Reading your blogue left me the impression that there is not much concern about it, at least for the use inside ears. Is that correct ? Is the risk of being affected by the botulism toxin is only a treath if the oil is ingested ?
    Thanks a lot
    Catherine

    • hi catherine,
      i believe some caution is needed with bottled products used for salad dressings. i do not know of any instances of problems with properly prepared and stored garlic earache oil.
      regards,
      aviva

  22. My 13 month old had a cough and a cold and then a fever came.. When I took her to the doctor she was diagnosed with an ear infection… He prescribed anti biotics but I chose to go the natural route and use the garlic mullein drops and a trip to the chiropractor… He looked at her ear 6 days after the adjustment and said it was clear but she still has the cold… Do you think that means anything? Should I be worried?

    • hi danielle,
      hard to say from a distance but colds can last for a couple of weeks and fluids in kids ears can last for weeks after infection has resolved. CDC says don’t treat that with antibiotics. best, aviva

  23. What are your thoughts on dealing with ear infection if the eardrum ruptures?

    • Hi Anna
      The main thing is don’t put anything in the ear if the drum is rupture. Antibiotics may or may not be needed, and the rupture itself relieves a lot of the pain.
      Best, Aviva

  24. My 3 1/2 year old has had a cold off and on for the past month and in the past week has had a pretty difficult time hearing. It was a pretty drastic shift; I took her to the pediatrician to make sure she didn’t have an ear infection but they just told me she had fluid in her ears. I’m concerned with how much it is affecting her hearing. I’ve been running a humidifier at night with eucalyptus oil, but wondering what else I can do to assist in the drainage. Would goldenrod be helpful as an astringent for the sinuses? or plantain? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Have you taken out all dairy? juice? sugar? wheat? Would try that first. I’d go with elderberry, garlic lemonade (see my blogs, book, or FB page for a recipe)and you could consider quercetin and eyebright, as well as low dose zinc (5 mg) in a lozenge. Best wishes! Aviva

  25. Hi Aviva, a friend of mine refered me to your blog and I’ve just signed up for the newsletter. I cam across this blogpost about ear infection and I must tell you that as a child I always had ear problems, my mum always treated me with homeopathics until antibiotics were the only solution. As a teenager I had 3 ear surgeries and now I hear less then I should in one year (I’m 29). Anyway, about 9 years ago I stopped eating dairy (yoghurt, milk, cheeses everything) – self diagnosed really and I haven’t had a problem with my ear since…such a shame noone was able to tell my mum this when I was little. Thanks for spreading the word!!!

  26. I’m reading your recipe for the echinacea, elder berry and anise seed mix. It says “For prevention I give 1-2 teaspoons daily for children 2 and over (1/2-1/2 of that for babies), and or an acute infection, I give ¼-1 teaspoon 3-4 times daily” I cant understand what you mean for babies 1/2-1/2? Also what is the measurement for babies with acute infection?

  27. I just now started using garlic oil for my son who’s a year, one does has made such a difference!!! I wish I stared 6 years ago I have 2 older boys who had chronic ear infections and we had so many ear infections we had to get tubes. They still get infections and are placed on antibiotics which I hate.

    I think I know the answer, but I’m going to ask anyway can I use these drops for my older boys? I’ve seen a few posts where moms used the drops on kids w.tubes that have had success. I called my ped, but they didn’t even recommend it for my 1 year old. I just had to try it just by reading all the success stories and I’m so glad I did!

    Thank you,
    Angie

  28. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try
    it out.

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  1. [...] and utilitarian information.  I recommend visiting it often, or getting on the email list.  Here is a particularly spelled out protocol for parents of young children who may an ear infection, when [...]

  2. [...] Massaging the outside of the ear and face/jaw/neck area with diluted essential oils is thought to reduce inflammation and facilitate the drainage of excess fluid. “Massage in a downward direction behind the ear on the neck and apply gentle inward pressure in front of the ear toward the cheek (about where sideburns would be).” (source) [...]

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