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Ear Infections

You’ve probably experienced otitis before, but just didn’t know what it was. Affecting the inner or outer parts of the ear, otitis is the general term used to refer to an infection or inflammation of the ear. You can experience symptoms for a short time or battle a chronic condition that repeatedly occurs over a long period of time. Natural cures for ear infections can help treat symptoms when over-the-counter remedies aren’t your cup of tea.

Causes and Symptoms

Bacteria and viruses are behind the development of a middle ear infection. When you have a cold, allergy attack, sinus flare-up, or throat infection, the eustachian tubes (the part of the body that connects the middle ears to the throat) become blocked. This causes fluid to stop draining from the middle ear. An ear infection arises because bacteria or viruses thrive in the fluid.

Bacterial infections linked to Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called pneumococcus), Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the most common cause of an ear infection. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu are the most frequent types of viruses associated with an ear infection [1].

An ear infection can come with an array of symptoms that may include [2]:

• Chills
• Diarrhea
• Earache
• Fever
• Drainage from the ear
• Hearing loss
• Itchiness in the ear or ear canal
• Irritability
• Nausea and vomiting

Ear Infection Natural Cures

Ear infections affect people of all ages – making young children quite irritable and sending thousands of parents straight to the pediatrician each year. Since the condition is quite painful, you may want to consider the following natural cures for ear infections as a supplement to regular treatment methods:

a) Grapefruit Seed Extract:

Also known as GSE, grapefruit seed extract in liquid form should be thoroughly mixed with glycerin or alcohol. A suggested recipe for healing is three to five drops of GSE and one ounce of glycerin or alcohol. Place one to two drops of the remedy into affected ears once or twice per day. Never use full-strength grapefruit seed extract in your ears.

b) Astragalus:

This herbal remedy can come in handy when you have a child that suffers from recurrent ear infections.

c) Echinacea:

To treat an ear infection when the early signs are present, you can use an echinacea supplement – choose an alcohol-free option. The herb is believed to boost the immune system, which can help the body fight infections.

d) Lobelia and Oil:

You can mix lobelia with garlic oil (or olive oil) to treat an ear infection. Place a couple of drops of the remedy in your ear and plug it with cotton to ease the pain.


e) Goldenseal and Echinacea:

A tea made with one teaspoon each of goldenseal and echinacea added to one cup of boiling water can provide a liquid remedy that is best drunk three times per day. Some people have also enjoyed results by adding one dropperful of both goldenseal and echinacea tincture to one cup of boiling water and drinking three times a day.

f) Garlic, Calendula, and Mullein (or Willow):

Mixing equal parts of garlic, calendula and mullein extracts with a bit of olive oil to create a remedy that is placed in an infected ear. The suggested dosage is three to four drops of the mixture, which is repeated every three to four hours. Another healing combination used in the same manner includes a mixture of garlic, calendula and willow.

g) Forsythia, Gentian, and Honeysuckle:

The powdered form of forsythia, gentian and honeysuckle can be sprinkled on applesauce for an herbal treatment geared towards children with ear infections. You may also use these herbs to make a healing tea. You can also use garlic, St. John’s wort, and mullein in the same way.

h) Eucalyptus Oil:

If you add eucalyptus oil to a humidifier, this remedy will help break up any congestion associated with an ear infection.

i) Holy Basil:

Use an ear dropper to administer two to three drops of basil juice in an infected ear. This will help ease the achy discomfort.

j) Tea Tree Oil:

Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to an equal amount of vegetable oil to create a remedy for an infected ear. Place two to three drops of the solution into the affected ear.

k) Garlic:

While offered as an over-the-counter natural remedy, garlic oil ear drops can provide soothing relief for infected ears. You can make your own garlic oil treatment by grating three medium garlic cloves and placing them in a small bowl. Cover the grated garlic with olive oil, and let the mixture stand overnight. Pour the mixture through a strainer to prepare for your cure. Place three to four drops in the infected ear, and allow it to sit for around five minutes. Let the solution soak in the ear canal. Repeat this process for two times per day.


Resources

[1] http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/ear-infections-cause

[2] http://health.yahoo.net/adamcontent/otitis#symptoms




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