Home Remedies for Ear Infections

Posted on Posted in Pain Management, Self-Care

It has, admittedly, been years since I’ve had an ear infection. Decades, really. My daughter, however, had one just a few months ago and had them very frequently when she was younger. I wish I knew then what I know now.

These treatments aren’t just for kids! My mom and sister have both used these remedies within the past year or so as well. The suggestions I make can be used all together or separately. The treatments I’ve got for you today not only focus on pain relief, but also healing from the infection itself. Before we get started though….

I am not a doctor, nor claim to be. The information in this post and the rest of my site is for informational purposes only and I am not responsible for any adverse reactions that may or may not occur from the products listed and used. 

Pain Relief


Even if you have already decided to put your child or yourself on antibiotics, pain relief is still a big factor, especially within those first 3 days or so. One of the biggest and best pain relievers for ear infections is heat.

I love the idea of a salt sock or rice sock, but last time my daughter woke up with an ear infection, I was not going to be making at salt sock at 2am! Because it was the middle of the night, I turned to my heating pad.

With younger children, we must be especially careful using a heating pad so they don’t get burned. With an older child, say 4-5 and up, they can easily moderate it themselves between low and medium. Just make sure to encourage the child to place the heating pad on top of the ear and not lay down with their ear/face pressing into the heating pad. This can lead to burns, especially if the child falls asleep.

This is where I believe the salt sock would come in handy, for younger children, ages 1-3. Make sure to follow the directions in the post I linked to for safety!

Ear Ache Oil

Another tool I have used with success on my daughter is an external ear ache oil using essential oils and a carrier oil. Any carrier oil that remains liquid at room temperature is good to use. I usually use olive oil as we always have it around.

I found the original recipe here. I’ve cut it in half because there is no way we would ever use up the volume she suggests in the post. Here’s my suggestion…

  • Clean, empty bottle (a repurposed bottle that had an herbal preparation is perfect, if you have it.)
  • 2 TBSP of chosen carrier oil (olive oil, sweet almond oil, etc.)
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender oil

Add everything to the bottle and shake. Very simple. My daughter likes this preparation and asks for it. I think part of what she also likes it the massage bit. Place 1 or 2 drops on your index and middle finger and gently rub around the affected ear. Make sure to rub behind and in front. Do not place in ear or take internally.


Another therapist told me about this method for pain and pressure relief and again, my daughter has asked me to do this repeatedly. My only disclaimer for this technique is that it is not recommended during the initial onset of infection as it may be painful. I use this technique towards the end of the healing process to encourage drainage and for pain relief.

Make sure to have a solid grip on the ear, using your thumb and the side of your bent index finger as shown to the right. Very gently, using less than 1 pound of pull, gently tug on the ear in all directions. Make sure to work within the child’s pain tolerance. I would suggest about 1 minute per affected ear, tugging in all directions to help fluid move around, move tight fascia, and encourage drainage.

Mullein Ear Oil

This is a product I have only discovered recently. I found it during my daughter’s latest infection and I wish I had found it sooner. The bottle says it is safe for children 1 year and up. I used it a handful of times when the infection had mostly passed, but she was still experiencing discomfort from pressure. She did request it a few times, so I assume it offered her relief.

It contains garlic, mullein, calendula, and St. John’s Wort. Garlic is well known for it’s antibacterial properties and mullein is great for many different ailments and is widely recognized as a healing medicinal herb.

Overall, another great addition to your herbal medicine cabinet, especially if you have kids or are prone to ear infections (although if you are an adult and struggle with ear infections I would highly suggest considering an elimination as you may be eating inflammatory foods that are causing excess mucous production, like dairy. Contact me for more info on that).

For external use only.



The technique I’m about to explain I have only used on my daughter ages 4 and up. Colloidal silver isn’t recommended for kids under 4, at least not that I’ve seen. If you have talked to a naturopath about using silver for kids under 4, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear their thoughts about it.

The dosing for kids is low, just 1/2 TSP each time you administer a dose. The duration is up to the parent. Depending on the severity of the infection and how often I’m able to administer the silver, I will do either 5 or 7 days, starting with 7 doses per day and ending with 3 or 5 doses per day. The last time she had an ear infection she was 5 years old and approximately 50 pounds. She also did not have a high fever and had had a nasty mucous-filled head cold the week leading up to the ear infection. Had she not had that mucous-filled cold I would have been much more concerned and taken her to the doctor, but I was confident I could treat it at home. Listen to your intuition on this. If you feel that something is wrong, take them in. If you feel/know you can handle this, do it at home. You always have the option to bring them in later if need be.

Here’s how I handled her last infection…

She awoke around 1 or 2 in the middle of the night crying that her ear hurt. She had no fever, but was VERY upset. I put 1-2 drops of silver in her ear and gave her a dose to take by mouth. I gave her a heating pad on low, a half dose of Tylenol, and a lot of love. And let’s be serious, a mother’s love is magic and that helps too.

The next day I started giving her a dose of silver every 2 hours. Please, do yourself a favor and write down the time you dose and the day. It’s next to impossible to keep track of mentally unless you have a photographic memory. I continued giving her 1/2 tsp every 2 hours (up to 7 doses total) for the first, second, and third days. The fourth day she had to go to school and I cut back to 5 doses per day. Days 5 and 6 were also 5 doses and the 7th day was 3 doses. Please use your intuition here, as I did. Don’t overthink it. What was your first gut reaction?

My daughter continued to complain about “pain” for a full week after her course of silver, but I believe it was more pressure, but she didn’t know how to describe it. This is when I started putting in a drop of the mullein ear oil a couple times a day. After 2-3 days of using the mullein oil she stopped complaining.

 Food & Supplements

Of course food plays a role in healing no matter the ailment. I immediately remove all dairy (even raw dairy) as soon as any of us show any symptoms of sickness. I also remove processed sugars.

Extra vitamins are given and I’m more diligent about our daily probiotics as well.

Extra fluids are also on the list. Raw juice for kids and adults and herbal teas for adults.

And I think that just about covers it! I hope this helps some of you. If you have any questions or another favorite home remedy to add, please leave a comment below!

Many Blessings Friends♥


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