Herbal Home Cures for Earache and Swimmer’s Ear

| 10/19/2015 3:23:00 PM

In Herbs for Common Ailments, renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar offers the perfect introduction to the most effective herbal remedies that every family should have in their home medicine chest. This excerpt includes solutions and a recipe for treating earaches and infections.

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Earaches are infections of the inner or outer ear signified by pain, redness, and sometimes itchiness around the outer ear. Mild earaches can be readily treated at home. If the pain gets severe or is prolonged, consult a holistic health care provider or a physician.

What to Do

Hot onion packs are an old-fashioned remedy that can really work. Saute onions until soft, and then wrap the onions in a flannel cloth and apply directly to both ears (one at a time, if desired). Reheat the onions as needed. Leave the hot onion pack on for 30–45 minutes, and longer if possible.

If the ear still hurts, heat some salt in a cast-iron skillet, and when it is too hot to touch, pour it onto a dishcloth or cotton cloth. Fold carefully, being sure not to burn yourself.

Using more towels to protect against the heat, place the pack against the ear for at least 30 minutes. Treat both ears, as the ear canals are connected, and the infection can easily move back and forth. Hot salt packs work best if there is a lot of moisture and congestion in the ears. In addition to the hot packs, you can try infection-fighting oil treatments; see the recipe for garlic-mullein oil below.