With the increasing problems associated with over-prescription of antibiotics, I believe that one of the most under-utilized solutions are herbal remedies for common ailments. Ear infections are the most common reason that children are brought to the doctor, and anti-biotic therapy is the most common prescription given to treat them. However, time and time again studies have shown that over 85% of ear infections are not bacterial related, which means that anti-biotics won’t do a bit of good.
So what do you do the next time your little love, or yourself for that matter, begins to complain of an earache? Reach for your natural remedy toolkit and treat it naturally!
Garlic, mullein flowers, and olive oil combine to make a powerful blend that not only eliminates the infection, but also relieves the associated pain. The medicinal use of garlic dates back over 5000 years. It is widely recognized as having antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. It is one of my go-to measures during cold and flu season – swallowing a raw clove daily can do wonders at keeping illness at bay! Mullein is another of the oldest known medicinal plants and has been used to treat a wide array of illnesses. It is native to Europe, but now grows wild throughout the US. During summer months, you can cultivate your own, otherwise check out your local herb store, or a trusted online supplier such as Mountain Rose Herbs. Because Mullein flowers can sometimes be hard to come by, I recommend keeping a small amount on hand at all times for when the need for it arises.
What you’ll need:
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons mullein flowers
- Extra virgin olive oil
- In a small saucepan or double boiler, combine the garlic and mullein flowers. Add just enough olive oil to cover the herbs.
- Warm over very low heat from 20-30 minutes
- Strain well – using either a fine mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth over a bowl.
- Store in a tightly sealed glass jar (make sure it is sanitized and completely dry before adding the oil)
- Keep in the refrigerator between uses
- Warm the oil to room temperature. This is best done in a teaspoon or small glass bowl (think ramkin) held over a stovetop burner or candle.
- Using a dropper, suction the oil and place 3-4 drops into the ear.
- Massage the outer ear and around the base after applying the oil
- Administer every 30 minutes or as often as needed.
- Keep a small cloth or paper towel near the ear to catch any excess oil that will naturally drain out on its own within a few minutes.