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When Syfy was only one-year-old, we switched him to whole milk as we were advised to do by our, at the time, pediatrician. Up until that point, he had not been sick before. After switching to whole milk, I noticed that Silas was getting sick consistently. The ear infections started rolling in along with the continuous rounds of antibiotics until finally three months later, the ear infections were still an issue and suddenly it had turned into pneumonia. I was fed up and took a step back for a moment to ponder when they had begun. Maybe, I thought to myself, they had come because of a change in his diet.
I realized when taking a closer look, that all of our troubles had begun the moment we started giving him cow's milk. When we took the milk out of his diet, the illness also went away. It's always important to first think about the cure, rather than just the relief of symptoms when treating illness. Most of the time, healing from the inside out is the BEST cure. As the father of medicine, Hippocrates used to say, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." It's
Antibiotics are not needed for most ear infections
It is a common misconception that antibiotics should be given at the first signs of an ear infection. In fact, it's a common problem among many pediatricians to just look at the ear, see red, and then automatically prescribe antibiotics to fix the problem. A large percentage of the time, children are being diagnosed with ear infections, when in fact, they just have fluid buildup behind the eardrum due to the natural shape of children's ears. To top that off, a good deal of the ear infections that truly ARE ear infections, are actually viral and not bacterial, making the antibiotic prescription worthless, to begin with. Even the CDC (Source) has admitted this:
“Ear infections will often get better on their own without antibiotic treatment… Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful, and may lead to unwanted side effects like diarrhea, rashes, nausea, and stomach pain. More severe side effects may rarely occur; these include life-threatening allergic reactions, kidney toxicity, and severe skin reactions.
Each time you or your child takes an antibiotic, the bacteria that normally live in your body (on the skin, in the intestine, in the mouth and nose, etc.) are more likely to become resistant to antibiotics.”
In February 2013 the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their guidelines addressing the diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated ear infections in children aged 6 months to 12 years. The new recommendations offer much stricter diagnostic criteria to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use.
Garlic Mullein Oil to treat ear aches and ear infections
According to Dr. Lawrence Rosen in his book "Treatment Alternatives for Children", garlic mullein oil helps by inhibiting or destroying germs that are present in the ear, all while controlling inflammation. Garlic mullein drops are extremely effective and can not only be used for someone suffering from an ear infection but also to prevent an earache from turning into one.
- Garlic - Garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, AND antiviral properties to it, making it an awesome natural treatment for ear infections.
- Olive Oil - Olive oil contains polyphenols which help to prevent and control inflammation. When added to the ear, olive oil can help to soothe and calm irritation, inflammation, redness, and ear pain. Olive oil also contains antibacterial/antiviral properties that can help aid in
preventionand treatment of ear infections.
- Mullein flowers - Mullein has long been used as a treatment for upper respiratory infections and coughs, but also is a well know natural treatment for earaches and infections when infused into olive oil.
NOTE: This oil is not effective for "swimmer's ear" and other infections caused by water entering the ear; in fact, this can make those types of infections worse. It is also important to note that in the case of a perforated ear drum, NOTHING should be poured into the ear. To be able to truly know what is going on inside of your child's ear, every mother should have a Dr. Mom Otoscope ready in their medicine chest (It even includes literature to educate you on what the different ear problems look like!)
Garlic Mullein Ear Oil
- 1 head of FRESH garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/2 oz. dried mullein flowers (optional - this can be made with garlic and olive oil and still see great results! Rosemary Gladstar also says that you can add calendula flowers to this oil as well.)
- olive oil
- pint-sized mason jar
- Using the oil infusion methods described in my Anti-Fungal salve post, infuse the olive oil with garlic, and if using, mullein flowers/leaves.
- Strain your oil using a fine mesh or cheesecloth, taking great care not to leave ANY pieces of garlic in the final oil. Store in a dark glass bottle with a dropper. If stored in the fridge, will last 6+ months, otherwise store in a cool dark place and it will last for 3+ months.
- For use: warm the bottle by placing it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes, rubbing the bottle between your hands until warm, or first running the outside of the dropper under warm water and then quickly drying before sucking up oil. Be sure to test the oil on your forearm, as you would warmed baby bath or milk. (This is only meant to gently WARM the oil, not to make it hot. Your ear drum will not benefit from hot oil being poured down it.) Drop 2-3 drops of warm oil into each ear every 4 hours as needed. Always treat both ears because ear infections can move from ear to ear.
Other earache/ear infection alternatives
- essential oil massage - lavender, tea tree, chamomile, and eucalyptus are all great choices. To use: massage behind the ear and down the neck to aid in drainage. Make sure to dilute first with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil and then massage in a clockwise circular motion behind and around the ear.
- Hydrogen Peroxide - Place 4 drops directly into each ear every four hours as needed (as suggested in "Treatment Alternatives for Children" by Dr. Lawrence Rosen).
- the onion cure - Use one brown or yellow onion, chopped in half. Bake it face-down on the oven rack at 350 degrees until you can just start to smell the onion, and it's just beginning to recede. You want it to be just hot enough that you won't burn the ears - test by touching as you would formula. Have the person lie down on their back with their head supported by a pillow. Place the onions over the ears like ear muffs, and then wrap them completely. Leave on for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until onion cools. Repeat again as needed.