An earache could become a nightmare if neglected. What started as a mild thing could even send you to the ER. But before you pop in an NSAID or analgesic to ease the pain, try these natural remedies for an earache. They are safe, natural, and effective.
Let's take a look at some of the most common symptoms for an earache before we go through the natural remedies for an earache.
Causes of Earache
A middle ear infection, Otitis Media causes inflammation, redness, and pain. It's more common for kids and infants. In certain cases, the infection causes an accumulation of fluid, causing swelling in the middle and inner ear.
The triggers of Otitis Media include:
- Common cold or any other infection affecting the upper respiratory tract
- Inflammation of the Eustachian tube
- Bottle-feeding while lying down
- Any abnormal growth in the ear or head
- Second-hand smoke
More commonly known as Swimmers' ear because it arises mostly during the summer months. The ear canal remains moist due to excessive sweat and water, causing pain and infection.
The triggers of Otitis Externa include:
- Accumulation of fluid or moisture in the ear canal
- Injury or infection of the eardrum or ear canal
- Upper respiratory tract infection, including common cold, tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis
- Blockage of the Eustachian tubes
- Fungal infection
- Accumulation of earwax
- Arthritis of the jaw or injury to the jawbone
A form of acute otitis media, Myringitits is where vesicles develop on the tympanic membrane. Myringitis can develop with viral, bacterial (particularly Streptococcus pneumonia), or mycoplasmal otitis media. Pain occurs suddenly and persists for 24 to 48 hours.” 
The common triggers of Myringitis are:
- Injury, infection, or inflammation of the eardrum
- Blisters formed in the eardrum
- Puncturing of the eardrum while cleaning using the swabs
An infection that affects the bone located behind the ear, Mastoiditis triggers intense pain and inflammation. It happens when otitis media spreads to the bone located near the ear.
It's pretty serious and can lead to permanent deafness. With this in mind, it needs to be treated with antibiotics.
Some of the Other Causes of Earaches are:
- Change in air pressure
- Staying in high altitude
- Cold weather
- Exposure to cold winds
- Continuous consumption of refrigerated and/or frozen foods
- Tooth decay
- Ear passage blockage due to something getting stuck in the ear
- High fever
Common Symptoms of Earache
Adults, children, and infants show varied symptoms when suffering from ear pain. Here are some of the usually noticed symptoms.
Infants and Children
Children and infants do not understand what is troubling them and are unable to tell you, but… Here's a shortlist that could help you!
- Unusual, continuous crying
- Pulling and rubbing the ears
- Not hearing properly
- Trouble in sleeping
- Fussy and cranky
- Fluid oozing from the ears
- Intense pain in one or both ears
- Fluid drainage from the ears
- Recurrent, intense headache
- High fever
- Poor response to sound
Now that you have an idea of the causes and symptoms of an earache… Let's take a look at some of the natural remedies for an earache.
Natural Remedies For Earache
I have divided the solutions into 5 categories:
Lifestyle Changes and Prevention
Lifestyle Changes and Preventative Measures
There are times when you cannot prevent an earache. But, if you are prone to recurrent earaches, the following suggestions can prevent them.
- Put a few drops of mineral oil in your ears before you swim to protect and prevent infection and pain.
- Dry your ears thoroughly after bathing and swimming
- Use only soft cotton swabs to dry your ears
- If your wax is dry and hard, use hydrogen peroxide to soften it. If you still feel uncomfortable, see an ear, nose throat specialist.
- Never put foreign things in your ears.
- Don't smoke. Try to stay away from passive smoking as well.
- If you are allergic to pollen and/or dust, use remedial measures to prevent allergies.
- Increase your vitamin C intake to boost immunity and avoid colds and other respiratory tract infections.
- If you are prone to develop upper respiratory tract infections frequently, avoid consuming frozen and refrigerated foods.
- Eat a calcium-rich diet and avoid using processed gluten-rich foods.
- Plug cotton or wool in the ears while traveling or going out in windy weather.
- Cover your head and ears when it's cold or windy outside. Wear hats and scarves.
- Sip on warm water infused with lemon to boost your antibiotic potential.
If you are intolerant to lactose in dairy products and it gives you gas, avoid it and simultaneously strengthen your digestion.
Home Remedies For Earache
Bishop’s Seeds or Ajwain
Bishop's seed is a powerful antiseptic, antiviral, and analgesic which would ease the pain and alleviate any infections. Crush 1 tsp of roasted ajwain seeds and simmer 1 tbsp sesame oil. Strain the mixture and throw away the seeds. Once the mixture turns lukewarm, use a dropper to add 2 to 3 drops to the affected ear.
Warm and cold compresses
Radish is well-known for its antiseptic and analgesic properties and is a safe natural remedy for an earache. Clean a fresh radish and discard its peel. Finely chop the vegetable or grate it finely. Add the mixture to castor oil and heat it until lukewarm. Add a few drops using a clean dropper for quick pain relief.
The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of onions help to heal infection while soothing the pain. Cook an onion for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool and extract the juice using a blender. Add a few drops using a dropper to ease the infection and earaches. Alternatively, baked onion can be wrapped and kept against the affected ear for 5 minutes to ease the pain.
Sesame Oil with Fenugreek Seeds
A few drops of lukewarm sesame oil will not only provide you relief from an earache but it clean your ears. Crush and add about ½ a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to sesame oil and warm the concoction. This helps to remove the wax buildup, ease any infections, and alleviate the pain.
Increase Vitamin C and Zinc consumption
Vitamin C will help to bring down infection, which will give you pain relief. Zinc is also anti-infective in nature.
Be careful with watery fruits like watermelon because it could worsen the condition.
Parsley is a diuretic that has rich antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Use the oil extracted from the leaves of parsley or warm its juice to ease the infection and relieve earaches. Do not forget to plug in clean cotton wool after you use this earache solution.
Sauté 3 crushed cloves in a teaspoon of sesame oil for 5 minutes. Use warm oil as a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory solution.
Ginger is a wonderful pain-relieving herb that doubles as an effective anti-inflammatory solution too. Moreover, it has antibacterial properties that could combat any infections. Clean the root and discard the peel. Crush ginger and extract the juice. Use this as natural ear drops for effective relief.
Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most effective natural remedies for earaches, especially when the underlying factor is a bacterial infection. In addition, it also helps to remove any wax buildup. Soak clean cotton in 5% hydrogen peroxide solution and squeeze 3 to 4 drops into your ear. Wait for a minute and then allow it to drain away naturally. Repeat the same with the other ear. Use it only once a day!
Ayurvedic Remedies for Earache
Ayurveda teaches you Nature's great principles of health and natural living. If you're new to Ayurveda, start here: What is Ayurveda About?
The emphasis in Ayurveda is on self-care, taking responsibility for your health, preparing your own food, appropriate exercise, eating seasonally, and keeping a positive state of mind.
Ayurveda treats the person, not the disease… So get to know yourself, learn what combination of qualities you have in your body and mind. When you know which elements make up the majority of your constitution, you will know which conditions you thrive in.
According to Ayurveda, earaches arise due mostly to an increase in Kapha dosha that triggers infections. Below are some of the most common Ayurvedic remedies.
Avoid foods that make mucus
Foods and fruits that are sour like, bananas, watermelons, muskmelons, cucumber, and papayas should be strictly avoided when you are experiencing earaches.
Holy Basil Leaves
With its antiseptic, antiviral and analgesic properties of Holy Basil or Tulsi are ideal for treating earache. If you are lucky enough to have a holy basil plant, pluck and juice the leaves to use as ear drops. Or, prepare Tulsi tea to boost your immunity and prevent future respiratory tract infections, a common cause of earache.
Garlic is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-infective remedies. Crush half a clove of garlic and add it to two teaspoons of castor oil. Warm the mixture. Put 3 to 4 drops of this oil in your ears for relief from an earache.
Essential Oils for Earaches
Aromatherapy offers hope for the healing of mankind. There is a strong connection between smell, emotions, and states of mind.
Essential oils are an effective form of natural medicine that is in prevention as well as in treatment. They stimulate the vital force prana, strengthen digestion and metabolism, and the immune system.
Aromatherapy can be very effective in the treatment of stress as some oils have sedating, narcotic and relaxing effects.
All plants have unique qualities that we can use to heal. Many have antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties that add to our body's defense system.
Ways to use essential oils:
- Use a diffuser
- Put a few drops on a compress and inhale directly
- Massage into your throat/neck area. (AFTER diluting it with a carrier oil such as almond oil)
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has mild anti-bacterial properties which help to relieve pain while easing the infection. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar. Warm the mixture for 3 minutes. Allow it to turn lukewarm and use it as natural ear drops. Repeat twice or 3x a day for faster relief.
Lemon and Lavender
Both the essential oils have wonderful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that make them a powerful antidote for earaches. Mix 1 tsp each of lemon and lavender essential oil with 2 tbsp sesame oil and heat for 3 to 5 minutes on low flame. Allow the mixture to turn lukewarm before using it externally to massage the affected ear.
Holy Basil and Frankincense Essential Oils
Rub a warm mixture of basil oil and frankincense oils behind the ears to ease the infection and bring down the pain. You could also massage the mixture at the bottom of the feet to speed healing.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties. Hence, it can be used safely after blending with almond oil in the ratio 1:3 Using to clear ear infections and relieve pain. Apply a couple of drops of this mixture outside the affected ear.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Mix 1 tsp essential oil with 10 tsp olive oil and apply the mixture externally to alleviate earaches triggered by fluid accumulation.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is useful for treating earaches caused by a fluid build-up in the inner ear or in sinus cavities. Add 10 drops of the oil to boiling water and inhale the steam to ease the throbbing ear.
Yoga For Earache
Yoga has been practiced by countless people for thousands of years. Once you start to practice Yoga, you will begin to enjoy better health, deeper sleep, a sharper mind, and a better outlook on life.
You'll also notice an improvement in your flexibility, vision, and general appearance. In other words, you'll feel more vibrantly alive and enjoy better health physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Below you will find the best practices to support ear health.
Triangle Pose – Trikonasana
Trikonasana is a mild inversion and could help to improve the circulation, offering relief.
Stand straight with feet together. Roll back the shoulders and align the spine and head. Place the right foot about three feet away from the left, turning the right foot to the right. Let the left foot face to the front. Inhale and stretch out arms at shoulder level, palms facing forward.
Exhale and bend to the right, resting the back of the right palm on a shin. Square hips to the front and open the left side of the chest towards the ceiling. Hold the posture without leaning forward for 7 deep breaths. Inhale and come back to the center.
Exhale and repeat on the other side.
Fish Pose – Matsyasana
Fish pose is ideal for various ear, nose, and throat conditions, including tonsillitis and tinnitus… Because it opens up the clogged throat and eases the ringing sensation experienced within the ears. It improves the circulation of blood also.
Lie on your back, legs extended. Inhale and lift the head up and gaze at the toes.
Exhale and rest the crown of the head on the mat while lifting the chest off the mat as high as possible. Hold the posture for 7 deep breaths.
To exit, press the forearms into the floor and lift the crown off the floor. Release the upper body to the floor with a slow exhalation.
Legs Up the Wall – Viparita Karani
According to B.K.S. Iyengar, the author of “Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health,” this restorative posture is beneficial for head, throat, and neck conditions as it supplies blood to these regions.
Sit on the yoga mat, next to a wall, in such a way that the left side rests on the wall, knees on the chest.
[Curl on to the right back resting on the wall] Slowly, stretch the lower back to rest it on the floor. Simultaneously, straighten the knees and allow the legs to rest on the wall. With the elbows, support the upper body.
Gradually relax the lower back and rest the elbows and back on the mat. Stretch out the hands over the head, close the eyes, and hold the posture, breathing deeply.
To come out of the posture, bring the knees to the chest and roll to the right side. Repeat the pose three times, relaxing for 15 seconds in between.
Humming Bee Breathing – Bhramari Pranayama
Known as the Bee Breathing, the humming sound made while exhaling calms an anxious mind and body. It is one of the most recommended breathing techniques to lower blood pressure.
Sit down in a comfortable seated posture, lengthening the spine and aligning it with the neck and head.
Close the eyes and relax the entire body. Close the flap of the ears with the index fingers of respective hands and gaze at the space in between the eyebrows.
Take a deep inhalation through the nostrils. On an exhalation, make a humming sound like that of the bees. Keep the hum soft yet consistent so that one can experience the vibrations even after he or she ends the practice.
Once exhalation is complete, repeat the practice. Keep practicing for 3 to 5 minutes.
Shunya is a Sanskrit word that stands for Zero. It also means sky or space. An increase in the ether element can trigger an earache as it creates a sense of hollowness, leading to imbalance.
Sit in an upright position, keeping the spine erect and eyes closed. Let the palms rest on the knees. Rest the tips of the middle finger on the base of the thumb, thumb pressing gently on the middle finger. Stretch out the rest of the three fingers.
Hold the Mudra in both hands for 5 to 10 minutes. Since it is strictly a therapeutic Mudra, stop practicing it as soon as your earache subsides.
Caution: Avoid inversions such as Headstand, Handstand, or Wheel pose, as they could disturb the inner ear and cause dizziness, nausea, or vertigo. These poses are not recommended if you are suffering from any kind of ear ailment.
I've given you lots of natural remedies for earaches here, so you may want to bookmark them for future reference.
Your body is a powerful self-healing organism and nobody knows your body better than you do, so get to know your constitution, eat right, exercise, and take side-effect-free natural remedies.
While all the natural remedies for earaches mentioned here are safe, please consult your doctor, especially if you have recurrent attacks.
Please promise me one more thing… You won’t hesitate to ask me questions in the comment area below. I’m here to help you out and I would love nothing more than for you to be the healthiest version of yourself possible. Let me know if you need anything and I will be sure to get back within “hours” most of the time.
I look forward to helping you!
References https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003046.htm http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/earache-cold-ear-infection#1 http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Earache/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://www.webmd.boots.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/earache http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-earache.html http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/issue/15-natural-home-remedies-for-ear-infections-with-recipes http://www.homeveda.com/Natural-Remedies/Ear-Nose-and-Throat/Natural-Ayurvedic-Home-Remedies-for-Earache http://www.ayurvedictalk.com/best-home-remedies-for-ear-ache/1122/ http://www.ayurveddoctor.com/home-remedy-for-ear-infection.html http://www.ayurvedatreatments.co.in/ayurvedatreatments/index.php/ayurvedic-treatments/324-ayurvedic-treatment-for-ear-infection http://homeremediesforlife.com/ear-infection/ https://draxe.com/natural-ear-infection-remedies/