An earache can come on suddenly with little warning. The pain is often intense. There are many effective natural remedies for earaches and ear pain, including hydrogen peroxide, garlic and apple cider vinegar.
Earaches can be caused by an ear infection. Earaches may also be caused by other infections including sinus infections and throat infections. TMJ problems or dental issues can cause pain that mimics ear pain.
While finding the cause is important to relieve ear pain, relieving intense pain as soon as possible may be necessary before attention can be given to underlying causes.
Before trying any of the below remedies, consider what may be the underlying cause of the ear infection so treatment for the underlying cause can be started as soon as possible.
Possible Underlying Causes of Earaches:
Be Careful When Using Natural Remedies for Ear Pain
When using natural earache remedies, consider the following:
- If you have a history of pain when putting anything into the ear, consider external treatments only.
- If a ruptured eardrum is a possibility, do not put anything into the ear.
- If ear pain is severe, accompanied by fever or unusual symptoms, get advice from a trusted health professional.
1. Warm Rice Sock
A warm rice sock is an excellent first choice to relieve ear pain, according to Mama to Many, one of Earth Clinic’s top contributors who has raised 10 children.
- Fill a clean tube sock half way full of rice.
- Tie off the sock.
- Sprinkle rice with 1 Tablespoon of water.
- Microwave for about a minute.
- Test the sock on the wrist to make sure it isn’t too hot for the ear.
- Hold the rice sock over the ear for at least 30 minutes.
Note: A dose of an over the counter pain reliever can provide a few hours of relief while a more permanent solution is procured.
2. Olive Oil
Also known as sweet oil, olive oil is a tried and true folk remedy for an earache. Apply several drops of olive oil to a piece of a cotton ball. Place at the opening of the ear. Change the cotton ball every 12 hours.
Take a tooth of garlic and carefully peel it, without knicking it. Wrap the piece of garlic in a small piece of tissue. Place in the opening of the ear. Make sure the piece of garlic is bigger than the ear opening. Alternately, apply garlic oil below and behind the ear.
Warning: Be careful using garlic oil in the ear. Ouchie McNumbface explains why in this post on Earth Clinic.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
3% hydrogen peroxide, the type in the brown bottle from the grocery store is commonly used in the ear to dissolve earwax and fight infection. Add a capful of hydrogen peroxide to the affected ear. Allow it to bubble for 15 minutes. Use a cotton ball or tissue to catch any excess liquid. If the liquid is yellowish, it is likely dissolved ear wax.
Mullein leaf is a gentle herb that helps to relieve congestion and help fluids to expel from the lungs, sinuses and ears. Mullein tea is pleasant and can be consumed liberally. Mullein oil can be used in or around the ear to help relieve congestion.
6. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is often used in the ears to fight infection. Several drops are used in the ear several times a day until relief is found.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil fights viruses, bacteria and fungal infections. It is soothing and can soften ear wax. Use raw coconut oil – the kind that smells like coconuts. Massage a pea sized amount around the ear or drop a few drops of oil into the affected ear.
Do you have a natural remedy for an earache? Continue on below to learn the top remedies for treating earaches from our readers!