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Friday, October 26, 2012

Garlic Ear Oil Remedy: Does It Really Work?


You may have seen this recipe before and wondered, hmmmm...does this really work?  Especially if you have a toddler who is tugging at their ear, in pain...not happy to say the least.  That's where I was over 10 years ago.  Our two guys seemed to both fight frequent ear infections and I was getting caught up in the habit of running them to the doctors for antibiotics a lot.  Plus, I was hearing "horror" stories of "tubes in their ears" and  on going, recurrent infections from moms all around me.  It made me a bit desperate and willing to try something natural.  Not that I wasn't in to natural, I was really discovering herbs and gardening, but I was still new to the whole medical use of them all.  I also didn't have the internet to do any research and most of my friends thought the herbal stuff was wacky.  That's when I ran across a small article in a homesteading supply magazine.  It was about a garlic oil treatment and how this man had used it on his kids for their ear infections and it really worked!  He was so sincere and humble in his article that I thought, "why not give it a try?"


Little did I understand the power behind this lowly piece of garlic.  How could something that makes awesome garlic bread kill an infection?  I was soon to find out.  The next time one of our kiddos started complaining about their ear, I found the recipe and went for it.


What I love most about this recipe is how simple it is.  No mail order catalogs, no 4-6 weeks of waiting on a tincture...this stuff is ready to go in about 15 minutes after prepping.  Inexpensive and highly effective, it's a hard one to beat.  All you need is a garlic clove or two (depending on the size) and some olive oil.  Mince the garlic clove and place it in a clean container.
 

Like you see here.  Then cover it with a little olive oil.  
 

 I actually used too much oil in the photos because I was snapping the shot while pouring.  If this were to happen to you, you can add more garlic.  The more the merrier as it will be more powerful in the oil.

Then let it sit in the oil for about 15 minutes.  The allicin in the garlic is released (thus the strong odor) and this unlocks more of the garlic's potent powers of healing.  


Then gather what you're going to need.  A rice bag or if you don't have one, try using a clean  cotton sock and fill with a cup or two of rice, tie off at the top. To heat, dampen slightly and place on a clean plate in microwave for about 30 seconds.  You can always add more time if the bag isn't warm enough.  Remember to move the rice bag around after heating to disperse the heated rice.


When everything is ready, have your child or ear ache sufferer lie on their side with infected ear up.  Place a 30 minute dvd on for them.  Strain the garlic bits from the oil  and put some in a teaspoon. (I would fill a small mug with hot tap water and place a spoon of the garlic oil gently on top of the water to warm it.  Make sure the spoon doesn't get water in it.)  
 
After the oil is warmed, use a dropper or the smallest spoon you can find and place 5-10 drops (1/4 tsp) into the infected ear.  Put a cotton ball or a small wad of tissue in ear.  Then here's the part the man who wrote the recipe said, "use a damp wash cloth and place next on the ear.  Then add some warm heat and cover with a towel." (Work with your child on how much heat they can handle and use a hand towel around the bag if it's too hot.) He stressed how this remedy only worked well with damp heat.  I don't know the science behind this, I just did what the man said and....IT WORKED!! I mean, every time!  I would do this treatment on them (usually both ears) at least twice a day for about two days.  After that, they were back to their usual self.  I did give them pain relievers to help them sleep, but that's it.

It worked for us and I used it for a number of years until they outgrew ear infections.  

That's it, that simple and that effective! I would love to thank the man who was willing to share his own experience with this remedy, but I have no idea who he is. So I thank him by passing on my experience with it to you so you can decide for yourself.

Of course, if there is a high fever, or threat of ear eruption, please take your child to the doctor, and I'm not trying to diagnose as a medical practitioner...just passing on a sensible herbal remedy for you to try.

Oh, the leftover garlic oil? I would cover and refrigerate for a few days and discard after that.  It's so easy to make fresh that I didn't need to store it.  Super nice. 
One more thing...I would give the little guys echinacea tea in a bottle or cup while they were fighting off the infection too.  They still love to drink it now and they are 16 and 19! 

(Consider pinning this remedy for when you need it!!)

Hope this helps...blessings!
Linked to these amazing blog parties...Homestead Revival Barn Hop 

50 comments:

  1. That is fascinating. Thanks, Nancy!

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    1. Thanks for reading Dina; it saved us lots of doctor's visits for sure!

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  2. My family and I have used this method many times. It works great!

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    1. So glad Johanna, it's such an easy remedy to use...blessings! Nancy

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  3. I've never heard of using garlic oil for this, but I love natural remedies so I'll try it out in the future if needed! The more I read about it, I realize garlic is truly amazing!

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    1. Garlic has been a "life-saver" in our house. I want to make a future post about how we've been using it for lots of things, especially the last few years. It's economical, simple AND powerful! :)

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  4. I have used a variation on this for myself, and it definitely works! I make mine with garlic cloves and the flowers from mullein which grows as a weed in my yard. In the summer, I pull the little yellow flowers out of the tall mullein stalk as they bloom. They bloom little by little, beginning at the bottom of the stalk. I drop them into a jar of olive oil with some garlic cloves at the bottom. When there is a little handful in there with the cloves, I will set it aside for a week or two to steep. Then I strain and keep it in my bathroom for any ear infections that may pop up over the winter.

    I love the ease of your method and the warm washcloth. I will definitely be trying this!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your remedy too! That would be great having Mullein flowers in your yard...I see them when I'm on hikes, but I don't think I've ever found them with the flowers. It's a great resource to have on hand for sure as mullein is great for colds and congestion too. Thanks for commenting! :)

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  5. We use one drop of lavender essential oil on a cotton ball in the ear overnight. It does the trick and only one night is needed. Use a very good quality oil.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your remedy...it would definitely smell nicer! :)

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  6. Oooh thank you! I did pin this. My oldest gets earaches all the time. Not necessarily infections, but earaches so I will try this out for sure. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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    1. Great, I hope it helps him! I would give our boys echinacea tea during the day too...your tea blend with echinacea sounds like it would be perfect for him too!

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  7. I found your remedy with garlic oil very effective in curing earache. I generally use warm coconut oil as a measure to cure my earaches. May be you can try that out as well. Thank you for sharing it!!

    how to cure an earache

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    1. Thanks Mable. Coconut oil should be fine as the oil is serving as a carrier for the garlic essential oil. Thanks for the suggestion and I'm glad they both seem to work for you! Thanks for stopping by!! Blessings, Nancy

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  8. I know that garlic was really helpful but I don't know that garlic can also be used for ear infection. :) Thanks for this post. I am trying to apply this one if needed, from now on I am on the way for herbal incense reviews which is part of my researching topic.

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  9. Put some in my ears today, I recently heard about this and figured it is worth the try.

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  10. We tried it last week and it worked!! Thanks for posting, I really did not want to have another round of antibiotics for our little boy.

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    1. Thanks so much for posting how it worked for you. I was so thankful to discover this method...garlic is pretty incredible! :)

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  11. Hi! :) I am trying this method on my 4 y/o right now. How long does she need to lay on her side once the drops are applied? She is getting restless w/all the stuff on her ear. Also, wondering if the child needs to be on their side during this process or if they can be upright as long as I snuggle/hold wash cloth/heated rice bag/towel on the ear? thanks!! interested to see how this works out :)

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    1. I would leave it on the ear for about 20-30 minutes. I would have them lay on their side and watch a half hour dvd or kid's show. I would think as long as the oil can reach down into their ear, it would be ok for them to be upright. Also, it's great to do this at night once they get sleepy so it has time to work on their ear. Hope it works out for you! It is hard to do when they are younger but it seems to be very effective. Thanks for asking, :)

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  12. Hi. My daugther is 2.5 year old, and she has been getting ear infections very regularly. I used this technique and it worked great!. I have a question, how often can I use it. Is that a problem If I use it once every week.

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    1. That's awesome! As for how often to use this remedy, we used it 2X a day for 1-3 days while our boys had an infection. While they had the infections, we would use the remedy and also give them Echinacea tea/tincture to build up their immune system. I would give them the tea for a few days and it could be a weak version. I used Traditional Medicinals that you buy in the store or made my own tea from the leaves and flower parts. I would mix it with lemon grass (I purchased) and spearmint. I also gave them vitamins to help make sure their own bodies could fight off any possible reoccurring infection. This is how we were able to rid them of ear infections which they eventually out grew. I can't give medical advice, but this was the application we used and it worked really well. Hope it helps!

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  13. Hey, wanted to thank you for your recipe. I used it earlier this year and it worked wonderfully. I also referenced this post on my blog. Thanks a million!

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    1. That's so great! Glad it worked for you...it was a very valuable remedy for our family. Thanks for the mention. :)

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  14. I use garlic and coconut oil. Works without heating it or using a compress. If there is enough of the garlic acid in the oil, it will eradicate the infection. If not, then its in tube or gland problem which needs something internal to cure. I use vinegar, garlic and cocnut oil for that too. Thanks.

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  15. What is the rice bag use for? I am guessing that is the heat bag that you put it after you put in the oil? I am a little bit hesitant to put in the oil in my baby's ear. Can this remedy be used for 10 months old baby?

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    1. The rice bag is for gentle heat which is soothing and healing. It does help to warm the ear and oil. If it's okay to put any ear drops in your child's ear, then garlic oil should be okay as well. For an infant, a warm damp wash cloth would be comforting for them and no rice bag.

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  16. My daughter is 7 Yrs old & has a hole in her right ear drum with only 3% hearing she wears aids in both ears. With her having the hole would it be OK to put the garlic oil in her ear?

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    1. That's a great question. If it were me, I would check with my doctor and see if it was okay to use warm oil ear drops with a punctured ear drum. If they said it would be okay, I would go ahead with the remedy. If they said no, I wouldn't use it. Thanks!

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  17. Thank you for posting this recipe. using it now on our 9 year old who is prone to infections. Will update with results. Did you reuse the leftover oil the following day? Ok to let the oil and garlic continue to steep overnight in fridge?

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    1. I would refrigerate the oil if I were going to use it the next day. It's fine to let it continue to steep in the fridge overnight too. Garlic is so inexpensive; so depending on the infection, I would make up a fresh clove the next day to use. However, I have used this method with fresh oil and 24 hour oil both with good results. I just made sure to warm up the refrigerated oil before putting it in the ear.

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  18. Great info! I have an intense earache and I only have hazelnut oil, any chance I can use it in place of olive oil?

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  19. Nancy,

    Due to my allergies, I've had dozens of "ear infections" in the last year and I'm tired of taking antibiotics. I have one question about this natural remedy though. Are you leaving the oil in there after the 30 minutes? Or are you supposed to clean it out after/ tip the head and let it drain back out, etc?

    Thanks!

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    1. We just left it in the ear. It wasn't very much oil and will drain naturally. :)

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  20. Wow you're still answering questions and have been great just as I am sitting here with a worsening earache that started just today and is threatening work and holidays. I'm wondering if it is possible to heat the oil some other way either placing the bowl in a warm water pot or a few seconds in the microwave. Or would that kill the medicinal properties of the garlic. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jim. I would only use a hot or warm water to gently heat...garlic loses its anti-viral/bacterial qualities. Hope you feel better soon!

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  21. I am 24 with both ears infected, would it work on me

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    1. We use garlic all the time for infections...age should make no difference!

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  22. It's the middle of the night over here in Phoenix and I was searching for something to do for our medically fragile baby girl Ruby who cannot sleep and is whimpering and fretting beside me. I was praying for the Lord to give me wisdom {she is unable to speak} and she pulled her ear. I searched and found your article. I am out of olive oil but have canola so am going to try for now with that. Thank you for your article. Faithful God He knew what our precious baby girl would need and prompted you to write it almost 18 months ago! Bless you. PS I grew up in Buffalo!

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  23. Thanks for this! I was looking for how to make some garlic oil for my little 10 month old's (probable) ear infection, he's been fussy and started tugging at the ears. Other recipes I saw said you had to leave it in the oil for X amount of days, and I needed something that would be ready right away. Thank you!

    I also have heard of people using clove oil for toothaches, so I added some clove powder to the garlic and oil...we'll see if it helps him! I hope it does.
    Take care!

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  24. how many,times in a day i have to use it...n it will take how many days to see result,i have fungus in my ear...which pain me a lot.>..:(

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    1. I used it twice a day for 2-3 days. If it didn't clear up I would take them to the doctors. It always cleared up for us...

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  25. Hello,

    I read about a similar recipe on another blog (looking for something for my 4-month old to avoid a SECOND round of antibiotics) It said you could gently simmer crushed garlic in olive oil for 30 minutes and up to a few hours. I've done that...the oil did not burn (I'm assuming since it still smells lovely like garlic and oil!) but it turned into a very dark brown, and deep amber color. Is this OK/normal? The recipe said to strain out the garlic and drip in the ear. Will the heat not affect the strength of the garlic? Any thought here?

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    1. I never would heat the oil...only used it raw. The research I found said that heat destroys the anti-bacterial compound. I used gentle heat on hear to help comfort the kids and help to soothe the pain. Hope it works for you!

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