8 Natural At Home Remedies For Ear Infections In Adults

Updated: 08/27/2019

Viruses or bacteria in the middle ear can cause ear infections. Ear infections can occur in both children and adults. Some reasons and contributing factors that cause ear infections are a wax buildup, food allergies, environmental allergies, upper respiratory infections, fetal alcohol syndrome, genetics, internal injuries and nutritional deficiencies. Some common symptoms that a person with an ear infection can experience are  tugging at the ear, pain in the ear, difficulty sleeping, poor response to sounds, headache, fluid draining out of the ear, high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. There are three kinds of ear infections such as otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna in which otitis media is the most common kind rather than other kinds of ear infections. This article describes 8 natural at home remedies for ear infections in adults. Science-based evidence is lacking for the following homemade recipes. The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult with your doctor before using these home treatments .

Top 8 Natural At Home Remedies For Ear Infections In Adults

1. Tea Tree Oil

home remedies for ear infections

Tea tree oil contains effective antiseptic properties that maykill bacteria or virus causing ear infections. It is a type of multifaceted oil that contains antimicrobial properties to fight against a variety of fungi, bacteria, and viruses[1]. To benefit from its antiseptic properties, you’ll want to use steam inhalation. Steam inhalation acts by spreading the oil in the form of vapors. This may open the sinuses and respiratory system which may alleviate ear infection symptoms.

You will need:

  • Tea tree oil (1-2 drops)
  • Humidifier
  • Towel
  • Hot water

Directions:

  • Take a towel and bowl and fill it with hot water.
  • Mix the oil in the bowl.
  • Put your face above the bowl with a gap of 10 inches and inhale the steam vapor.
  • Inhale the steam through natural breathing.
  • This process may relieve respiratory and sinus congestion, thereby alleviating the ear infection. You can also pour a few drops in a humidifier and then inhale it to alleviate both sinus and ear issues.
  • Continue repeating the steam inhalation process as needed.

2. Warm Garlic Oil

home remedies for ear infections

Garlic oil is a powerful antimicrobial property, which helps to kill bacteria and fungi. More importantly, the warmth of the oil may melt wax builds up inside the ear[2].

You will need:

  • Garlic oil
  • A bowl
  • Hot water

Directions:

  • Take a few drops of garlic oil in a small bowl with hot water and heat it for a few minutes until it becomes warm (not hot).
  • Using a dropper, put a few drops of warm garlic oil in your infected ear.
  • Allow it to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes and use a cotton ball to cover it.
  • This process may make the wax softer and clean it up to get quick relief from the ear pain and infection.
  • Repeat this process as needed.

See more: 29 best treatments for toothache pain relief

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

home remedies for ear infections

Apple cider vinegar contains anti-infective properties. The topical application of apple cider vinegar may help kill the microbes that cause the infection in the ear[3]. A study has indicated that apple cider vinegar to be useful for fighting bacteria, fungi, and viruses[4].

You will need:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water or alcohol
  • A cotton ball

Directions:

  • Mix the apple cider vinegar with water or alcohol at the ratio of 1:1.
  • Soak a clean cotton ball in this solution.
  • Put this cotton ball in your infected ear like a plug.
  • Leave it for at least 5 minutes.
  • Remove this cotton ball and lay down on the opposite side to drain out the excess liquid from your ear.
  • Repeat this process as needed.
4. Onion

home remedies for ear infections

Onion has extensive medicinal properties. Warm onion juice helps to relieve the swelling and ear infection. It also may help to draw the fluid out of the ears and treat the infection faster[5].

Treatment #1:

You will need:

  • An onion

Directions:

  • Extract the juice from an onion.
  • Using a dropper, add a few drops of onion juice into the infected ear.
  • Repeat this way t 2 or 3 times per day.

Treatment #2:

You will need:

  • An onion
  • A cotton cloth

Directions:

  • Chop an onion into two parts.
  • Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or in a microwave and  for about 1 minute. Remember that you just need to heat this onion a little.
  • Wrap the warm onions into a cotton cloth.
  • Put this cloth into the infected ear for at least 10 minutes or until the onion gets cold.
  • This onion compress may give you relief from the earache.
5. Basil Leaves

home remedies for ear infections

Basil leaves have medicinal properties and may help to decrease ear infection symptoms. They also come with antimicrobial activity[6]. They may offer relief from ear pain and ear infection.

Treatment #1:

You will need:

  • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  • Crush the basil leaves thoroughly and extract their juice.
  • Apply this juice to the infected ear.
  • Don’t need to pour this juice into your ear; you only apply on or around your infected ear.
  • Do this process as needed.

Treatment #2:

You will need:

  • 4 to 5 drops of holy basil oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • A cotton ball

Directions:

  • Mix the holy basil oil and coconut oil to make an oil mixture.
  • Soak the clean cotton ball in the oil mixture.
  • Use this cotton ball to gently wipe the inside the infected ear and around and behind your ear.
  • Try this two times per day to get relief from ear infections.

Treatment #3:

You will need:

  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A sieve

Directions:

  • Crush the basil leaves.
  • Put these crushed basil leaves into a sieve and press them to extract the juice.
  • Using a dropper, add 2 drops of the basil leaves juice into the infected ear.
  • Try this daily to alleviate ear infection symptoms..
6. Mullein Oil

home remedies for ear infections

Mullein is used as an herb for treating various medical diseases including the ear pain and ear infection. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties[7] that soothes inflammation by decreasing the free radicals causing it. It also contains antibacterial properties.. According to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, herbal ear drop containing mullein may be  as effective in relieving ear pain as an anesthetic treatment[8].

You will need:

  • A dropper
  • 2 drops of mullein oil

Directions:

  • Warm the mullein oil a bit.
  • Lie sideways with your infected facing upwards.
  • Using a dropper, add several drops in your ear.
  • Keep in the same position for around fifteen minutes.
  • Strain out the liquid and clean your ears.
  • Try it twice a day for relief..

7. Garlic

home remedies for ear infections

Garlic[9] contains anti-viral, anti-oxidizing, and antimicrobial properties that make it become one of the effective solutions for ear infections. Also, it’s been found to have a positive effect on immunity[10]. It may also help to reduce ear pain and swelling.

Treatment #1:

You will need:

  • Garlic
  • A cloth

Directions:

  • Take a few fresh cloves of garlic and crush them.
  • Wrap these crushed cloves of garlic in a clean small cloth.
  • Put this wrapped cloth in your ear and allow it to sit for about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Using this method may alleviate ear pain.

Treatment #2:

You will need:

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 glass of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • A clean thin cloth

Directions:

  • Add the cloves of garlic to the water.
  • Heat the water for at least 10 minutes to get the softened garlic.
  • Take out the cloves of garlic from the water and crush them to get a paste.
  • Add the salt to the garlic paste.
  • Put this garlic paste into the prepared cloth piece and wrap it to get a poultice.
  • Put the cloth on your infected ear for a few minutes.
  • Repeat this as needed to potentially reduce ear pain.

Treatment #3:

You will need:

  • A clove of garlic
  • A cotton ball

Directions:

  • Peel off the skin of a clove of garlic.
  • Boil it for a few minutes and, using a dropper, add a few drops to your ear.
  • Use a cotton ball to cover it and allow it to sit overnight.
  • Take it out in the next day and repeat it if needed.
  • The process may alleviate infection.
8. Warm Compress

home remedies for ear infections

A warm compress may help to open up the Eustachian tubes. It will also help to get rid of the pain associated with the ear infection.

You will need:

  • A clean cloth
  • Warm water

Directions:

  • Soak a clean cloth in the warm water.
  • Wring out the cloth to eliminate the excess water and put this cloth on your infected ear and around your ear.
  • Make sure that you are not to overheat your ear.
  • Keep the heat for about 5 minutes and remove it for a few minutes.
  • Re-apply it and leave it for a few minutes.
  • Repeat the process for a few times if necessary.
  • You can also take a hot shower because the steam will help to open up your ear.
  • Alternatively, put a heating pad or hot water bottle against your infected ear.

If you want to know more about natural, home remedies for other diseases and conditions go to our main Home Remedies page.

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