Very few things make a parent feel as helpless as their child suffering from an ear infection. Losing sleep and knowing that your child is in severe pain or running a fever can be agonizing, but you don't have to feel helpless! These holistic remedies may help reduce recovery time and make your little sweetheart more comfortable in the meantime.
WHAT CAUSES EAR INFECTIONS?
Ear infections are most common in babies and young children because their eustachian tubes (ear canals) are not slanted down like ours as adults. Sometimes fluid and congestion caused by illness, teething, or food sensitivities can build up in the sinuses or the lymph nodes in the neck and throat. Because their ear canal is straight, this fluid can back up into the child’s ear and cause pressure on the back of the ear drum. Viruses or bacteria can grow in this fluid and make the child even more uncomfortable. Because it is nearly impossible to tell whether the pain is caused by a virus, bacteria, or simply fluid buildup, and because 80-90% of children with uncomplicated ear infections recover within a week without antibiotics, treating holistically is preferable in most cases.
HOW TO TREAT EAR INFECTIONS NATURALLY
Everyone has heard the saying "the best defense is a good offense". We find this to be very true in our approach to treating illnesses. Watching your child and treating them from the very first sign of illness can prevent excess mucous and fluid from building up in the ears. If your child is irritable and sleepy, or starts with a runny nose or cough, treating them immediately can make a world of difference in the severity and duration of their illness.
Diet can play a large role in boosting or reducing immune system function. We have noticed that the vast majority of our clients whose children suffer from chronic ear infections have a sensitivity to dairy. Have you ever noticed that after drinking a large glass of milk, you've got some phlegm in the back of your throat? The last thing your sweet little angel needs when they're fighting illness is an increase in thick, sticky mucous. So it is usually a good idea to avoid dairy products if someone in your home is ill.
It is quite well known that sugar weakens the immune system, so also eliminating sugar from the diet of someone who isn't feeling well is going to make a big difference in the long run.
Our PROPOLIS PLUS formula has been specifically formulated to boost immune systems and fight disease. If you're running low on this formula, we're running a great buy-one-get-one-half-off sale on all of our glycerin extractions this month!
VITAMIN A is generally regarded as the anti-infection vitamin and mucous membrane protector. You can supplement with either Vitamin A or Beta Carotene to boost the immune system and fight disease.
VITAMIN D has a seemingly endless list of benefits, but a recent study showed that children who received regular vitamin D supplementation experienced less ear infections than their placebo group counterparts, and were less likely to have ear infection associated complications.
Our CUTS & BRUISES essential oil blend is a remarkable tool for ear infection pain relief. The oils contained in this blend have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties, so you'll be treating the pain, the inflammation that causes the pain, and the bacteria/virus that's causing the inflammation all at once!
Simply dilute a few drops of Cuts & Bruises in warm olive oil. The warmth of the olive oil combined with the analgesic properties of the Cuts & Bruises oil helps to reduce the pain and can be used once an hour. You can use this remedy at least four times a day, but preferably six or more, until the child is well. **Do NOT put anything in an ear that is perforated.**
You can also dilute our Spice Traders or Immu Build essential oil blends to rub along the outside of the ear to help move the lymph fluid and fight the infection.
Warmth does wonders for easing the discomfort of earaches. Fill a cotton or wool sock with rice or sea salt and microwave or bake until warm. Place it on the affected ear (testing first to make sure it won’t burn) until it cools. Repeat as often as desired.
Studies show that chiropractic care may shorten the healing time of children with ear infections, as well as prevent recurring infections. We think regular chiropractic care is an essential part of a well-rounded approach to health care.
We have found these remedies to be incredibly effective at treating our children, and hope that you find them to be effective as you treat your family as well!
You can also check out our blog post on Natural Remedies for the Nursery HERE.