Ear infections are quite common especially during the cold season of winters. It is mostly caused due to bacteria, viruses or fungi getting trapped in the inner, middle or outer ear. Ear infections are mostly seen in kids, but it is also seen in adults. Certain factors can increase your risk of ear pain such as cold, flu, allergies and even smoking. But the good thing is ear infections go away on its own and might require the use of medications only in certain cases. This is the reason why most people opt for home remedies for ear pain. But do they really work? Well, here is what you need to know.
Home Remedies For Ear Pain
There are not many research studies that support the use of home remedies for ear pain. However, certain remedies have been used for a long time. So if you are planning to use these remedies, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor. Some of the common home remedies for ear pain include:
Garlic is one of the most popular earache home remedies. This spice has anti-inflammatory properties which not only lowers inflammation in and around the ear canal but also relieves congestion, thereby alleviating ear pain.
How to use it: You can either eat two-three raw garlic cloves to get rid of an earache naturally or use it in the crushed form. For this, warm three cloves of garlic and mash it with a pinch of salt. Wrap the mixture in a cloth and place it on the ear that pains. You can even use garlic oil, which is available online, for an earache.
2. Holy basil
The leaves of holy basil (tulsi) are considered to be an effective ear pain remedy in Ayurvedic medicine. The juice of the leaves is packed with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties, which not only helps relieve ear pain but can also improve symptoms of ear infection.
How to use it: Crush few tulsi leaves in a mortar and pestle. Strain the juice before using it. Add one to two drops in the ear to relieve the pain. However, if it fails to show any improvement even after two to three days, do not hesitate to consult a doctor to get it treated immediately.
Cloves can also be used ear pain remedies. It has analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation) properties which help in soothing ear pain and treating an ear infection.
How to use it: Clove oil is widely used as an effective home remedy for ear pain. To prepare clove oil, saute a clove in a teaspoon of sesame (til) oil. Bring it to a boil and let it cool down. Filter the oil and put one to two drops of the warm oil in the affected ear. Do this three to four times daily for three days for effective relief.
4. Olive oil
Although there is limited research evidence on the use of olive oil to ease ear pain, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends olive oil as an effective home remedy for mild to moderate ear pain. However, it is always advised to discuss the use of olive oil in your ear to soothe an earache with your doctor first, especially if you are planning to use it for kids.
How to use it: Warm a teaspoon of olive oil and allow it to cool. Pour one to two drops of the oil in the affected ear. Ensure to check the temperature of the oil before use as using hot oil can burn the eardrum.
5. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil which is widely used as a natural remedy to get rid of the pain. The oil has powerful antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it one of the effective home remedies for ear pain. The oil is used to reduce pain and discomfort in the ear.
How to use it: The oil is available online and in stores offline. All you have to do is mix a drop or two of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of any base oil such as olive oil, sesame oil or coconut oil before use. Mix the oil properly and pour one to two drops in the ear to soothe ear pain.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger make it an effective and simple home remedy for ear pain. It not only reduces inflammation in the ear but also helps you to fight ear infections and provide relief from discomfort and pain in and around the ears.
How to use it: You can use ginger either in the form of ginger juice or ginger oil to relieve earache. Take a raw, fresh ginger piece and extract its juice in a mortar and pestle. Strain the liquid and use it on the skin near the ear for effective action. To use it in the form of ginger oil, add ginger in a teaspoon of oil and warm it. Use the oil around the ear canal to relieve earache.
7. Cold/hot compress
Hot and cold compresses work as an effective remedy to get rid of pain including ear pain. Moreover, it is considered a safe option for both kids and adults suffering from an earache. A hot or cold compress helps in improving blood circulation and ease the pain.
How to use it: You can place the ice pack or hot bag over the affected ear for around 10 minutes to relieve ear pain. Most people prefer hot compress as it exerts a soothing effect. But do keep in mind to check the compress before use as using a hot one might injure the skin.
Remember that the home remedies for ear pain depend on the cause of the condition. So if home remedies are not helping you to ease the symptom, do not delay to get in touch with a doctor to know the cause and get it treated. Also, check before use if you are allergic to any of the home remedies to be on a safer side.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician and Dr. Deepak Soni, Ayurvedacharya)
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