A decent number of you have probably looked at my title and said “What?” Maybe you’re sure you’ve read that wrong, but you have not. You already know that garlic is particularly curative. It has been used over the past centuries to treat all manner of diseases and illnesses, including earaches and ear infections.
The health properties of garlic include anti-inflammatory properties, antiviral, antibacterial properties, and antifungal properties, both topically and when eaten. When applied topically, it can relieve the discomfort of an earache. It numbs the pain while the underlying infection is being treated.
How to Use Garlic for Middle Ear Infection
In addition to adding flavor to your food, garlic also boosts the immune system, which helps the body heal.
Put Garlic in Your Ear
This works, but your main challenge is to make sure that all the garlic is removed when you’re finished. Here’s how to safely do it:
1. Peel a garlic clove first, then cut one end off. Wrap the garlic clove in a small gauze square, cut end in the center. Twist the gauze so the garlic is packed tightly against the gauze. Pinch the end to keep it in place.
2. Place the wrapped garlic in the outer ear with the end wrapped towards the inner ear. Do not move it through the ear canal.
3. Warm a washcloth or small towel with hot water, squeeze out the excess water, and put it over the face. Hold it in place until the pain goes away, or the fabric cools. Do not allow water to drip into your ear.
4. As you begin to feel a heating sensation, in your ear the pain starts to subside. Keep the garlic in your ear for 30 or more minutes.
5. Remove the garlic by grasping the gauze ends and removing all the bundle.
Use Garlic Oil
Garlic oil is made easily from fresh garlic at home. Before starting, it is important to make sure that everything is sterile. Boil your pots and utensils for 10 minutes or more, immersed in a bowl of boiling water, longer if you live above 1,000 feet. To make a small batch, follow this recipe.
- 1 clove peeled garlic
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Small pan
- Small glass jar with a dropper lid
- Cotton ball
1. Peel the garlic and chop or crush it
2. Add the garlic and 4 tablespoons of oil to a small cold pan
3. Warm the oil and garlic over low heat for about 30 minutes to an hour; infusing the oil. You don’t want to cook the garlic; just warm it through slowly.
4. Stir the oil around until you can smell the fragrance.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool until it is cool.
6. Strain the oil and pour it into a sterile jar with a dropper lid. Label the jar with contents and date.
7. Store in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.
To use the garlic oil drops:
Method 1: Lay the person with an ear infection on their side, with the sore ear facing up. Place two or three drops of warm oil inside the ear. Cover the opening of the ear with cotton to prevent oil from flashing out. Continue to lie 10 to 15 minutes at this spot.
Method 2: Alternatively, soak the ball of cotton in the oil and place it in the outside ear. Let the oil flow into the ear canal.
Related: Personal Hygiene First Aid
Warning and Risks
If you have a ruptured eardrum don’t use garlic or garlic oil. Symptoms of a ruptured eardrum include ear-draining pressure and blood.
Bacteria can grow in garlic oil, so all of your utensils need to be made sterile. Don’t skip this move. Also, store the oil in the fridge and discard within 3 days.
In rare cases, garlic or garlic oil may cause irritation of the skin or even burns of the skin where the garlic is in contact. Before placing it in the ear, test the garlic or oil on a small patch of skin. Tender skin such as the inner arm is perfect to test. Check for tingling, burning, redness or pain when applying a garlic.
Do not use garlic or garlic oil in small children’s ears or in people with tiny ear canals.
How Does Garlic Work
Garlic oil contains allicin which is an anti-inflammatory antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, which deals with all potential causes of ear infections. The allicin compounds are released into the middle ear and the inner ear and enter the eardrum to combat the infection. These compounds also reduce inflammation and the accumulation of fluid in the eardrum and middle ear. In addition to numbing the ear, allicin also fights pain by reducing inflammation in the skin.
Garlic in the ear is a time-tested treatment which was taken for granted by our grandparents. We have forgotten many of those old-time remedies. Therefore, I think sharing these remedies is so important.
If you are wary of herbal remedies, you should know that some studies have been done on the use of garlic for healing infections. At least one study tested the benefits of using garlic in the ear, and checked the benefits of healing.