Ear infections, and the sore throat that results from it draining into your throat, can be nasty. But sometimes you don't have time to see the doctor, don't want to take another possibly useless or damaging antibiotic, or dont have the money to see a physician... so here are some relatively cheap ways you can treat your ear infection at home. 

**Important Note**
NEVER treat an ear infection at home if there is any kind of discharge, pus or blood oozing from the ear. In these cases the infection is quite serious and requires professional medical attention. 

These remedies, particularly the Garlic Oil is safe, gentle, and effective for treating ear infections in children. Keeping garlic tincture and/or oil around will allow you to swiftly and safely treat ear infections, which ultimately reduces the length of the infection and decreases your child's chances of needing tubes put in their ears.

Tincture of Garlic:
Instructions as found on eHow.com.

Fresh Garlic Extraction
  • To extract the medicinal properties of the garlic place the chopped garlic in a glass jar. Put twice the amount of vodka or vinegar as garlic into the jar. For example, if you used 1 cup of garlic put in 2 cups of vodka or vinegar.
Dried Garlic Extraction
  • If the garlic is dried, put vodka or vinegar in the jar at the ratio of 5 times the amount of garlic. More liquid is needed for dried garlic because the garlic absorbs the liquid and puffs up as the medicinal components are extracted. The garlic should be covered with liquid throughout the process of making tincture. 
  • Processing the Garlic Tincture
    • Screw the lid on the jar tightly and shake it. Allow the garlic tincture to rest in the jar for 2 weeks. Shake the tincture daily. It is helpful to label the jar, "garlic tincture" and add the date of preparation, so you know when the 2 weeks has passed.
    Straining the Garlic
    • After 2 weeks has passed, strain the garlic from the liquid. You can do this using a colander, strainer, or cheese cloth.
    Storing the Garlic Tincture
    • Put the garlic tincture in dark colored glass jars with a dropper. Label them "garlic tincture" and again write the date of preparation on the bottle. Tinctures last several years when stored in a cool, dark place.
  • Garlic Tincture Uses and Dosage 
    • Garlic tincture can be used externally for the treatment of viral skin infections (athlete's foot), wounds, or ulcers. Garlic tincture can also be used as a natural remedy for flu, viruses, strep, worms, respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, colds, kidney problems, bladder problems, or ear aches when taken orally. Adults can take as much as 5 drops 4 times per day orally.
    Its good to keep some garlic tincture around as it has many medicinal purposes. It can be added to petroleum jelly, shea butter, and carrier oils to be used topically. But if you need something more immediate for your ear infection try heating some minced garlic in a few table spoons of water for a couple minutes over a low heat or in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, allowing the oil to cool a little so the garlic doesn't burn. Strain using cheese cloth and be sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the garlic as you can. Put a few drops in the ear 3 times a day till the symptoms clear. The tincture may possibly cause burning or irritation, if this occurs, add the tincture to a little bit of olive oil, heat, and add to the infected ear.

    Garlic Oil:
    Olive oil for ear ache or ear pain due to an infection can be used by mincing up one clove of garlic and heating it in a tbsp of olive oil for 5 - 7 minutes over low heat. You do not have to cook the garlic, hence the purpose of heating is to just mix the garlic oil with olive oil. Pour and strain the oil in to a small glass container. Now with the help of an ear dropper, pour a few drops of this oil in to the sore or infected ear. Let it rest for a few minutes and then place a cotton in the ear. The next morning, treat the ear with a peroxide cleanse by dropping several drops into ear canal and keep it as it is for 3 - 5 minutes, then drain out. Keep the cotton in ear during the entire day, and repeat the oil treatment at night. This olive oil ear remedy provides immediate comfort and heals the ear infections in a day or so.  (copied from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/olive-oil-for-ear-infection.html)

    Garlic Slice:
    A slice of garlic can be cut to comfortably fit in the outer ear, DO NOT insert into canal, and allow it to sit for as long as you can tolerate it. Garlic on the skin may cause irritation or a burning sensation. If this is the case, simple apply a small amount of olive oil to the area to prevent irritation.

    **Garlic Juice** 
    Straight garlic juice can be used, but just as the garlic slice can cause irritation it is highly recommended that the juice be added to a carrier oil or diluted.

    Baked Onion:
    Bake a whole onion with the skin on, till the onion is soft. Remove the onion and using cheese cloth, press the juice from the onion. While still warm, put a few drops in the ear. Should help ease pain rather quickly.

    Onion Halves:
    Bake an onion as described in the method above, but cut it in half and place the warm onion over the ear and allow it to set for 5-20 minutes. 

    Cinnamon Oil:
    Sprinkle a little cinnamon into some olive oil and heat the oil over a low heat. When the oil is hot, remove it from the stove and let it cool to body temperature. Strain it through a fine cloth and use the oil as ear drops.

    Colloidal Silver and Essential Oil:
    Warm the colloidal silver add a few drops directly in the ear. This is particularly effective when mixed with some essential oils. Lavender, cajeput, tea tree and thyme are all effective for treating earaches. Use 1 drop of essential oils per 10-20 drops of colloidal silver. Essential oils can also be diluted in olive oil (when colloidal silver isn't available) for a similar effect. 

    The only one of these remedies that I have tried, and know to be effective is the garlic oil. It might smell a little for a few days but it beats being cranky from sore ears! 

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