Every year when the kids start back to school, I always hear about ear infections running rampant.
It’s unfortunate, painful and irritable for kids – the smaller the child the worse it is, because they can’t talk to tell you how much pain they are in.
I’m truly fortunate that amidst our five kids, we haven’t had to deal with an ear infection.. yet anyways, but I have many family members that deal with them on a regular basis every winter.
When you head to a doc to deal with the ear infection, in many cases you will deal with an antibiotic to help remedy the pain. While antibiotics have their time and play, in many cases they are overly prescribed and can have quite a lot of adverse effects that contribute to more problems over time.
Antibiotics can disturb the good gut bacteria in the tummy – and over 70% of your digestive system is in your stomach, making for a challenging time if you are trying to get well.
It’s important to understand why your child gets so many ear infections and have some natural remedies on hand that are available to help you deal with the pain that is associated with the recurring ear infection.
What is an Ear Infection?
Ear Infections are pain as the cause if inflammation in the middle ear – the inflammation is caused by an upper respiratory virus from the production of extra mucus.
The inflammation can come from food allergies, or an imbalance of bacteria in the gut (your bad bacteria outweighs the good).
Ear infections can also be the result of misalignment of the neck and spine during birth (which prevents the ear from draining properly).
Ear infections caused by food allergies are usually the result of foods that increase mucus production:
- pasteurized dairy (not raw)
- soy products
- commercial formula
- wheat/flour products
- baby cereals
- juice, and refined sugars
- processed grains
- fried foods, foods heavy in oils
Remedies for an Ear Infection
Ear infections can be viruses, and in some cases, can be bacteria – however, not always are they bacteria
When you head to the doctor, he/she will often times prescribe an antibiotic – which may help temporarily, but in the end, can the chance that your children will get it again. Ear infections treated with antibiotics treat the issue but do not reach the root cause of the ear infection problem – they will affect your gut health by destroying your good and bad bacteria, but contribute to the problem by the fact that they disturb your gut balance.
Treating the root of the problem with a better diet, and regular chiropractic care is a long term solution that will help care for the current ear infection and reduce the chance for future ear infections. Here are some natural options:
Chiropractic Care: Find a local chiropractor that can help realign your child to aid in drainage and flow. This study here shows wonderful results of chiropractic care for children suffering from the routine ear infection.
Essential Oils: Using Lavender, Purification or Melrose rubbed around the outside of the ear can be helpful to provide a calming effect and help support with pain associated with ear infections. Never put essential oils directly in the ear though – I would suggest applying them around the outside and down the side of the neck with a carrier oil (sweet almond is wonderful).
Warm Compress: Place rice in a sock and heat in the microwave – or, you can use your own homemade rice heating pads with essential oils and place on the area.
Elderberry Syrup: This is a wonderful anti-viral supplement that you and the children can take for any type of virus. It works hard to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Probiotics or, Raw Milk Kefir: Probiotics are wonderful for kids and adults alike, but if you can find raw milk in your area, raw milk kefir has far more probiotics than probiotics themselves. Unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk does not create mucus in the body so it will not contribute to recurring ear infections. Read more about raw milk kefir here.
Look for a good quality probiotic for children on Amazon – here are some I recommend:
Powder Reuteri Supplement (mix with breast milk or a little juice and give with a syringe)
Small Probiotic Chewable Pills (for ages 3 and up)
Breast Milk: If you are a breastfeeding mama, add a drop or two in each ear canal every few hours.
Garlic Oil Drops: Make your own garlic oil by crushing a few clothes of fresh raw garlic and dissolve into olive oil. Add a drop or two in each ear canal (provided the ear drum is not perforated).
Coconut Oil Ear Drops: Coconut oil has properties that are antimicrobial and anti-viral – add a drop or two of liquid coconut oil into each ear canal. If the coconut oil is solidified, then place the shot glass with a small amount into a cup of hot water.
If anything, don’t put anything in the ear if there is a ruptured ear drum – I would recommend seeing a doctor immediately in that case.