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Earaches can be caused by a number of different things. Foreign matter or water stuck within the ear canal can be a cause for infection, and subsequently, the discomforts which are associated with earaches. Earaches may also be caused by colds, fever, or even by lymphatic infections. Generally more common in children than in adults, earaches can sometimes be managed at home using all-natural remedies, the majority of which can be found in your pantry or cupboard. Here are ten great all-natural home remedies that can be found in your home kitchen, cupboard, or pantry:
1. Hot compresses – one of the most readily accessible remedies for earaches are hot compresses, which can be done simply by dipping a tea towel in hot water and carefully wringing out the excess. This can then be placed next to the affected area, usually upon the side of the face, just behind the lower jaw. Alternately, you can opt to use a hot water bottle for less hassle.
2. Herbal Poultices – for a more potent and near-instantaneous relief of earaches, you can opt to switch the hot compress with a hot herbal poultice made from a combination of crushed ginger root, bruised nettle leaves, crushed cinnamon bark, and bruised plantain leaves. These can be encased in cheesecloth, steamed, and subsequently applied to the affected area as a hot compress. It’s analgesic action acts faster than regular hot compresses and helps to relieve pain more efficiently. Apply as often as necessary, until the pain subsides.
3. Warm oil – warming a good quality vegetable-based oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, jojoba oil until it’s warm to the touch and using a dropper to trickle small amounts of the substance into the ailing ear should readily cure an earache. It should be done preferably while you are lying down. If doing this for children, soothing conversation which coaxes them to keep still, and a firm hand to hold their heads in one place might help to hasten the process. 😉 Some have suggested to increase the medicinal benefits of this remedy by adding a drop of peppermint essential oil, one drop of rosemary essential oil, and one drop of oil of cloves to the warmed oil mixture, as this is considered an excellent antimicrobial oil. If you do this, ensure that only negligible amounts of essential oils are mixed with the base oil, and that you use this remedy only sparingly. One to two applications, a day apart from each other, is usually reported enough to elicit the desired therapeutic effect.
4. Onions – the juice of an onion, extracted by squeezing a whole onion through a sieve or strainer and collecting the extruded substance, makes for an excellent cure for earaches. You can simply siphon the onion juice in minute amounts into the ailing ear, or otherwise trickle it slowly using a funnel. It provides quick and lasting relief for nagging earaches.
5. Garlic – is an ancient herb reputed for its myriad healing capacities and its powerful antimicrobial properties. As such, the juice of garlic, can, like the juice of onions, be employed as a remedy for earaches by employing it in a similar manner as you would the onion juice. In fact, both the garlic and the onion juice may be employed in conjunction with one another to elicit a more potent effect.
6. Ginger Root – ginger root is a great cure-all spice to always have in your kitchen cupboard. A natural antibacterial and analgesic, the juice extracted from ginger root can be employed as an instant pain-remedy for earaches. Alternatively, you can allow dried ginger root to macerate in oil, or otherwise heat raw ginger in oil and allow the mixture to cool to a tolerably warm temperature, and employ it as you would any oil-based remedy. Drinking a strong cup of ginger tea should also help with the pain management. When used in conjunction with the oil or juice remedy, it should help treat earaches in less than a day. You can even opt to combine the juice of ginger root, onions, and garlic for a more potent remedy which requires only a trifling dose to elicit near-instantaneous effects.
7. Licorice Root – a not-so-well-known earache remedy, licorice root can make for an excellent balm for earaches, especially recurring ones. To create an earache balm, warm some crushed licorice root in your choice of a base, whether it be shea butter, beeswax, cacao butter, or a mixture of any of the following, over a double boiler for ten to fifteen minutes; allow the infusion to cool and afterwards apply the mixture around the affected area and within the inner ear (but do not push into the ear canal), until sufficient relief is felt. Apply as often as needed until the pain disappears completely. You may increase the therapeutic properties of the balm by incorporating ground or sliced ginger into the mix for added anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits.
8. Mullein – mullein is a traditional remedy for earaches employed since the Middle Ages, although its usage has somewhat dwindled with the advent of modernity. Because most of the mullein available in herbal stores and apothecaries nowadays are the dried variety, allowing it to macerate in an oil, which can then be kept for emergency purposes, should be kept on hand. If caught in a pinch, you can opt to heat dried mullein in your choice of base oil over a double boiler and allow it to cook sufficiently prior to application. You may also brew a very potent decocted reduction of mullein in apple cider vinegar, after which it can be applied directly to the affected area through the use of a funnel or a dropper. Mullein is a natural antimicrobial herb, which can help to prevent infections, thus avoiding complications.
9. Calendula – the oil of calendula or a maceration of calendula in apple cider vinegar (or any type of vinegar, the former being more preferred for its mild acidity) makes for a good earache remedy, especially if employed for mild earaches. Because calendula is a very mild (albeit highly powerful) herb, it is the prime choice for treating earaches in small children and in infants.
10. Ear Candles and Moxa – while this alternative remedy has mixed opinions when it comes to its efficiency, it must be noted that ear candles can also be employed as a remedy for earaches, and is often employed in Eastern alternative medicine shops, however, because its efficiency can be somewhat unreliable, its usage is left to your discretion. An alternative (and possibly more effective) means to treat earache is to employ moxibustion – a Traditional Japanese Herbal Medicinal practice that is similar to the practice of ear candles – wherein a practitioner burns a cylinder of sage placed into the ear’s orifice as one would incense, to elicit therapeutic benefits. Again, the employment of such remedies should be left to your discretion, as any of the given remedies above (with the exception of the tenth) should suffice for the alleviation of earaches.
As always, this is not medical advice and not substitution for consultation with a medical professional. With the exception of the use of base oils and the employment of poultices, caution should be used when using herbs or spices to treat earaches, as some individuals may be allergic to certain kinds of herbs or spices. It should also be noted that if an earache is serious or persists for more than three days, it is best to seek expert medical help to avoid the possibility of infections or complications. Likewise, when a ringing of the affected area is experienced, or if difficulties in hearing are observed, you should immediately seek professional help.
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