Ear infections occur when bacteria affects the outer, middle or inner part of the ear and causes inflammation. While children are more likely than adults to get ear infections, they can affect people at any age. (1) Conventional ear infection treatment typically involves antibiotics to treat painful symptoms. Home remedies for ear infections include natural ways to reduce ear pain and other symptoms. Continue reading to find home remedies for an ear infection.

Ear Infection Causes and Risk Factors

  • Respiratory infection
  • Virus
  • Flu
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Allergies

earache woman

Ear Infection Symptoms

  • Earaches and ear pains
  • Trouble sleeping due to ear pain
  • Fever symptoms
  • A red, inflamed eardrum
  • Itchiness in the ear
  • Pain around the ears, radiating down the neck and side of the head
  • Crying, shaking and rubbing in small children
  • Signs of a head cold
  • Fluid leaking from the ears
  • Sensory changes

earache baby

Home Remedies For Ear Infections

1. Salt

When heated, salt can draw out toxins to help relieve ear pain. (2) To use salt as an ear infection treatment:

  1. Heat up 1 cup of salt in a pan over low heat for several minutes.
  2. Place the hot salt on a cloth and seal the open end with a rubber band.
  3. Put the cloth on the affected ear for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Repeat this home remedy for an ear infection daily as many times as needed. The heat generated from the hot salt will help draw out fluid from the ear to reduce pain and swelling.

2. Garlic

Garlic’s antimicrobial properties can work as an ear infection treatment. (3) To use garlic as a home remedy for an ear infection:

  1. Make garlic oil by cooking 2 garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil or mustard.
  2. Strain the solution.
  3. Use 2-4 drops in the infected ear as ear drops.

earache garlic

3. Basil

Natural home remedies for ear infections include basil. Basil can help relieve ear pain and reduce infection. (4) To use basil as an ear infection treatment:

  1. Mix a few drops of holy basil oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.
  2. Soak a cotton ball into the mixture.
  3. Gently wipe just inside the ear and around the outer edge of the ear with the cotton ball.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Home remedies for ear infections include apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can help kill harmful bacteria and promote healing. (5) To use apple cider vinegar as an ear infection treatment:

  1. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water or alcohol.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in the solution.
  3. Put the cotton ball in your ear and leave it there for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the cotton ball and lay down on your opposite side to drain the liquid from your ear.

earache apple cider vinegar

5. Warm Water Bottle

Applying heat to the infected ear can help relieve pain and prevent bacteria from spreading. To use a warm water bottle as a home remedy for an ear infection:

  1. Press a warm water bottle or heating pad against the ear.
  2. Do not apply heat to the ear for long periods of time. Start with 5 minutes, then remove he heat for a while and repeat as needed.

6. Olive Oil

Olive oil can help clear the buildup of wax that can cause an ear infection. (6) To use olive oil as a home remedy for an ear infection:

  1. Slightly warm some olive oil.
  2. Put a few drops of the warm oil into the affected ear to soften the wax.
  3. Remove the infected with using cotton-tipped swabs.

earache olive oil

7. Onion

Onions can be used medicinally thanks to their anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-viral properties. (7) To use an onion for an ear infection:

  1. Chop 1 small onion.
  2. Heat the onion for a few minutes, then allow it to cool.
  3. Strain out the onion juice and put 2-3 drops of the juice in the infected ear.
  4. Let the juice sit for a few minutes, then turn your head and let the juice drain out of your ear.

8. Tea Tree Oil

Home remedies for an ear infection include tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that can help naturally heal an infection. (8) To use tea tree oil for an ear infection:

  1. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Slightly warm the mixture.
  3. Use a dropper to fill your ear with the mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn your head and let the mixture drain out of your ear.
  5. Use this remedy 2-3 times a day for 2 days.

earache tea tree oil

9. Mango Leaf Juice

Mango leaf extract can help provide pain relief from ear infection symptoms. To use mango lead as a home remedy for an ear infection:

  1. Crush or grind 2-3 soft mango leaves to extract the juice.
  2. Slightly warm the juice.
  3. Use a dropper to put 3-4 drops of the juice into the affected ear for pain relief.