written by Candice and Robert
We all had a wonderful holiday break from school and gained more first hand experience in healing ear infections then ever before. When the fevers and coughing turned into earaches and fluid draining from the ears of both our babies, we knew we had to do something. It came to a head when Hani refused to eat and was too weak and in pain to do anything but cry and be held (I think that was the day after the fluid started draining from one of Hani’s ears and both of Nickalus’ ears, as well as their noses). We had started putting garlic and mullein ear drops in their ears the day before but it wasn’t getting better, so we pulled out all our books (including the ones shown below), did some more research and came up with the following remedies that we used to help both our babies heal from their ear infections:
External Applications (in the ears, using cotton balls and Q-tips):
- Turmeric, Hing (Asafoetida), Neem oil, Colloidal Silver with Tea Tree oil spray, and ear drops (Garlic and Mullein in an olive oil base). First, the colloidal silver with tea tree oil spray was used to sanitize the Q-tip that we used to clean the fluid out of the ear. Colloidal silver and tea tree oil are natural antibiotics and antiviral. Once the ear was clear of any noticeable fluid, we moistened a small cotton ball with the Garlic/mullein oil and with neem oil. Garlic and neem are well known for their antibacterial properties. Mullein is very soothing and takes away inflammation. After the cotton balls were slightly moistened with the oil, we rolled them in a mixture of turmeric and hing. Turmeric is antimicrobial plus has properties that heal skin tissue and decrease inflammation. Hing works like the garlic with its pungent smell to kill infection, but it also is very drying and helps to dry out the inner ear. We put these on cotton balls and put them in both babies’ ears, securing them with body tape.
Internal Applications (mixed with almond milk or water in a bottle):
- Tea made by boiling water with goldenseal powder, hing, turmeric, trikatu, and honey in it. Goldenseal, although expensive is a very powerful natural antibiotic. It can be used both externally and internally in small amounts. Hing and trikatu (an Ayurvedic herb) works by increasing the body’s digestive activity to help boost the immune system. And turmeric again works like an antibiotic in the body. For every 2 cups of water or liquid, we used 1/8 to 1/4tsp of each herb. It is important to add the honey to this mixture when putting it in the bottle (don’t heat the honey). All of these herbs are very bitter and pungent (they don’t taste very good). We used Vanilla flavored Almond Milk bought at the store, so there was some sugar in this. If your child is under a year old and you do not feel comfortable using honey, you can substitute stevia or molasses. This tea or mixture helps heal the infections from the inside out and can be given when ever they want a drink.
- Honey and Trikatu on a spoon is an ayurvedic home remedy for runny noses or productive (with mucus) coughs. Mucus builds in the digestive system first, before it shows up running out of a nose or rattling around in their lungs. Trikatu is a powerful herbal formulation that helps stimulate the digestive fire and dries up mucus in the digestive tract, boosting the immune system and enabling the body to get rid of the mucus. Adding a small pinch of trikatu to a spoon full of honey is an effective and quick way of getting rid of mucus in the lungs. The honey is essential, not only for taste (trikatu tastes like chilli pepper mixed with black pepper), but energetically honey brings the healing power of the herb to the lungs and upper body region. They work together to clear the digestive system and the lungs of mucus. Trikatu should not be used long term in children. Only for acute conditions and never longer than 5 days in children, the elderly, and pregnant women. The trikatu and honey combination can be given up to 3 times a day as needed.
Below is a picture of all the items (except the honey, I forgot to put that in the picture) we used to address the ear infections. We have access to the ayurvedic herbs – neem oil, goldenseal, and trikatu – because Candice is a medical herbalist. And if you want help locating these herbs, feel free to contact Candice through her website at phxherbs4kids.com. All these items are not necessary, but we had them on hand so we used them all:
- Cut up Figs and Dates – figs are excellent for children, and dates promote health and vitality. They are also good during teething, as their texture helps massage the gums. During ear infections, the movement of the jaw chewing also breaks down mucus in the inner ear and allows it to drain, breast feeding also does this.
- Almond Milk – we switched from raw goats milk to almond milk in their bottles to help reduce the amount of mucus involved during this time. If your child has lots of mucus, in the ear or lungs, it is important to avoid mucus producing foods; such as dairy products, cold foods and drinks, processed sugar, fried foods, and berries.
- Rice Porridge made in a similar fashion as my oatmeal
The morning after putting all those herbs in the babies ears on cotton balls taped to their heads with body tape, we were excited to see them acting more like themselves again (see picture to the right). This was very encouraging, they began eating again and wanting to play. A couple days later we got rid of the tape (and some of their hair, we cut some to make the tape removal less painful) but kept using turmeric and hing to keep reducing the fluid that was still draining a bit from their ears (as well as the ear drops to ensure the infections get totally resolved).
As you can see below, they are recovering very nicely – their ears are a bit orange because of the turmeric, but that’s okay. We used these remedies religiously for 5 days. It is important to be consistent with this treatment. As we found, stopping the remedy for a day or two resulted in increased drainage from the ears, specifically from Nickalus. We are back to using the turmeric and hing on a Q-tip that had been sprayed with the colloidal silver/tea tree oil rubbed in the ear two times a day. We will continue to treat them until there is no sign of fluid.
For plenty more home remedies which will empower you to take control of your own health, click on the book pictured to the right.
The picture of Hani shows the molar he pushed through in the back during this episode – he’s also working on the molar on the other side and an eye tooth – sickness often comes during teething due to the stress on the immune system during that time.