Natural Remedies for Ear Infections: 10 Effective Home Treatments

| Modified on Oct 29, 2023
Posted by Kristina B (Conway, AR) on 09/27/2022

Chiropractic visit for ear infection. They can do an adjustment that will cause the eustachian tubes to open and drain. It makes a popping sound inside your head. I didn't know this was a thing, but went in for a routine appt when I had an ear infection once and said something about it when they asked how I was doing. They did that and it was IMMEDIATE relief. I always recommend garlic-infused olive oil and chiropractic care now.

Iodine, Boric Acid
Posted by Dana (USA) on 11/12/2021

Povidine Ointment and Boric Acid for Water in Ear: Infection

A cotton bud dipped in Povidone Ointment and then lightly dipped in Boric Acid powder. Gently place cotton bud just a very small way into the ear and then remove the cotton bud from ear. Gently massage back of ear. 2 or 3 applications a day. The Povidone ointment/Iodine clears infection and the Boric acid powder dries water.

Witch Hazel
Posted by GEG (North Carolina) on 07/12/2021

Try witch hazel, it is cheap and miraculous. I got shingles and it went to my ear. Kept getting in inner ear infections every couple of months. Started putting witch hazel on a cottonball and leaving it in my ear at least 30 minutes. Have not had an infection since I started doing this. Witch hazel kills bacteria, reduces inflammation very quickly. I put witch hazel in my ears after washing my hair and anytime I feel irritation.

Linda's Ear Infection Protocol
Posted by Linda ( Toronto, Canada) on 06/10/2021

Here's my otitis story:

It began with excess cerumen (ear wax). I am 50 yr old healthy female with no known ailments. Age 30 was my first needed wax removal. Seems in the last few years I need it removed every 3 years or so. No history of ear infections or any other ear/nose/throat issue. Tonsils removed age 13 (unfortunately). No known allergies. So that's the background…

Beginning of the month, ear began feeling full. Two weeks later, more feeling of fullness. Ear candling performed and removed great amounts of wax. Fullness remained in the left ear which felt like fluid in the inner ear. Approx 3 weeks with fullness, the pain began. Intermittent but not strong. I began to use peroxide which really helped settle the pain. Since I was still unable to hear very well out of my left ear, I decided to make an appointment with my MD. I rarely go to an MD but I wanted someone to have a LOOK in my ear with the otoscope to ensure nothing obvious obstructing. Antibiotic ear drops were prescribed but did not help. I chose to give them a try based on the length of time I had been with the issue (they actually caused me more pain! ) I stopped and went back to peroxide but more frequent protocol. Went to an ENT. Yup, fluid in eustachian tube. The next correlating moves are; steroid nasal spray for one month, and if not helpful, attend office to look up nose and perhaps put in tube in the ear to drain. Ok ~ full stop. That is where I really started to ponder. This is the same therapy used on children back in the 80's!! That's it? Hmmmm…. There are so many other options to help the body heal.

This is less relevant but I will tell you I'm a Holistic Healer and a fan of hydrotherapy and herbals. Here's what I did FOR 7 DAYS:

Each morning:

~ 1TBSP organic turmeric powder + 1/8 tsp cayenne + ½ tsp ginger in mug of hot water

~ 1 cup bone broth

Daily Herbals

(both antiviral and antibacterial to support the body as a whole):

~ 1 ml Goldenseal (St. Francis) 3X/day (antibacterial)

~ 2ml Virafect (St. Francis) 3X/day (antiviral)

~ 1ml Astragalus 3X/day (antiviral)

~ 1 Tbsp Sambucol Elderberry syrup (antiviral)

~ ½ ml Bee propolis 2X/day (antbacterial)

Daily every 4 hours

~ St. Francis Ear oil; this oil is infused with herbs to sooth the ear tissues such as mullein and elements such as garlic to fight infection (I did peroxide followed by ear oil every time but do what is best for you)

Daily 2 to 4 times

~ Peroxide to kill fungus/bacteria (VERY effective! )

~ 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide flush (this may be too strong for some in which case I recommend diluting to 1.5% by using half water/half 3% peroxide

~ fill the ear canal with 3-5 ml (I just pour until it is almost dripping from my ear)

~ retain for 5 to 30 mins in order to reap the most benefit

~ if you can retain until the bubbling stops, that is ideal, but if infection is high the bubbling may not stop for 30 or so minutes

~ drain peroxide from ear completely by tilting your head over a sink; towel dry with a face cloth and follow with ear oil to lubricate the canal as well as to further protect from bacteria


ZERO sugar/alcohol; EAT wholesomely!!!

Daily visualization of fluid draining and issue resolving

Daily hot packs on the ear and neck area (3 times?)

Exercises to help eustachian tubes. Google videos on how to open up eustachian tubes. Chiropractors seem to have the best videos.

Hope this helps many of you.

Alcohol with Tincture of Iodine
Posted by rob (Kentucky) on 12/20/2020

Rubbing alcohol (use 70% or higher if available) dries the ear and kills both bacteria and fungi. An inflamed ear may sting a bit at first, but usually “toughens up” over time. If it really hurts, alcohol may not be the best choice for your ear – discuss with your doctor.

With a stubborn infection, your doctor may recommend using alcohol in your ear twice a day. In those who are infection prone, some folks use this once a week or once a month. I like to add 2% Tincture of Iodine to the alcohol at 2 drops iodine to 20 drops alcohol. Put the alcohol mixture in ear, allow to set for a minute or so, tilt head up right to drain liquid out of ear and use a hair dryer to dry my ear out even more.

Iodine kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and even spores of bacteria and fungi, including anthra spores. Iodine was used successfully against influenza, herpes, small pox, and chicken pox viruses. When iodine was suspended in a solution, viral inactivation occurred at dilutions of 1/1,000,000. (Gershenfeld, L.: Iodine. In Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation. Edited by S. S. Block. Philadelphia, Les & Febiger, 1977, pp.196-218.)

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 11/10/2020

Garlic Juice to Cure an Ear Infection, mince two garlic cloves and place the pulp into a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to squeeze the pulp thru the strainer so the juice falls thru into a small bowl. Now, use an eye dropper to collect the juice. Add one drop garlic juice into your ear helps to relieve the pain and fight an ear infection. Use a cotton ball to plug the ear. Repeat 2 – 3 time daily til cured.

If garlic juice it too strong for you, cut it in half with a drop of olive oil 1:1 ratio.

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 09/21/2020

I have had issue's with Meniere's Disease (undiagnosed) but closes to the symptoms I've experienced like loss of hearing, dizziness, tinnitus and balance with general inner ear pain. I've tried olive oil, olive oil with garlic, essential oils of tea tree, eucalyptus, basil, lavender in different combination's. Out of all of them, Georgia Diamond Turpentine mixed with olive oil 1:1 ratio has worked the best. Hope this helps someone looking for answers.

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 09/18/2020

Rob, just olive oil on some cotton works within 48 hours for our family.

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 09/17/2020

Earache: Turpentine (Gum Resin) oil - Blend a spoon of clean turpentine with an equal amount of almond or olive oil and place a cotton ball squeezed in that mixture in your ear overnight. This would help alleviate the the ear infection.

From Article: The Sacred Heart Review, Volume 5, Number 6,3 January 1891

I have tried it many times, It works!

Cayenne Pepper
Posted by Dr. Nick (Palm Harbor Fl) on 08/11/2020

TLDR: get a cayenne pepper TINCTURE for Ear Infections

I read all the posts about cayenne, I tried taking a tsp full of it, didn't notice any difference. I, however, remembered that I had a cayenne pepper Herb Pharm tincture (I have a giant cabinet full of supplements). I took about 1 ML or a dropper full, and 10 minutes later my ear started popping and feeling better. I also applied some hydrogen peroxide, natural ear ache oil, which was also helpful. But I noticed the biggest difference from the cayenne.

Oregano Oil
Posted by Joyce (South Carolina) on 05/23/2018 5 posts

I have used oregano oil orally many times for inner ear infections.

I just put a tsp of olive oil in a cup and a few drops of PURE oregano oil, mix with 1/2 cup of water and swallow. Has to be mixed well, because it can be VERY hot in your mouth. I have taken many more drops than this when I had internal infections of different kinds. It has always been successful in killing the infection. The negative to it is it can be hard on your stomach especially if you have a tender stomach and I do not know the long term results on ones kidney..

All I know is I have used all the natural methods of getting rid of internal infections, and the two best that I have ever found is Oregano oil, and I would put Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) as number two on my list. Often I will use 10-15 drops of GSE in water first every few hours to see if it will stop the infection first..if that does not work, then I go for the more potent oregano. I also have a trick where I put the drops of oregano on bread and then roll it up in pill like fashion and swallow.

BTW- many oregano products know that the public can be very stupid, so they have it already mixed with olive oil. I prefer to mix my own so I know how much I am actually getting. You can buy oregano already capsulized too.

Olive Oil and Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Claudia (Santa Clarita) on 05/03/2018

Mix one or two table spoons of olive oil with a few drops of tea tree oil, approximately 6 to 10 drops. Use a Q-tip or cotton ball to insert oil inside of ear. leave the oil inside overnight or as long as you can. This mixture cured my ear infection very quickly.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Kerry (San Antonio, Tx) on 12/10/2017

I began to feel an ear ache that became increasingly painful to the point that I couldn't ignore it. I had colloidal silver on hand (10ppm) and put a couple drops in the affected ear. I felt a slight bubbling but within minutes lying on my side to allow the silver to penetrate, I felt the pain subside. I then began to resume my activities. I felt it return once more, I repeated the same procedure and soon enough pain subsided but this time never returned. I believe the colloidal silver quickly conquered an ear infection.

Posted by Fahim (Concord Ca.) on 07/22/2017

I had a very bad earache. I put clove of garlic in to my ear. Couldn't believe how fast the pain was gone. Also used it on my tooth and my gum. Fascinating what God had created for pain and killing any bacteria.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Laura (London) on 12/31/2016

I was in a lot of pain with a sore ear. Painkillers weren't working. I decided to try Apple Cider Vinegar and the pain is no more. I put 1 dropper full in my ear and sat with my head tilted for a few minutes. Very happy.

Alcohol and White Vinegar
Posted by Jackie (Ca) on 11/30/2016 11 posts

I think this recipe is fairly well-known/common, but I thought I would share it here because I use it every time I get an ear infection (which is not that often), and it has cured me of all of them since I discovered it. One time several years ago I got a strange blister-like cyst in my ear canal, and this recipe cured that and brought almost immediate relief to the pain as well. The recipe is very simple: just combine equal parts of vinegar (I use regular white/yellow vinegar, but probably any kind would do), and Rubbing alcohol (70-90%), and put a drop in each ear and let it run down into the ear canal. When I had the strange cyst thing, I got a Q-tip soaked in the alcohol/vinegar mixture and then pressed it gently against the bump in my ear canal. Like I said, it felt better almost instantly, after having bothered me for weeks. That's when I first tried this recipe. Since then I have cured several other ear infections (including one my boyfriend had, who also said his ear felt better immediately). Both ingredients in the mix kill germs and the alcohol also has a drying effect, which I think is important if you have fluid build-up in the ear from the infection or swimming, etc.

Posted by Mountainmama (Asheville, Nc) on 07/05/2016

I don't believe I've ever had an ear infection. This cam on suddenly and very aggressively. I used MANY remedies and I feel like the last was the one that did the job but I may have weakened things enough for the last to work best.

Day 1: Ears itch slightly. I use a dry q-tip to clean/scratch my ear.

Day 2: I wake up with my left ear feeling a little clogged and the right is burning slight. Pain Level is 2 but I know something bad is about to start and we are leaving for a trip in a couple of hours. I pack everything I can think of. I don't ever recall having an ear infection but I had fought it when my son had it 10 years ago. I pack: hydrogen peroxide (3%), grapefruit seed extract, rubbing alcohol (70%), lavender oil, q-tips in a zip lock, advil, net pot and salt. I mix a solution (per label) of Grapefruit seed extract (4 drops in 1 oz of alcohol)

Before I leave, I put a few drops of Hydrogen peroxide in one ear and let it sit with my head on a pillow. It fizzes so much, it comes out of my ear. I flip my head and let it drain. I do the same with the second ear.

For the 5 hour drive, I alternate soaking a q-tip in alcohol/GSE solution and dabbing it in each ear (every 3 hours), and lavender oil (every 2 hours). Pain is about a 7 when touched, hearing is getting worse. I can feel the canal of my ear is swollen. When we get to the hotel, I soak a small strip pf TP with Hydrogen Peroxide and allow it to drip into me ear as before. Again, it bubbles out. A very violent reaction but I do get relief from pain. I feel like I won't get healing without reducing inflammation so I begin advil - 1 every 6 hours. It reduces the swelling by that evening but pain is about 3 and I can tell the infection is not subsiding. I continue this regimen for 2 days

I decide to begin internal GSE. 15 drops in 8 ounces of water. I drink this every 4 hours for 2 days.

Day 3: Pain subsides and remains at 3. Hydrogen Peroxide continues to bubble. I continue the regimen as I did when driving, with q-tips since we are continuing to drive and do things on vacation. I keep everything in a bag with me and always get bottle water so I can mix up GSE. This was a miserable situation but I was not going to let it ruin our vacation. I made sure to only use one end of a q-tip in a particular ear - never to reinfect the other ear.

Day 4: I add using a net pot to my regimen (I happen to have a travel net pot and we happen to be staying in a hotel with a kitchenette so I could boil water and let it cool). I add GSE, in addition to sea salt (1/8 tsp per 1 cup water) to the Neti water per label instructions (4 drops per cup water). I do a net 2x per day. I also begin baking soda regimen (1/4 tsp in water every couple of hours) taken internally. Pain level is subsiding (2 when touched) and hearing is still affected in one ear but improving slightly. I feel like I'm healing so I cut back on GSE internally to 2x/dy, reduce baking soda to morning and night and stop advil, and stop hydrogen peroxide.

Day 5: I'm back home now. By morning, my pain level is back to 7. I was not better. Hearing in one ear is severely diminished. Ear canal seems almost swollen shut. I have to tug on earlobes gently to get canal open enough to allow hydrogen peroxide drops. I immediately start everything back up again, except advil. I want to be able to judge swelling and pain levels.

My ears feel so inflamed, I don't want to make them worse so I decrease frequency of alcohol/GSE, lavender oil and hydrogen peroxide drops to one every 3-4 hours. I alternate to a different one each time.

I come to Earth Clinic and read about garlic oil in the ear. I warm some old and thinly slice one garlic clove. I soak a cotton ball with warm oil and put one in each ear. It is very soothing, not burning at all. I sleep this way.

Day 5: I seem to notice improvement in the morning and spend all day and night with garlic oil cotton balls in my ears. I change the cotton balls morning and night and do hydrogen peroxide drops, followed by the alcohol/GSE drops in each ear (I find this helps to get the ear dry after the hydrogen peroxide)when I change the cotton balls. Pain and swelling continue to diminish but not gone. I take GSE in water morning and night.

Day 6: Morning and night I do hydrogen peroxide drops, followed by the alcohol/GSE drops in each ear. I sleep with garlic oil cotton balls in my ears. Pain is down to 1. Hearing is improving but not back to normal.

Day 7: I wake with pain in one ear (5 when touched) and a swollen lymph node under that ear. This is it. I'm trying one last thing. I look in my old herbal healing book. I take a fresh, uncut onion and cut a little section off. I run it across a microplane grater (any grater will work) until there is a watery pulp (about 2 TBS). I tilt the bowl and press the pull so that a pool of clear onion juice gathers at the bottom. I take a cotton ball and unroll it. I cut it in half and re-roll both sections so I have 2, tighter, more cylindrical cotton pieces. I soak one end of each in the onion juice and shove the wet portion in my ear. I wad up the remaining part on the cotton so it holds inside the ear. I do this to each ear. There is enough onion juice on the cotton so I can feel it running in my ear. There is no burning, and it feels soothing but I do feel SOMETHING...a warming of a sort?

I sleep and wake to 100% pain free and the lymph node is much smaller.

Day 8: I grate fresh onion and change the cotton morning, noon and night. The pain is completely gone, hearing has returned to normal.

Day 9: completely normal ears.

Now, did the onion juice do it? Had I weakened it already? I can tell you that if this happened to me again, I would have all the same things on hand but I would START with the onion juice and only add things, one at a time if I felt like I needed more "punch" to fight the attack. I would not use q-tips unless it was an emergency (like I'm on the subway or something). The GSE internally, really helped me fight it as well as I believe I would have gotten a fever, otherwise. I would use the advil sparingly as I feel like it gives a false sense of healing (maybe use it for kids more and in intense pain).

This was a highly aggressive attack. I feel like I may have had a yeast infection that turned into a bacterial one.

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