Ear Ache Remedies

Ear Pick  

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Posted by Robert (Orlando, FL) on 01/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I clean my ears every so often with a medical instrument called an ear pick, curette or ear wax scoop. About 25 years ago I did this but did not know the hazards of doing it without sterilizing the instrument. I got a severe ear canal infection which I got treated. Since then I have made it a routine to wipe off the ear pick with a tissue and then clean it with alcohol each time I use it. I haven't had any problem with it 25 years since even with regular usage. The other caution is do it gently, and to be sure to be away from any distractions (like children) where damage could be done to the ear drum by accidentally pushing it too far in. Those who say "nothing smaller than your elbow should be inserted in the ear" I'm sure mean well, but I find to be being unnecessarily overcautious assuming one takes the normal precautions with ear cleaning. Nothing else has worked like this, especially Q tips, which I found to aggravate the blockage. Ear picks can often be found at oriental markets.

Replied by London
Sandusky, Ohio
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, I'm a believer in the ear pick. I HATE Q-tips. They just push the wax in, and it causes irritation, and more wax build up along with itchiness. The Ear pick actually pulls the wax out, but I have caused my ears to bleed before, and other problems,and that was scary. Now, I'm much more gentle and cautious about it.

The best thing to do is irrigate with a warm, purified water/hydrogen peroxide solution with a bulb syringe. Water is the best thing for your ears.

Replied by Leah
Friendswood, Tx
5 out of 5 stars

I found that when I would use a q-tip, I had to twist it or the wax would get pushed into the ear canal to where it felt like I was deaf. Yay for the curette.

Ear Remedy Warning  

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Posted by Shari (Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada) on 04/27/2008
1 out of 5 stars


A lot of the remedies listed here, mention warming solutions or onions or using hair dryers or hot water bottles. This is definitely very soothing when you are experiencing ear pain but can also be VERY DANGEROUS. As a nurse I was taught to never do this....here is the reasoning. If there is infection on the other side of your ear drum??? the heat will draw it out causing the ear drum to rupture and perforate. Scar tissue forms as the ear drum heals but a reduction in hearing will be noted. please be very careful when using any form of heat.

Fenugreek and Thyme  

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Posted by Tara (Provo, Utah) on 11/19/2007
5 out of 5 stars

All throughout my childhood I had bouts of vertigo. Fluid would get into my ears, cross the ear drum and get stuck around the eustation tube. Recently, I had a severe bout that lasted almost a month. Decongestants and Meclizine would help but it would just come right back. I spoke with a good friend who is extremely knowledgable about herbs and she said she has had a similar problem. She uses a mix of Fenugreek and Thyme. She said its also good to use Pcynogenol as well. I have only been using the Fenugreek and Thyme mix but I have noticed a huge improvement. The mix of herbs is also good for general sinus clearing. Drink lots of water though because this will pull the fluid out of your body. Hope this helps!

Replied by Madline
Kyparissia, Messinia, Greece

I have also problems with my ears. I have vertigo quite often and nothing seems to work as far as conventional medicine. Some times I have to lay in bed for days due to the dizzy spells. Any type of traveling or sudden movement can stir it up out of the blue. Change of weather and so on. I would love to have the remedy if you please.

Replied by Maria
Gippsland, Australia

Hi Madline, I used to have episodes lasting a few weeks. Then I went to a chiropractor with my dish for vomiting in hand, it was so bad that I could not walk unassisted, and eyes closed because everything was spinning. We had rung him first and he thought he could help. And help he did. I walked out with the symptoms easing. I also took magnesium and three days later back to normal. Once I started to recognize my warning symptoms early and we would treat with magnesium and one visit to the chiropractor. I have not had a full blown attach for some years now and only need magnesium for very early symptoms. All the best in finding what works for you.


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Posted by Steph C. (Missouri) on 03/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic for Earache:

This is what I do for my kids. Garlic clove crushed and warmed in olive oil. Once the oil smells garlicky I let it cool a bit and then place in the ear and have them lay down with a cotton ball in the ear for as long as they can (usually lasts 10 minutes before they get impatient). I usually do both ears for prevention. I will say I have only ever had to do this application once per complaint because it is so effective. My kids are very compliant with this treatment, also, because they know it is fast relief.

Replied by Art
201 posts

In reply to Steph C. (Missouri),

Your method also eliminates the chance of being burned by the potential for direct contact with the garlic clove which on its own is quite strong and capable of burning your ear.


Replied by Cindy
Dallas, Tx

How do you out the garlic/Olive oil in the ear? Do you soak the cotton ball with it?

Posted by Sunny (Ca) on 01/24/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I use garlic for ear pain.

I cut up a garlic piece into slices 6 (I guess). I use olive oil, Im sure you can use other oils. I put oil in a spoon and some slices of garlic. I warm up the spoon. I take out of the fire, I get a small piece of cotton and absorb some oil with my cotton piece and place this warm oiled cotton piece in my ear and leave it in. I works awesome, down side it smells like garlic :S. Will be looking into more non smelly solution, like just using the olive oil instead. But this works so far...


Earthclinic rocks!

Replied by Evash
5 out of 5 stars

I feel emotional - after trying everything to no avail in resolving uncomfortable itchy ear, I tried the olive oil and garlic ---- what can I say - it stopped immediately. And I want to give this a thumbs up. Thanks for sharing, now I feel better too.

Replied by Bob
North Carolina

How long do you leave it in?

Posted by Eb (San Antonio, Tx) on 10/19/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have had an acute ear infection since Tuesday. I've been taking antibiotic drops three times a day, and prescription-strength ibuprofen as needed for the pain. Unfortunately, "as needed" was turning out to be a lot more than I'd expected. It didn't seem like the antibiotics were working. I realized that I was taking my prescriptions like a good girl, but I wasn't doing anything to enable my own body to fight the infection naturally.

Starting last night (Thursday night) I began taking a TON of Vitamin C. Then I came to this site and read about garlic, and this morning I bought some 2, 000 mg garlic tablets. I took two right away, and some more Vitamin C. Within an hour I felt my inner ear begin to drain into my throat, which I took as a good sign. I am continuing my antibiotic drops, but they hurt so bad when I put them in that I have to blow-dry my ear afterwards (which REALLY helps).

Long story short, I've only had to take a minimum dosage of over-the-counter pain medicine (ibuprofen) today, because I can absolutely feel the infection clearing up. It's still a bit painful, and every once in a while it will throb for a few minutes, but I can generally deal with it and it's not the nail-biting, leg-cramping, stomach-twisting agony I've been experiencing for the last two days.

I definitely recommend it! It can't hurt, after all. And of course I'm not discontinuing the medicine I was given by my doctor.

Posted by Lyn (Indialantic, Florida/ Usa) on 08/31/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Yea thank you. My daughter called me from college in excrutiating pain and of course the student health clinic was closed and a holiday weekend. She had been to the clinic the day before for a severe sore throat and fever. They swabbed her and told her it was a virus..... She tried the crushed garlic in the olive oil heated and three drops in the ear, Fantastic within ten minutes the pain is almost gone, I can't thank you enough for this assistance as I am three hours distance from the school. Thankyou thankyou thankyou

Posted by John (Cumberland, Md) on 02/08/2011
1 out of 5 stars


Garlic has given me tinnitus for five weeks now. Really worried. Do not, Do not put garlic in your ear

Replied by Zark
Emerald City

Hi John, it is very likely that the ear infection caused the tinnitus.

Posted by Lizzy (Fargo, Nd) on 11/02/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I use this method for my ears as well. I usually wrap the garlic clove in gauze so it doesn't burn my skin. It really clears up my infections and I am in my 30's! I use to have to take antibiotics when I got ear infections, now I use garlic! (I have had tubes 3 times in my life, I have had my eardrum rupture... So I truly mean this works! )

Replied by Maria
Gippsland, Australia
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for this info. I have never used the garlic clove but have used garlic oil capsules with great success. We just pierce a capsule and squeeze it into the ear, we try to lay down for a few mins.

Posted by Jeremiah (San Diego, California) on 06/21/2009
5 out of 5 stars


I had a really bad ear infection in January of 2009 in which the infection caused my right ear to have hearing loss, as well as a constant sense of being clogged with something and/or feeling clogged from high altitudes (pressure change). I took a clove of garlic, peeled it, then scraped a part of it to release the juice and allicin, then CAREFULLY (I CANNOT emphasize that enough) the scraped part into my ear canal and let it stay there for at least 2 hours, possibly 3. When I took the clove out, the infection was gone.


Replied by Erin
Tampa, Fl
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for this remedy. Instead of a scored garlic clove, I used garlic ointment on a tissue. I obeyed your warning to be careful, as it seems most of the bad reactions reported on this site came from instances where the garlic was placed farther into the ear canal than the opening. I just placed my garlicy tissue in the opening of the ear canal. It took about an hour, but the pain subsided, and shortly after that, the pressure began to subside as well. I'm going to leave the tissue in for the recommended 3 hours and see what happens. Thanks again for this!

Posted by Susy (Woodland Hills, CA) on 03/10/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I've been using Garlic for earaches ever since I can remember. It works like a charm. You use one Garlic Tooth, heat it up but not burning hot, you cut the piece small enough to fit in your ear but not small enough to go into the ear canal. It works like a charm. I've done this on my kids as well. They fall asleep & wake up pain free.

Posted by Eb22 (Hilo, Hawaii) on 02/28/2009
1 out of 5 stars


Warning! Do NOT PUT GARLIC INTO YOUR EAR! I placed a peeled garlic clove in my ear for 2 hours to relieve a 5 week long ear infection which had made me me desperate. 1 hour later my face went numb on that side. 7 hours later I woke up with vertigo and ringing in my ear. It is now 3 weeks later and I still feel vertigo and the ringing makes it difficult to sleep. I hope this goes away!

Replied by Jeremiah
San Diego, California

Eb22, there are likely several reasons that this happened to you. If you are allergic to allicin or any of the other properties unique to garlic, that would explain the reaction, which I remember reading somewhere (I'm sorry that I can't remember where). Allicin is a very potent chemical, which is why it can irritate the stomach and/or the digestive tract.

If you are not allergic to any of the compounds, the length of time that you had the ear infection (5 weeks is quite a bit of time) might have something to do with it. The potency of the garlic/allicin, added to the fact that your immune system is working hard against the infection anyways, may cause for a little bit of overcompensation in regards to fighting the infection.

A third possibility is the first two possibilities combined. Both an allergy to the unique compounds in garlic combined with the duration of the infection as well as the fact that your immune system is hard at work already, could very well cause a little bit of overcompensation in regards to fighting the infection.

I don't know whether you are allergic to garlic, but something about it caused an abnormal reaction to what has otherwise been proven an effective method of treating an ear infection if used properly. I would advise that you look further into this, as this could be an underlying symptom of something else.

Posted by Ani (Ontario, Canada) on 11/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I never tried garlic juice and it does sound like it would be painful but I've always used garlic successfully to cure an ear infection. Just score a garlic clove, wrap in gauze so there is no too direct contact and place in ear, preferably over night. Usually does the trick.

I've also used olive oil to soothe ear pain. Heat the oil a bit and dip cotton and make into a little ball to pout in the ear. The warmth and something in the oil immediately eases the ear pain and often is enough to cure the problem.

Posted by Sarah (Youngstown, OH) on 09/11/2008
1 out of 5 stars

Fresh Garlic cure for Ear Infection: I put a few drops of fresh garlic juice in my infected ear, hoping the burning would stop the itching. I felt nothing and it did nothing. Disappointed.

Posted by Ouchy McNumbface (Suffolk, England) on 06/02/2008
1 out of 5 stars


DO NOT .. i repeat DO NOT, EVER put raw, undiluted garlic juice into your ear. I've had an ear infection for most of today, experiencing the normal agony [i've had maybe thirty of these damn infections over the years] and decided that i'd give the garlic juice a try. So i finely chopped seven cloves of garlic, stuck them into a large, plastic syringe [no needle!], put the end of the syringe into my ear and pushed the plunger. I hesitate to call it a plunger, I feel somewhat more inclined to call it a "detonator"; for at that moment the pain in my ear can only be described as... indescribable. I've had broken bones which hurt less than this. I've passed kidney stones which were positively comfortable compared with the insane, unimagineable combination of white-hot blowtorch to the entire right hand side of my face, and dynamite-coated road-drill intent on making a rather large impression/hole on my ear drum. I ran around the room desperately seeking some kind of cure for my newly acquired, self-inflicted facedeath, and in an insane panic managed to: 1: take four pain killers. 2: squirt cold water into my earhole and 3: place a nicotine patch over my ear. I'm not entirely sure what inspired the third choice, but in my insane stupor i think my brain somehow associated nicotine patches with stress/pain relief, so in a cloudy haze of bewildering desperation and nonsensical panic, i slapped 21mg of nicotinell over my earhole.

In a nutshell, it hurts. Don't do it. If you do do it, film it, put it on youtube.

Replied by M
San Diego, Ca

Dear Ouchy Mcnumbface, hahahaha thanks for the story and advice! I will definitely not try the garlic clove remedy but oh my gosh I laughed so hard at your story tears are flowing. I'm sorry you were in pain but you really know how to make a person laugh. Thanks I needed that! I hope your ear got better.

Replied by Toya
Ny, Ny

OhMY GOODNESS< McNumbface@

I TRIED not to laugh, but once you called the syringe a detonator, I couldn't contain myself any longer. You definitely convinced me to never put garlic juice in the ear. Oh my how funny. I'm sorry for your pain and I hope you are better now.

Replied by Sara
The Beach, Canada

to Ouchy McNumbface, and your experience with raw garlic juice for ear pain. i hope you feel better, but if laughter is the best medicine you just single handedly cured everyone on this site. i havnt laughed that hard for a long time.

Replied by Rob
Manhattan, New York

thanks Ouchy for the warning! sorry to have a good laugh at your expense...sort of like laughing at a funeral. I hope that all is healed.

Replied by Leah
Friendswood, Tx

ROFL! Laughing as I'm typing, I can only imagine, I have also had instances like you where you just dont know what to do and do whatever to make it right again. Yeah, raw garlic is some strong stuff, never use just the raw juice, if you do, put some warmed coconut oil in it, like a drop, 2 at the most, Im still splitting my side, thanks for the laugh, sorry it had to be at your expense, I can honestly say, I know how you feel.

Replied by Tracy
Arlington, Texas, Usa

OMGOSH!!! Ouchy McNumbface! I hope your ear is better. I'm sitting here desperate to find some relief for my chronic ear ache till I can make it to the doctor appointment in the morning. I was almost in tears as I searched for some profound new way to ease the pain, and now I am laughing so hard, I think my ear may hurt worse once I stop, but that was hilarious! Have you considered stand up comedy? If you can articulate yourself on stage as well as you can write, I will be looking for you in the movies!!! Thanks for the crazy visuals! And again, hope you are feeling better!

EC: One of our favorite posts on the site!

Replied by Candi
Spring Hill, Florida

I do not understand why you all are making your own garlic juice or oil. Go to the health food store and BUY a bottle of garlic oil made specifically for ear infections. Then you won't be putting pieces of garlic in your ears. I mean seriously Ouchie, do you not think that small pieces of the garlic went through that syringe tip and into your ear? Talk about OUCHIE! No wonder it hurt so badly. BUY GARLIC OIL AT A HEALTH FOOD STORE AND STOP MAKING YOUR OWN, PEOPLE. It is CHEAP. Won't break the bank OR make you go deaf.

Replied by Johnny
Portland, Or

LOL!!! Thanks for the good laugh :D I think you cured me. The juice of 7 cloves of garlic! Why such extremes? I can't imagine the pain that much alicin caused. Hope you got better quick. Alicin is very powerful indeed and obviously a strong irritant. As such, only a small amount is needed, 1 clove peeled only at the tip and carefully scored there is enough (as instructions given above). You CAREFULLY insert clove (big enough to fit but not enter fully) into the ear for a few hours (max 3) and it will kill anything with little pain (think fumigating more than pouring liquid alicin onto your ear drum). Fresh garlic is also important, as the alicin vapors quickly dissipate after a few hours of contact with air. Hope this helps you! It helped me a great deal.

Replied by Jc
Fullerton, Ca

Ouchy McNumbface; sorry for your experience with garlic juice. But totally agree this was hilarious and should consider stand up comedy! You've made my day... now I have to explain to my co-workers why I was laughing so hard ;D I hope you are better.

Replied by Ashley
Celle, Germany
5 out of 5 stars

I have never read a recommendation to put garlic juice into your ear. Onion juice is usually recommended, or a chunk of garlic wrapped in tissue.

Garlic is highly potent and should be used accordingly. I currently have a chunk of raw garlic in each ear wrapped in toilet paper to help clear up ear pain from a cold/flu that's been coming on slowly. I also just ate two cloves of raw garlic, crushed and doused in olive oil to protect the stomach.

I put the crushed and oiled garlic onto a spoon and take about half to all of it at once, depending on how big the clove(s) is/are, then I swallow the crushed clove with a swig of water like a pill. This helps me to best avoid the strong taste of garlic.

Replied by Kristen
Santa Cruz, Ca

Ouchy mcnumb face thank you for such an hysterical account of your ear pain! Just reading your entry made my husband and I laugh so hard that I think his ear is already feeling better. You should definitely consider creating a blog as you are a great writer! Here's to no more garlic encounters in your future! Thanks again;)

Replied by Helen
Kaiserslautern, Germany

4 YEARS LATER AND THIS IS STILL FLIPPIN HILARIOUS!!! Thanks for the visual ouchy, I feel better already :)

Replied by Cherokeenanny
Felicity, Oh
5 out of 5 stars

Seven cloves of garlic, really?? kinda make one hard pressed for giving sympathy.. WAY excess.. Done this many times and it works..... every time.

Replied by Savannah
Florida, US

Wish I was there... very descriptive though...but 7cloves...you're asking for trouble... I bet you have more respect for garlic now... I had a fit of giggles...made my day.. btw... sorry you had to go through that.. but thanks for posting.. cheers..