7 Natural Remedies for Earaches

| Modified: Jun 19, 2018
Ear Pain Natural Remedies

An earache can come on suddenly with little warning. The pain is often intense. There are many effective natural remedies for earaches and ear pain, including hydrogen peroxide, garlic and apple cider vinegar.

Earaches can be caused by an ear infection. Earaches may also be caused by other infections including sinus infections and throat infections. TMJ problems or dental issues can cause pain that mimics ear pain.

While finding the cause is important to relieve ear pain, relieving intense pain as soon as possible may be necessary before attention can be given to underlying causes.

Before trying any of the below remedies, consider what may be the underlying cause of the ear infection so treatment for the underlying cause can be started as soon as possible.

Possible Underlying Causes of Earaches:

When using natural earaache remedies, do consider the following:

If you have a history of pain when putting anything into the ear, consider external treatments only.

If a ruptured eardrum is a possibility, do not put anything into the ear.

If ear pain is severe, accompanied by fever or unusual symptoms, get advice from a trusted health professional.

1. Warm Rice Sock

A warm rice sock is an excellent first choice to relieve ear pain. Fill a clean tube sock half way full of rice. Tie off the sock. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of water. Microwave for about a minute. Test the sock on the wrist to make sure it isn't too hot for the ear. Hold the rice sock over the ear for at least 30 minutes. A dose of an over the counter pain reliever can provide a few hours of relief while a more permanent solution is procured.

2. Olive Oil

Also known as sweet oil, olive oil is a tried and true folk remedy for an earache. Apply several drops of olive oil to a piece of a cotton ball. Place at the opening of the ear. Change the cotton ball every 12 hours.

3. Garlic

Take a tooth of garlic and carefully peel it, without knicking it. Wrap the piece of garlic in a small piece of tissue. Place in the opening of the ear. Make sure the piece of garlic is bigger than the ear opening. Alternately, apply garlic oil below and behind the ear.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

3% hydrogen peroxide, the type in the brown bottle from the grocery store is commonly used in the ear to dissolve earwax and fight infection. Add a capful of hydrogen peroxide to the affected ear. Allow it to bubble for 15 minutes. Use a cotton ball or tissue to catch any excess liquid. If the liquid is yellowish, it is likely dissolved ear wax.

5. Mullein

Mullein leaf is a gentle herb that helps to relieve congestion and help fluids to expel from the lungs, sinuses and ears. Mullein tea is pleasant and can be consumed liberally. Mullein oil can be used in or around the ear to help relieve congestion.

6. Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is often used in the ears to fight infection. Several drops are used in the ear several times a day until relief is found.

7. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil fights viruses, bacteria and fungal infections. It is soothing and can soften ear wax. Use raw coconut oil - the kind that smells like coconuts. Massage a pea sized amount around the ear or drop a few drops of oil into the affected ear.

Do you have a natural remedy for an earache? Please send us some feedback! Continue on to learn the top remedies for earaches from our readers!


About the Author: Deirdre Layne

Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created EarthClinic.com in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.


Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Dee (San Diego, Ca) on 07/02/2011
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ACV also works great when getting an earache. My ENT told me to put some in the ear at the first sign of trouble, leaving it there for a minute then letting the ACV run out the ear... Repeat one more time 12 hrs. Later. This has worked for us!


Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt  

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Posted by Dolphina (Christiansburg, Va. ) on 01/15/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I am replying to the submission on apple cider vinegar for the cure of plugged up ears.

I have had reoccuring bouts with this problem due to sinus infections and some strange buildup of wax clogging the eardrum leaving me nearly 50% loss of hearing when I have these occurences.

Usually, squirting the ear drum out with a syringe and hydrogen peroxide, followed after 15 minutes of letting the solution bubble in the inner ear, washing out with warm tepid water will do the trick. However, this time, in the past four days, the problem seemed more severe. I have seen a doctor regarding this in the past, and the diagnosis is due to sinus infection complications with a chronic buildup of weird wax. His best solution was just what I described, yet he and his assistant actually could guide the problem along. If there is obvious infection, they generally prescribe an antibiotic and Zyrtec D. That is the best way to resolve the problem, if nothing else works, but now with the clinics charging close to $90 just for an office visit and without having insurance, this seems prohibitive.......I have always tried the natural remedies first and foremost.

So, here is my suggestion. Do try over the counter ear drops first , 2 times a day with 5 drops in each ear. After about 8 hours, make a tepid solution of warm water(1 cup) and Natural sea salt(1 tsp) to rinse out the ear...test the solution on your wrist first as you would do for a baby....your eardrums are very sensitive and delicate....never put hot water, hot oils into the ear canal...only warm or tepid. Or you can use the hydrogen peroxide method or Organic apple cider vinegar(make sure it is free of pulp)followed by the sea salt solution. You will need to tilt your head to "bubble" the freeing agent. Then, you will hold your head over the sink so that the ear can drain and all debris fall into the sink when you do the syringe forcing of the saltwater solution. Now, here's the gross part, the "Shrek" wax will come out and it is gross, you will feel a little light headed and sort of faint......so keep doing this until you feel that the ears have "popped" and all debris is out. Then clean the outer ear gently with tissue and hold a towel next to the ear to keep it warm. I also just wear ear muffs/knit cap for about one hour after if the climate is cold, this is better so that you do not catch another cold or infection does not set in. I have also been taking a natural antibiotic(Grapefruit Seed Extract-for price of $7.99) from the start of this last episode. It generally takes a couple of days and of course a regiment this way, but so far I have been successful. Just make sure that you are gentle with your inner ears......don't want to hurt the ear drum or Eustachian tubes. Apple Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt combined cures so many things including gout........This is an age old rememdy and we need to pay attention to all that is out there.........that is what it is all about, don't support a failed Medical Society/Health Care System that does not support the general public with their needs for a reasonable and ethical cost!


Posted by Vera (Houton, TX) on 07/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Earache - For the first time ever, I have experienced a double ear infection which has lasted for four days. I suspect what brought it on was a combination of a new unknown allergy (allergies are a first for me) combined with the irritant effects of smoking. I have tried most of this except for inserting the whole garlic clove in the ear or using any of the sweet oil remedies. I tried using capfuls of peroxide and colloidal silver..which has antibiotic properties.. in the ear but these have temporary and only minor effects. I also tried liquid garlic from the health food store, which appeared to do nothing.. the pain only worsened. The homeopathic ear drops from the drugstore for earaches didn't relieve the ear pain as advertised. There was no improvement from Oreganol (Extract of Oregano) or tea tree oil. The only option that finally appeared to be working for me as far as clearing up some of the infection was rinsing the ear with a capful of apple cider vinegar. The remedies I found effective for relieving pain were dampened washcloths warmed up in the microwave which work for the short term as heating pads, but the the salt remedy worked best for the pain. Sea salt warmed up in a cloth tea bag in the microwave is the only thing I used that could take away the fiercest ear pain instantly, and I probably had some of the worst. The process of rinsing with cidar vinegar for the infection along with warm washcloths and applying warm salt for the pain because the ear pain may have to be repeated after intervals because the pain will keep coming back if any part of the infection is still there. The infection is reduced but is not gone yet. I am still testing the vinegar and I will also test the garlic clove in a cloth bag remedy (not crushed garlic I've heard enough about how painful that can be :)), just to compare its effects with warm salt which in my experience has been the most effective for pain.

Replied by Dandy5
London, Canada
05/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

As I write this, I am suffering with the flu, and on top of that managed to plug my ears with wax. Having administered several drops of olive oil over the course of last night and today, and then syringing, I was getting nowhere, and feeling very depressed. I have a dr's appointment tomorrow, but couldn't stand the pain, so I went on the internet researched ideas, decided to try the sea salt and water, as I had softened the ear wax already with the olive oil. Tried a couple of times nothing, was about to give up, and voila, out came the wax, and a huge relief of pressure. Thanks for the info.

Replied by Jennifer
Australia
03/24/2016

I would always start with ACV for anything and be patient Thank God for Earth Clinic because these remedies would be lost to so many of us who run to doctors who always prescribe drugs.


Boric Acid and Vinegar  

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Posted by Sophia (Indiana) on 05/13/2017
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Boric acid really helped me with my earache! I heated up 4 oz distilled water (boil tap water to sterilize if you don't have distilled), and added 1 TBSP of Boric acid as well as 1 TBSP of vinegar (I used organic ACV but white vinegar would work too). I mixed until the boric acid crystals dissolved and let it cool. Then, using a clean eyedropper, I put 2-3 drops in the affected ear, 2 times daily. Laid my head down on its side and let it sit in there for 10-15 minutes before putting in a cotton ball and sitting back to give it time to work. The first dose took away the worst of the pain. Today I woke up with no ear pain, at all! But I'm going to keep using until the pressure goes away.

I also made a solution for my eyes, since they always ache when I get a sinus/ear infection. The recipe for that is 1/8 tsp to 8 oz distilled or sterilized water. I only keep these solutions for a day or two and then throw them out. Best to make a fresh batch when you need them!


Castor Oil  

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Posted by Charity (Faithville, Us) on 06/18/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I had a bad earache tonight that been coming on for a few days. I prayed and saw myself using a q -tip with castor oil on it ....rubbed it in there and pain started to subside. I love castor oil for many things, especially pain. It's also called the palm of Christ. Not sure if it is supposed to be used in the ear but I know it can be used in the eyes.


Cayenne Pepper  

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Posted by Justis (St. Louis, MO) on 02/03/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I had such severe sinus pressure i thought my ears were going to explode and I couldn't hear at all...I made a cayenne tea and shot it up into my nose and my sinuses repeatedly. Talk about pain...sinuses drained by the time i went to bed couple hours later and pressure all gone next day.


Posted by Jack (Toledo, Ohio) on 05/06/2006
5 out of 5 stars

If you suffer from sinus headaches, this will give relief in 30 secs to 5 minutes depending on how long you've had it. it will also stop an asthma attack; take 2, 8oz glasses, fill one with cool to cold water the other with no more warm to hot water you can swallow in one gulp. in the hot water, put 1/8 to 1/4 level teaspoon of "cayenne powdered red pepper", mix very well, then pick up both glasses, down the hot water and red pepper in one gulp "quickly". as soon as you've done that, put the cold water into your mouth and rinse vigorously and swallow, repeat the rinse with cold water until your mouth is warm to hot, quit rinsing, fill your lungs with all the air they can hold, and hold your breath for as long as you can, then let the air "slowly out your "nose" repeat the breathing exercize 4 to 5 times, by the fifth time your pain will be gone!! if your eustacian tubes are plugged up they will open in a few minutes, and you'll feel your sinuses draining down yr throat, you'll need to blow yr nose because this will drain your sinuses. this will also give up to 32 hours of asthma relief as well as cleans your blood of impurities while you sleep.

Replied by Robin
Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania
11/17/2007
5 out of 5 stars

well, i tried the above cayanne pepper remedy, and aside from leaving my throat feel like i just threw up, my ears feel a bit better! i go to boarding school, and the weekend before exams i ended up with an ear infection--so i went to the nurses, and they put me on a "Z Pack," a form of antibiotics. well THOSE didn't work, and now I can barely hear and am developing a sinus infection--way to go modern medicine! not. anyway, I had an herb garden this summer and produced a healthy amount of holy basil, yarrow, chamomile, lemon balm and feverfew. I took a small shot of yarrow tincture, and just to add to the effect, I did the cayanne pepper thing. we'll see how I feel tomorrow morning, but I definitely think it helped. Again, the only downside is that it leaves you feeling like you puked...my guess is, it's all that capsacin! thanks for the remedy!

Replied by Missy
Sherwood, Arkansas
09/07/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I've had an ear infection for almost four weeks...and I've been to the doctor three times. I have had trouble keeping the auditory tubes open. I tried the cayenne pepper treatment listed on this site. I don't know how long it will keep the auditory tubes open, but it'll definitely drain the sinuses!

Replied by Paul
Bloomington, In
02/22/2010
4 out of 5 stars

Had an ear infection due to clogged up sinus'. I got the ear infection to go away but not the mucus. I tried this cayenne cure and it somewhat worked. It did relieve a bit of the pressure and after a long nap did seem better but not completely gone.

Word to the wise, make sure you have some padding in your stomach like crackers, chips, bread as this cure burns both mouth and stomach. I had a hard time swishing the water as I was too concerned about the burning in my mouth. I did not follow this cure to the T so it might work better next time with practice.

Replied by Sara
West Allis, Wi
02/08/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I tried this a year or two back when I had an inner ear infection with fluid in my ear due to a sinus infection. The doctor put me on antibiotics to clear up the infections, but I also did this cayenne pepper remedy. I felt it working on the first try, but I noticed more relief as I did it a couple more times. I would say after the 2nd or 3rd treatment, the fluid was almost completely gone and I could hear normally again. I have since bought stronger cayenne (the other stuff was old). It may not take as many treatments if you have some good quality cayenne.

Replied by Bess
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
02/16/2011

Thanks "S" for the link to the cayenne pepper Web site. I didn't realize it was good for so many things. I'm going to try taking 1/4 teaspoon in warm water (with a straw) to see if it will lower my blood pressure. Thanks again!

Replied by Stan
Las Vegas,nv, Usa
02/26/2011

I just did that pepper thing. The guy who said it makes you feel like you just puked was right. But, most of the pain is gone with my sinuses drained. I'll do it a couple of more times later and see what happens. I will update.


Cigarette or Newspaper  

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Posted by Leah (Friendswood, Tx) on 08/31/2009
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Hi, well I dont know about cigarettes blown in the ear, but I do know for a FACT, that if you roll up a newspaper and place it in your ear like a torch, all the smoke that goes into your ear will place pressure and pop whatever it is in there. Its usually good for air in the ears or ear infection to relieve the pressure. I wouldnt call it a cure, but it does help alot, my mother did this to me when I was like 3 on up and its not painful, just dont make the point on the end that goes in your ear to pointy.


Posted by Rudy (Hollister, Ca) on 04/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Remedy - Ear Ache: One time my sister in law had this bad ear ache I told her I could cure her with a cigarette,Of couse she thought I was making this up so she said no thanks. After crying for an hour she said yes I will try it. So I took 1/2 a cigarette with the filter on it, lit the other side and placed it in her ear while she laid down,she said she heard popping and air gush out of her ear. After 1 min I removed it and she was just astonished that her ear felt better. She is a beleiver now


Cigarette Smoke  

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Posted by Charlee (Baltimore, Md) on 08/20/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My husband told me to light a cigarette and put it in my ear because I had really bad pressure in it. I looked at him like he was crazy but I also looked up the ear candle that day and I said I'm NOT doing that so I lit a cigarette and put it in my ear and I couldn't believe, it was still smoking itself ( being fire safe)!!! Anyways I could actually feel the smoke in my ear and it popped and I did it again a few hours later and I have no pain! It does work!


Posted by Cnitzken (Louisville, Ky) on 05/02/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Cig smoke in ear works. I have been dying in pain for 6 days with antibiotic drops with steroids. Went to class I teach and students told me of this. I let them do it - I am a smoker - and ALAS. Pain gone. Thank God


Posted by Jordan (Newfane, New York) on 02/04/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My mother always blew cigarette smoke in my ear to ease my earaches. I absolutely loved it. It made the pain and discomfort go away immediately.


Posted by Jessica (Dallas, Tx) on 12/02/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Just tried cigarette smoke for an earache and can't believe it worked! Had sinus issues the last few days.. Everything else had mostly cleared up but I was left with horrible pressure and popping in my ears (I think due to some post nasal drip). I lit half a cigarette, placed in ear, let it sit there for about a min while I hunched over to keep it in place. The popping stopped!


Posted by Supportnatural (Calgary, Ab, Canada) on 08/02/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Hi I saw this work at the emergency. A woman in great pain due due to an ear infection was shaking and crying. A Persian woman offered to blow cigarette smoke into her ear. The woman in pain refused at first but eventually accepted. They stepped out of the hospital. Five minutes later the woman in pain looked calm and no longer in pain. Cigarette smoke doesn't cure but relieves pain.


Posted by Siamesecat (Fort Dodge, Iowa) on 02/13/2011
5 out of 5 stars

It always bothered me that this remedy worked when I was a child, crying at night... Just in horrible pain with an ear ache. After several hours, my mother told me that cigarette smoke would alleviate the pain. I first said no, but after another hour of severe pain, I said yes to her method of treatment. She blew cigarette smoke into my ear and the pain went away! Almost immediately... And never came back! Never has! It seemed gross to me then and now.... Like 50 years later... But, it worked! I just wanted to see if anyone else ever experienced this. Sounds like they have.

I am a sociologist now, but I still recall my mother's form of treatment for that intense earache and how miraculously and quickly it worked! So, I guess we can deduct that there is some chemical in cigarette smoke that cures ear aches. And greatly and swiftly... And permanently!



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