Natural Remedies

7 Natural Remedies for Earaches

| Modified on Jan 29, 2023
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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!

Aloe Vera

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 05/22/2022
5 out of 5 stars

My girlfriend had an earache from breathing all the pollen in the air this spring. She describes it as a constant throbbing pain deep inside her ear. Just by chance I have been reading a book called “Curandero Hispanic Ethno-Psychotherapy & Curanderismo: Treating Hispanic … By Antonio Noé Zavaleta Ph.D” translation: Treating Hispanic Mental Health.

In the back of the book, Dr. Antonio talks about Mexican home remedies used for various health problems. One was using aloe vera leaf for earache. They heat the gel from the leaf and place it gently on the outer ear for an hour or so. This remedy usually solves the problem in cases where the infection is not the cause of the problem. Aloe vera helps to correct abnormalities in the ear. The same properties that help it reduce swelling, inflammation and pain when you have a skin burn are also effective when used in the ear. When applied, it can help to restore pH balance and deflate swelling tissue, reducing itchiness and pain.

The best part is that it's all natural and safe for any age. So, using my GF as a guinea pig... here is how I extract aloe for her ear-ache.

Cut enough peeled aloe leaf to place into a garlic press. About ½ by ½ gel cube will do. Gentle squeeze the press so the gel is forced through the little holes on the press to release the liquid inside the gel cell membranes. Next, use a medicine eye dropper to drop 3 - 5 drops into the children's ear or 15 – 20 for adult.

More if you desire, it does not hurt. This is most easily done when your lying on your side or head tilted to the side. After applying, put a cotton ball in the ear for a few minutes or hour to keep the aloe from draining out. Keep in mind that putting cold liquids into the ear is quite uncomfortable and could lead to dizziness. If you keep your aloe vera leaf in the refrigerator, you may want to heat it slightly in the microwave before use. The aloe should be room temperature, not hot.

Aloe vera left at room temperature can be applied comfortably. Results: She woke up with no pain. Yah! All hail the Sabila Catus!

Aloe Vera
Posted by Jane S. (USA) on 11/30/2020
5 out of 5 stars

EAR ECZEMA - (ailment): working for me right now: ALOE VERA

I get the 99% stuff & put it on a q-tip and it's pretty miraculous.

I'd been suffering for months with it, ever since I used coconut oil in my ears for itchy ears with a qtip, becauseI had an earache.

BTW, NEVER put coconut oil IN YOUR EARS bc the way that CO is can cause problems like ear blockage, like in my ears.

OLIVE OIL is fine & will clear up your earache. Never Coconut Oil.

Anyway, back to this, so after going to the dr to clear up the ear blockage, I had ear eczema, and have had it for months. Right now just felt inside my ear, I think I still have ear eczema, will get back to you & hopefully this will completely clear it up in a few days - the aloe vera.

Replied by Cindy
(Illinois, USA)
400 posts

Coconut oil can't block your ears as it liquifies long before it reaches the temperature of the body and I would say the profound effect you experienced was actually evidence of the work it was almost certainly doing. You can't expect to experience no symptoms when an effective remedy is applied. The more effective it is, the more evidence there will be that something is happening.

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Dee (San Diego, Ca) on 07/02/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

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!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt
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)
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

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.

Baking Soda

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 08/27/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Baking Soda is one of the simplest home remedies for ear issues. I have used this with good results.

Sodium bicarbonate ear drops “made at home” can be safely used to soften and dissolve earwax build-up and ear infections. Sodium bicarbonate ear drops also can be used to keep your ear canal dry, which helps prevent outer ear infections. The most common form of sodium bicarbonate for home use is baking soda. A baking soda solution is safe and effective to use as ear drops.

Health Benefits of Sodium Bicarbonate:

With its natural pH neutralizing effects, baking soda serves a variety of purposes. The compound is effective for reducing pain, eliminating infection and treating inflammation.

Putting baking soda on your skin creates an alkaline pH which creates an inhospitable environment for the bacteria as staphylococci prefer a neutral or acidic pH.


One study found that baking soda helped kill Candida cells, which are the fungal cells responsible for yeast infections. Fungal infections of the skin and nails, such as onychomycosis, have been shown to improve when soaked in a solution of baking soda and water.


Baking soda is also an antiseptic that kills the infection-causing microbes. Sodium bicarbonate was assessed against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella choleraesuis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, poliovirus, vancomycin-susceptible and -resistant Enterococcus species, and methicillin-susceptible and -resistant S. aureus. Baking soda <3 logs10 of all test pathogens. Baking soda completely inactivated both antibiotic-resistant and -susceptible bacteria at both exposure times.



Baking soda is also an effective natural remedy for parasitic worms which can infest the digestive tract.

Preparation of Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) Ear Drops

by Dr. Swayam Prabha (India)


*Sodium Bicarbonate 5mg (1 teaspoon)

*Glycerine 30ml (optional)

*Purified water 100ml

Mix Baking Soda in the warm water. Allow the baking soda to completely dissolve. Then add Glycerine and stir til completely uniformed.

Store your drops in a clean glass container. Keep the container at room temperature. Shake the container before using the drops.


Dr. Swayam Prabha states,

Place 2 – 3 drops in the ear. Use only two to three drops at a time. Drops can be used twice a day, if necessary. However, I prefer to use the irrigate method. I place a full eye dropper full into the ear canal so that the solution can make contact with all the tissue in the canal. I plug the canal with a cotton ball. I'll leave this in place for about 1 hour. Use for 1 - 2 weeks when using ear drops to dissolve earwax or infection.

Black Pepper

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 11/30/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Black Pepper for Earaches: I was blown away when it worked! To took about 20 minutes to start working.

I found this recipe from the book: One Thousand and One Useful Recipes, Edited by Ewell's Dairy Milk Bottle Company Published in 1890.

Earache Recipe from 1890:

Take a piece of cotton batten, put in a pinch of fresh ground black pepper, tie it up, dip it in sweet oil, insert in the ear canal. Place a hot water bottle over ear to keep warm.

Note: Cotton batting definition, absorbent cotton pressed into pads or layers for use in dressing wounds, filling quilts, etc.

So here is the 2020 recipe:

Wrap fresh ground black pepper (I use a pepper grinder) in a clean white thin cloth, like a handkerchief or a strong paper towel is what I use, making a little ball, about the size of the tip of your thumb. Use a rubber band or string to tie it. Dip into warm olive oil (also heard hot coffee works too), squeeze excess out, then cool enough not to burn. Insert this into the ear for pain relief. Special thanks to Rev. Alex for his input.

Why fresh ground black pepper? Fresh peppercorn have essential oils inside such as piperine, an amine alkaloid, which gives strong spicy pungent character and medical properties but, it disappears after 3 months after grinding, so the pre-ground stuff setting on the store shelf is all dried out.

Why put it in a cloth? This is to prevent the small particles of pepper from getting into the ear canal that can get lodged in there and cause problems down the road.

Boric Acid and Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sophia (Indiana) on 05/13/2017
5 out of 5 stars

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

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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

6 User Reviews
5 star (5) 
4 star (1) 

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.

Cayenne Pepper
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)

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)

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

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Leah (Friendswood, Tx) on 08/31/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Cigarette or Newspaper
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

10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

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!

Replied by Marsh57

It's the same theory as candle waxing. These days a 1/2 cigarette is probably much cheaper!

Cigarette Smoke
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