Natural Remedies

Effective Natural Earache Remedies for Pain Relief

| Modified on Jul 16, 2024
Mullein Tincture
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 11/26/2023

I've been having a nagging ear-ache for a few days now. My GF used my “Otoscope” to look into my ear but saw nothing… normal.

I had to go to a family function and my ear was killing me but did not want to put oily balms or garlic smelling oils in my ear being around family members asking…. “what's that smell…?”

So, after showering, I walked to my herbal preparation area in my kitchen thinking… OK what can I use that won't smell? I grabbed my mullein tincture, tilted my head and applied 25 drops into the canal and plugged it with a cottonball.

I then proceeded to finish getting dressed. 5 minutes later, I noticed the pain was gone so I just left the cottonball in my ear. Got into my car and drove to my family gathering. 1 hour later pain still gone.

Now, why did I choose Mullein Tincture?

Mainly because I did not have any mullein flower oil and it takes 2 weeks to make it. So on to plan B.

It is believed that Europeans discovered the medicinal potential of common mullein in the island of Thapsos, in Greece, hence its botanical name, Verbascum thapsus. Ancient physicians, such as Galen, Hippocrates, Plinius, and Dioscorides wrote about the herbs's various medicinal uses.

The entire plant is active herbally. So pervasive was the use of Mullein in early America, one of the Missouri pioneers named Helderman, was heard to offer this valuable advice to his young grandson: "Young sprout, you see that plant (Mullein) over there? That'll heal about anything."

Mullein leaves and flowers are classified in traditional herbal literature as expectorants (promotes the discharge of mucus) and demulcents (soothes irritated mucous membranes). Historically, mullein has been used by herbalists as a remedy for the respiratory tract, particularly in cases of irritating coughs with bronchial congestion. Some herbal texts extend the therapeutic use to pneumonia and asthma. Due to its mucilage content, mullein has also been used topically by herbalists as a soothing emollient for inflammatory skin conditions. Today, people have discovered it works very well for COVID lungs.

So, if you are suffering from an ear-ache and you have mullein tincture, stick it in your ear!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Kevin (Canada) on 01/28/2023

I call BS on this post. Looks like robo-posting is all over the internet trying to dis-credit natural remedies.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 12/06/2022

Hi Rob,

I have done this for years (I am sure I first saw it here at Earth Clinic! ) and my kids love this. My adult daughter asked me to do this for her when she was stopped by the other day; she's been under the weather.

It disinfects and dissolves/softens ear wax!

~Mama to Many~

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 12/06/2022

This is from my Aunt who is 86 years old. She says to put 3 - 5 drops of 3% H2O2 brown bottle into the ear canal followed by a cottonball placed over the opening. Then go lay down for a while. Let the peroxide bubble and disinfection the ear canal. This worked for her 5 kids from the 1960's and up.

Eustachian Tube Stretching
Posted by Ella (London) on 11/13/2022

Eustachian Tube Exercises

I suspect I've developed a dust mite allergy. Symptoms include sinus pressure; bad breath; headaches; itchy nose and itchy eyes that are puffy and blue in the inner corners; a sore throat and a hoarse, croaky voice; sunken upper eyelids (superior sulcus) and a feeling of being unwell.

Within the last few days, however, I've been visited by an unpredictable earache that was shocking in its intensity - so in a panic, I went to Earth clinic, which is usually my first port of call.

I tried some of the garlic remedies, and whilst I believe they are effective, they didn't work for me, unfortunately. Since earaches are often caused by infections, which are in turn caused by physical blockages, I wondered if physical stretching exercise might help. I looked for videos online and found the video linked below.

After following the instructions in the video and learning the different stretching and loosening-up techniques, I felt a shift. To my relief, my earache has gone.

I recommend exercises for stretching and loosening the eustachian tubes. They might help someone.

'Eustachian Tube Dysfunction ETD Exercises and Massage Techniques for Ear Fullness' -


Vapor Rub
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 06/10/2022

It is a common misconception that Vicks VapoRub (or its generic, which I use) is just for colds and coughs. In fact, Vicks as a topical application can be used as an effective remedy against various ailments like pain, sore throat, and for earache.

Its main ingredients menthol, camphor, thymol, turpentine and eucalyptus oil can relieve congestion in the body. It also acts as an effective topical analgesic that relieves pain.

How I use it for Earaches – In most cases, Vicks for earache relieves pain. All you need to do is rub a generous amount on a cotton ball and put it into either one or both ears overnight for relief from pain and discomfort. Also, rub it around the outside of the ear too.

If I want to put it on without wearing a cottonball in my ear during the day. I use one of those fuzzy Q-tips sold at Dollartree called a “Safty Swab”, roll it around in the Vapor Rub, wipe off any excess and swab it around inside my ear canal. Oh, it feels sooo good!

Posted by Kenneth (Florida) on 05/23/2022


1) Take a clove of garlic, lay a large knife flat on top of it and push down hard with the palm of your hand on top of the knife. 2) Slide the solid part of the garlic to the side. 3) Put 10 drops of vegetable, olive or coconut oil (the one that smells like coconut) on top of garlic oil left on the counter and mop up all the oils you can with a cotton ball. 4) The cotton ball should have enough combined oils to squeeze out 4 drops in the infected ear, with the head turned sideways. Then gently push the cotton ball in the ear canal.

Notes -

A) Most ear infections start with moisture behind the ear's protective wax.

B) The oil melts the wax and the garlic oil attacks the infection.

C) The cotton ball soaked with oil blocks the oxygen from getting to the infection.

D) The pain should be immediately greatly reduced and the next day the cotton ball can be removed and the infection is usually gone (If not repeat again).

E) make the cotton ball big enough so that not all of it will fit inside the ear canal for easy removal.

F) Early detection is best, so a slight tug on the ear lobe will tell you right away if you or your child needs this treatment.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 05/22/2022

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!

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 04/28/2022

Day 3 of a bad earache coming on. Tried H2O2 and Garlic oil the first 2 days, but neither worked. So I did something crazy. I soaked a cottonball in Green Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash from Dollartree (Blue Mint also works) and plugged it in the bad ear. In about 30 minutes the pain was gone. For a quick fix until morning this is amazing.

Todays mouthwash was originally invented in 1879Listerine” – for sterilizing surgical wounds. Sometime in the 1970's it was marketed as a mouthwash.

Ingredients contain essential oils (e.g., eucalyptol “eucalyptus”, menthol “peppermint”, thymol “thyme”, and methyl salicylate “wintergreen” and 12% alcohol). All of which are used to fight infections.

Rubbing Alcohol and White Vinegar
Posted by Madelyn (Idaho ) on 04/28/2022

I would definitely use the ethyl alcohol, which is non toxic according to Dr Hulda Clark. Isopropyl alcohol, according to Dr Clark's research, is very toxic and can lead to cancer.

Rubbing Alcohol and White Vinegar
Posted by Toni (Manila) on 04/26/2022

I have 95% ethyl alcohol and 99% isopropyl alcohol AR. Which one should I use?

White Vinegar
Posted by Trista (Sydney, Australia ) on 03/15/2022

A couple of weeks ago my daughter started holding her ear saying it hurt.

Never had this happened before.

So I took out the otoscope to have a look and sure enough she had some bubble like appearance behind the eardrum membrane.

I came to this site and decided to try white vinegar and water 1:1 dilution.

Using the syringe you get with kids panadol, I put a couple of drops in the ear and counted to 5 then drained. Did this to both my ears 1st, an hour or so prior to make sure it didn't hurt... I did find the temperature to be too cold so I used boiled water for the dilution for my daughter's ear... made sure it was lukewarm before using it.

She didn't complain of a sore ear after that. I asked if it felt better and she said yes.

Checked her ear the next day and she had less bubbles. Used the solution again that day and the next day the bubbles were gone. I did it sporadically every couple of days after to be safe.

We bought an otoscope to keep an eye on her ears as she had blockages when she was a toddler.

It does come in handy.

Posted by Pad (Possum Trot) on 01/09/2022

You are not supposed to place pure undiluted garlic juice in your ear. It is supposed to be diluted with olive oil. Don't blame your experience on not reading the directions correctly.

Sea Salt Sock for Earache
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 12/23/2021

Salt Sock for Earache

My GF has been suffering from ear issues for a few days now so I suggested she put 1 cup fine sea salt in a thin cotton sock and place it over her ear for a few hours. She place the salt sock over her ear for 5 hours. When she woke up this morning she said the throbbing pain in her ear was gone.

Why this works? I am assuming it's because salt acts like a desiccant and dries out the ear. During an ear infection, congestion in the ear creates more problems and a breeding ground for micro-organism's causing the ear infection. Salt is also antimicrobial.

How to make it:

* 100% thin white cotton footie sock

* cloth string or thick rubber-band to secure the end of the sock so the salt does not fall out

* 1 cup fine sea salt


Pour the sea salt into the sock and tie a knot at the end. Heat in a clean, dry
 skillet, over medium-low heat for about 4-6 minutes. To heat the sock evenly, shake it around, and flip every 30-60 seconds. Heat until very warm, but not 
burning to the touch—you don't want to burn your patient! Test on your hand before applying to the ear. Place the warm salt sock over the ear, and the area behind your jaw bone and relax.

*Important: Only use a white sock as dyed threads may melt when heated. Do not substitute regular table salt for the sea salt. Never microwave the salt sock.

Note: If you don't have a 100% white cotton sock like I do, I just us one of my GF black footies socks which is a synthetic blend. Fill it with sea salt. Secure the end with a rubber band. Place it over my ear and then place a hot water bottle over that for the heat. It works fine.

Distilled Vinegar and Water
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 12/15/2021

When I was a young teen (10 years old) back in the 70's my parents had me on the swim team during the summer months and I remember getting a bad ear infection and ear pain. Mom took me to the Doctor and he prescribed and antibiotic ear drop. When we got to the locally owner pharmacy ran by Mr. Hines, he told mom the ear drops the Doctor prescribed were $50. He told mom to mix together white distilled vinegar and tap water 1:1 ratio into a small squeeze bottle would do the same thing as the expensive ear drops so mom did. He said to tilt my head and fill the ear canal up with this mixture and plug the ear canal with a cottonball. Do this several times a day til the ear infection cleared up and it did.

Posted by Pam E. (Southern California) on 11/29/2021 140 posts

From what I've read, straight garlic is not recommended. Allowing crushed or sliced Garlic to infuse some oil, such as Coconut or Olive, then using just a few drops of that oil is recommended. Some people have a very strong negative reaction to straight garlic, actually getting burned by it! Some.

Baking Soda
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 08/27/2021

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.

Wintergreen Essential Oil
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 03/21/2021

Wintergreen oil is known to address ear infections/pain. It contains aspirin-like compound methyl salicylate which may help reduce pain and swelling. Wintergreen essential oil is also toxic for bacteria and microbes. It is known to penetrate the skin easily and so can be effectively used to treat infection in the ear topically. As well as being an excellent natural pain reliever Wintergreen has various other benefits too, it acts as a stimulant in terms of healing bones, and is a diuretic that helps in detoxification the area.

How I Use It:

  • Massage around the affected ear using 2 drops of wintergreen oil. Repeat 2-3 times a day. Or, you can add it to a carrier oil like jojoba 1:1 ratio. It is easily absorbed. These are adult formulas.

Warning: It is said that wintergreen is not to be used on kids under 12 years old. There are other oils that are safe for them like lavender, peppermint, and rosemary. Do a patch test before using. Avoid direct contact with the eye and open wounds.

Tiger Balm
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 02/08/2021

Tiger Balm “Red”

I have chronic earaches.

I have learned that putting Tiger Balm on the outside of the ear canal with a Q-tip and on my neck just below the ear eases the pain and I don't need to take as much pain medication as I have in the past. I also put a warm, moist compress on the offending ear and go right back to sleep

Aloe Vera
Posted by Cindy (Illinois, USA) on 12/01/2020 488 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.

Black Pepper
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 11/30/2020

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.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Jane S. (USA) on 11/30/2020

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.

Cigarette Smoke
Posted by Marsh57 (Co) on 06/09/2020

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

Castor Oil
Posted by Charity (Faithville, Us) on 06/18/2018

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.