7 Natural Remedies for Earaches


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 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< [email protected]

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..

Posted by Brigitte (Houston, Texas) on 01/11/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic works to alleviate ear aches. You simply must be sure to take the garlic clove and expose the tender inner flesh by scoring the outer flesh of the garlic; then wrap the garlic clove in a light cotton gauze to prohibit the ear from making direct contact with the garlic clove and place this into the ear canal. Be sure that the garlic clove is large enough to prevent its becoming lodged in the ear canal. leave it there and you will find that the pain will disipate. I have used this remedy repeatedly with great success. When my oldest daughter was about two years old she found it so soothing that if the garlic fell from her ear she would pick it up and place it back in her ear all by herself. Garlic works to alleviate ear aches

Replied by Bitten
Largo, Florida

I would like to thank all who have added their stories, I have greatly benefitted, and I thnk this is a SUPER site! Thanks again :D

Posted by Vina (Marian, Ohio) on 10/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

your garlic cure is awsome -- i tried your garlic cure for ear infection it work like a charm thank you god bless you.

Replied by Dawn
Springdale, Pa

I'm new on this site...... And I love it. It's so helpful. Thanks!

Posted by Marie (Arlington, WA) on 05/21/2007
1 out of 5 stars

I tried the crushed garlic juice in the ear. I "DO NOT" recommend this. I was in "SEVERE" "PAIN" for about five minutes!!!! It did not cure the ear infection. I only tried it in one ear because I could not purposly take that much pain again!!!!

Replied by Cooky
San Fran, Ca

DO NOT put garlic juice in your ear it will burn your ear... just go to the store and buy some garlic and mullein ear drops for your ear and just follow the directions on label.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa

Hi Cooky, Actually, you don't even need to go buy the drops. You can save yourself money by making your own garlic ear oil. I would do this whenever my kids got an earache through all the years of raising them. It always worked like a charm.

I would take a bit of olive oil and gently heat it and then put a clove of garlic in it and let it steep. After it would cool down, I'd remove the garlic clove, gently warm it and drop it in their ears then put a cotton ball in. Very simple and very effective. Never had to take my kids to the doctor for earaches, that's how effective it was. Hope this helps, Lisa

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Lisa, I did a simpler version and it also always worked, never took them to doctors for earaches: I just put olive oil on a piece of cotton and put it (not deeply) in the ear for at least two days - changing once in about 12 hours. Earache usually gone in 24 hours, but I kept it there a day more, to make sure it was really all gone. I still do that if I feel the slightest tingle in my ear.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa

Hi Mmsg, It's always good to hear your input on things! So, you mean I didn't even need to use the garlic?! I learned this a very long time ago about the garlic oil so I don't know what my source was. I always figured it was the garlic doing the most beneficial part. Since you're in Europe, is this a known tradition? Is this common for people to do as a folk remedy? Because America is such a melting pot, I find this kind of knowledge has been lost for the most part. Many of the things I know are from Europeans who wrote books or articles. I started studying long before I had kids and this knowledge helped sustain me through all my child- rearing years (which I'm still in! LOL) They were such people as Paavo Airola, Viktoras Kulvinskas, Tine Thevenin, articles in Mothering magazine back in the early 80's, etc. As a result, I never had to take my kids to the drs! I try to pass this on to women raising their own kids. Hope you do too! Best to you always, Lisa

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Lisa, I never knew about the garlic, that's why I never used it. I would imagine it is indeed more potent with garlic, but just the oil-in-cotton did work for us. I learnt this from my grandma, who was from Russia.

Posted by Melissa (Machesney Park, IL) on 12/05/2006
1 out of 5 stars

I used fresh garlic dropped in ear as another person had said that she did for her son. to get rid of the pain. I tried this on my boyfriend to try and get rid of his earache and infection. It immediately made his ear burn like it was on fire. Why, I am not sure. All I know is it caused him more pain then before. I DO NOT recommend this to anyone!!!!!! I felt so bad for him.

Replied by Jinc's
Greenville, SC
1 out of 5 stars

Thank you Melissa from Machesney Park, IL . . . I tried the garlic cure after getting an ear infection. I was glad to have read your warning about your boyfriend's ear burning badly. Your description of "like fire," was accurate. I did a little research and below is what Wikipedia had to say about allicin . . .

"Allicin is a powerful antibiotic and anti-fungal compound obtained from garlic.

Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, [squeezed] the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin converting it into allicin. Alliin is an amino acid that does not build proteins.

Allicin is not a very stable compound. It degrades slowly upon standing and is rapidly destroyed by cooking. Allicin can be used for some medicinal purposes - it helps fighting arteriosclerosis, it has the ability to dissolve fats and it can also be used as an antioxidant to some extent.

Allicin is also the chemical constituent primarily responsible for the hot, burning flavor of fresh garlic."

Please note that alicin is described as the agent that causes the hot burning sensation when you eat raw garlic. Probably does the same thing when you put raw fresh garlic in your ear.

I put raw garlic in a thin meshed gauze and after squeezing the juice into my ear. I then pushed the gauze (with garlic still in it) into my ear. I let it stay until I couldn't take the burning anymore.

Although the burning is great, I will try to endure to see if my ear gets better now that I have some idea of why it happens. I only tried it today (1 April 07). Will let everyone know the outcome in about a week. Wanted to let you know about the burning now!

Note: Wikipedia is an open source, free, web encyclopedia. I happen to trust it greatly, although some suspect it because ANYONE can add a definition.

Replied by Jo

How did this go? Did your ear burn badly or did it heal the infection? I just accidently poured undilute garlic oil in my ear and the burn was bad! Worried I did something stupid..

Posted by Barbara (Dunwoody, GA) on 03/30/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I use fresh garlic as an antibiotic for earache and sinus infection. The antibiotic properties of garlic are a direct result of the allicin produced from raw, crushed garlic. This is destroyed by age and cooking - cooked garlic has virtually no antibiotic value. I crushed a fresh garlic clove, placed it in a handkerchief and squeezed a couple of drops in my son's ear, he was asleep in minutes with no pain in the morning. I've also sauteed noodles in olive oil & sprinkled fresh crushed garlic on it to address sinus problems.

Posted by Anonymous (USA) on 11/16/2005
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic for ear ache: one garlic tooth. heat not too hot. cut a piece from garlic. wrap in a cotton ball with vick 's vapor rub then insert in ear. Not both ears. in no time you'll feel better.

Garlic and ACV

Posted by Christina (PC, Florida) on 10/23/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic and apple cider vinegar syrup cured a yeast infection in my ear, a sore throat and all else that acv and garlic does!!Put chopped garlic into a glass jar, add 2-4 tbs of raw apple cider with the mother, close jar, let sit 24-48 hours. Either take by spoonful every few hours, or put into ear w/ qtip, or mix with equal part of olive oil and eat the healthiest salad dressing EVER!

Garlic Oil Recipe

Posted by Mama to Many (Tennessee, US) on 09/06/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My son had a terrible earache. I gave him some OTC pain medicine because he had to go to work. Then I began a batch of garlic oil. When he came in later, I put a few drops of the garlic oil into each ear. He has been fine ever since. I have used this oil in the past for ear pain. Usually I use it at least once or twice a day. Used with a warm rice sock, pain will usually be resolved quite quickly. I believe if you have a ruptured ear drum, it is not recommended to use anything in the ear. In that case, the oil could be rubbed under and around the ear.

Recipe for Garlic Oil

1/2 cup freshly minced garlic cloves

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil

Mix together and let sit on the counter for ten days. Shake three times a day. After ten days, strain out the garlic with a coffee filter. Label and date and STORE IN REFRIGERATOR! This way it will last all fall and winter. I will leave it out for days at a time when treating someone with an acute condition. Perhaps adding some vitamin E oil would help it to last even longer.

I usually store it in a glass bottle with an eyedropper. I put the glass bottle into a mug of hot water for 5 minutes before using it, so the oil will be warm in the oil. That feels better than cold oil, especially for children.

I didn't have ten days to wait to treat my son. So, I strained out a little bit of the oil after a few hours. It will get stronger and stronger over the course of ten days.

I also use this oil on the chest and/or back for a cough. It will make the person being treated smell terribly of garlic, but it works. For a small child, I rub it into the bottoms of the feet. It works VERY well for a stubborn cough and I love that I can treat a child without even waking him up at night.

Lalitha Thomas, author of, "Ten Essential Herbs, " from whom I got the original recipe, will use it internally for a cough or as a natural antibiotic. (1 teaspoon per adult dose, equivalent of 1 garlic clove.) She does not use the coconut oil, but I like to use it as it also has anti-viral properties.

Where I live, cold and flu season are around the corner. It is a good time to be sure to have Garlic Oil made up ahead of time!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Tim
Alabama, US

Thank you for sharing this oil recipe. It was a life saver over this past winter. I have started another batch to keep over the summer for that one in a million just in case moment. Managed to be bed ridden for almost a month. Between this and Apple Cider Vinegar add to Black Tea over Ice, I am ninety five percent better. Love this Earth Clinic and all that share. Thanks again Mama to Many.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Tim,

Thanks for sharing your success story! I am so glad you are feeling better!

~Mama to Many~