Monday, October 6, 2014

Ease Ear Pain With Essential Oils (Tested!)

After a bit of a sabbatical, (which, in Homeschooling Stay-at-Home Mom language means, "I'm too darn busy to write a blog post",)  I'm back to tell you about my experience using essential oils to ease ear pain.  First, let me give you a little bit of background information:  My six-year-old has a horrible history with ear infections/ear drum ruptures.  She was in day care for the first three years of her life, during which time she suffered from almost constant ear infections (and two ear drum ruptures), jumping from one antibiotic to another to yet another, and often, the meds didn't work very quickly (sometimes they didn't work at all).  At that time, I was completely ignorant to alternative methods of treating ear infections or ear pain, and I almost feel guilty for my ignorance, because I could have saved her a LOT of suffering.  Long story short, I refused to have her tonsils/adenoids removed when she was ten months old, and elected to take the "wait and see" approach.  By the time she was fifteen months old, the ear infections began to slow down, practically coming to a stop by the age of two.  Since then, she has gotten approximately one ear infection per year, if that, but her ears do seem to be a weak point, and are usually affected by respiratory infections where there is a lot of drainage involved.

That being said, a few weeks ago she contracted a respiratory virus with lots of drainage involved.  It was a rather mild cold, though, and seemed to begin to resolve with the usual regimen of Fire Cider and Elderberry Elixir (click on the words to link to recipes/info).  However, by the fifth day, she began to complain about ear pain/popping, which is usually a sure precursor of an ear infection for her.  In an effort to avoid a trip to the doctor (and more antibiotics), I did some research and decided to try using lemon and lavender essential oils to try and ease the pain.  To my surprise, they actually worked, and she was pain-free within 3 days and the drainage had stopped!  This was the first time we had ever successfully reversed the beginnings of an ear infection for her using a natural alternative.

How I Used Essential Oils (EOs) To Ease My Daughter's  Ear Pain Naturally:

1.) Lemon EO Mixed With Coconut Oil (Or Other Carrier Oil):  I mixed one drop of high-quality lemon essential oil** with a 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and rubbed it behind her ears and then under her chin and down the sides of her neck.  Many sources claim that you should put garlic mullein oil in ears to ease ear pain, but I didn't have any, and my limited knowledge of Western Herbalism led me to believe that putting a "cool, dry" oil like lemon on a "hot, wet" condition such as ear pain or infection caused by drainage would have a more favorable outcome than putting a "hot" oil of garlic on a "hot" condition.  (There would be no "cooling" or "drying" of the hot, wet condition taking place in that case.)  We did this twice per day for 2 or 3 days.

2.)  Lavender EO On A Cottonball:  I let a cotton ball with 2 drops of lavender essential oil rest in the outer part of her ear - NOT INSIDE of the actual ear canal, just resting there on the outer part.  No shoving involved!  If it fell out, she picked it up and set it back in.  We left it in for a few hours each day for 2 or 3 days.  She did mention that the cottonball approach reduced the pain while it was in, which makes sense, since Mountain Rose Herbs identifies lavender EO as containing "analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory [and] antimicrobial" properties, among others.

If you give these alternatives a try, let me know how things turn out!  I'm very happy to have yet another natural remedy in my detoxed medicine cabinet.

**Not all EOs are created equal.  You can always tell when an EO is of good quality by it's smell (if you happen to have a lower-quality oil to compare it to, the difference in smell can be very significant).  Also, if it's super cheap, that's usually a red flag.  I like to purchase EOs used for medicinal or therapeutic purposes from Mountain Rose Herbs (I do not get anything to recommend them (I wish I did!) - I just really like the quality of their products).**