Ear pain and infection are more prevalent in small children. Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for frequent visits to an ENT or Otolaryngologist. 5 out of 6 children under the age group of 1-3 years are reported to suffer from ear pain (1).
An ear infection can affect either of the two ears or both, accompanied by mild or excruciating pain. In rare cases, ear pain may be a cause of some underlying health condition. Depending on the symptoms, ear drops or antibiotics are prescribed.
However, medicines, more often than not, carry alongside effects. So why not try something that’s gentle yet an effective remedy against ear pain? You could try various effective age-old home remedies, including some natural essential oils for ear pain. You might find these natural essential oils beneficial for ear pain. Read on and explore the ways to use these essential oils to relieve the pain.
Essential Oils for Ear Pain
1. Tea Tree Oil
You could consider tea tree oil for ear pain. Tea tree oil is an extract of the evergreen Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It is in use in complementary therapy for acne, minor cuts, burns, athlete’s foot, etc. Some studies suggest the use of tea tree for ear infections due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. These properties could help reduce swelling in the outer part of the ear.
You could use tea tree oil for ear pain by lightly placing cotton soaked in diluted tea tree oil on your ear. You could use carrier oils like olive oil or coconut oil to dilute it. You could also make an ear drop using tea tree oil for ear pain.
To prepare the ear drop, cook two raw garlic cloves in two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. Now, strain and pour it in a sterile dropper bottle. Add 6-8 drops of pure tea tree oil to this mixture. You can refrigerate it, and use it within a week or so.
Do not push the soaked cotton inside as it may worsen the infection. When you want to use the ear drop, you can keep the bottle it in a bowl of hot water for 1-2 minutes. Always check the temperature before using it. You should also do a patch test to check for potential allergies before using the oil. Tea tree oil is not safe for the inner ear.
[Also Read: Tea Tree Oil: Uses And Benefits ]
2. Lemon Oil
The lemon oil has a unique refreshing and uplifting scent. You get numerous health benefits like astringent, antiseptic, disinfectant, detoxifying, and anti-fungal properties from this oil. Lemon oil is an effective essential oil for ear pain as it is beneficial for lymphatic drainage and the immune system.
You could rub lemon oil on the neck. Do not consume or even pour it in the ear. Both of these are dangerous and can cause serious side effects.
To get relief from ear pain, you could rub 1-2 drops of lemon oil on the swollen or congested part of the neck. You could repeat this every couple of hours until you are relieved from the congestion. Alternatively, you could place soaked cotton diluted with lemon oil on the ear.
[ Read: Natural Ways to Clean Ears ]
3. Mullein Oil
Mullein oil is a safe essential oil for ear pain. Mullein is a common weed that is in use as a herbal remedy since ages. Mullein helps kill bacteria and has a soothing effect. There are garlic and mullein ear drop available too. These ear drop smells pungent but helps to reduce swelling and pain in the ear.
A 2003 study on 171 children suffering from an earache, found that ear drops containing mullein reduced ear pain in three days. The ear drop used in the study had garlic, St. John’s wort, calendula along with mullein.
You could make use of the mullein and garlic ear drop. Alternatively, you could rub mullein oil or use cotton soaked in diluted mullein oil.
You can use the ear drop in the dosage recommended by the product label or consult an ENT for the same. Generally, you could use it for three days.
4. Melrose Oil
Melrose is a blend of essential oils useful for ear pain. It is a blend of tea tree oil, niaouli essential oil, rosemary oil, and clove oil. Each essential oil has a unique quality. Tea tree oil and clove oil have strong antibiotic and antiviral properties. Melrose oil works as a powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory cure. You can buy a good quality Melrose oil available in the market, or you can prepare it at home(2).
You could either rub it directly on the neck or use a Melrose oil-soaked cotton on the ear. Do not pour it directly inside the ear as essential oils could burn the eardrums and cause a lot of pain.
Rub Melrose oil around the ear, on the neck and the skull bones near the affected ear. Alternatively, you could use cotton with few drops of the oil on your ears directly.
5. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is one of the safest and most popular essential oil. It is in use as a therapeutic cure for centuries. Lavender oil is also useful in dementia, insomnia, depression, and effectively heals wounds. The oil has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and sedative properties (3).
You can rub it on and around the affected area, that is, around the ear, neck and skull bones near the ear. You could also rub it on the bottom of the feet. You could also use cotton with a few drops of lavender essential oil for ear pain.
Use a few drops of lavender oil to rub it on the sight of ear pain or feet. Alternatively, place cotton soaked with a few drops of the oil on the ear. Though lavender oil is considered safe, it should not be swallowed or placed inside the ear.
There is limited research related to the use of essential oils for ear pain. You should always consult a doctor before using an essential oil or any natural remedy for ear pain. Self- treatment without an expert’s guidance could invite potential risks. Essential oils are a natural alternative to strong medications, but should not be used regularly.
If you take the necessary precautions and use the essential oils for ear pain judiciously, it might prove to be a very effective cure.
1. What Are Top Home Remedies for Ear Pain?
Several natural home remedies can be used to cure earache such as:
- Moist heat
- Dietary changes like reducing sugar intake, increasing fruits, vegetables, and protein, etc.
- Rock salt
2. Which Are the Other Essential Oils That Are Most Effective in Treating Ear Pain?
The other effective essential oils for ear pain that you could try are:
- Copaiba oil
- Wild oregano oil