10 Jul Does Your Child Suffer From Ear Infections?
Each year when my son starts school, I always hear about ear infections that are going around. Painful. Irritable. Our unhappy littles. 🙁 Truly breaks my heart as a mom. When you go to the doctor, most likely you will be sent home with an antibiotic treatment. Now if you’ve been the natural health movement for awhile, you understand that antibiotics are overly prescribed and it’s hurting us. Specifically killing our good bacteria environment everywhere in our body.
Side Note: Antibiotics are important and essential in life threatening emergencies. But in our society, antibiotics are thrown to us for “just in case”.
From my personal research & experience, I will talk with you about natural remedies AND other components that you may be missing as to why your child gets so many ear infections.
What Happens In An Ear Infection? What Are The Causes?
Ear infections are painful due to the inflammation that is going on inside the middle ear. This inflammation is very common to be caused by an upper respiratory virus due to the extra mucus that is produced. Ear infections can be VIRUSES, not just bacteria. Just because the ear is inflamed does NOT mean it’s a bacteria. As you know, antibiotics only work on bacteria and NOT viruses. A study done in the British Medical Journal showed that treating ear infections with antibiotics can actually INCREASE the chances of getting it again and 80% of the ear infections clear up without the use of antibiotics & less chance of relapse. Past studies showed that antibiotics versus placebo, people ended up recovering around the same time showing that it could be very coincidental if you take antibiotics and start feeling better. The placebos showed to feel better within 48 hours, just like the patients that took antibiotics. To further support this, doctors are studying that if ear infections are from a bacteria and/or a virus, there is good news..
The good news is that many cases of AOM (acute otitis media) recover spontaneously without antibiotic treatment, a fact that has led the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians to recommend withholding antibiotic treatment in mild AOM cases.
Ear infections that happen on a regular basis can be from the inflammation in the body coming from allergies (especially food) and/or an imbalance of bacteria in your gut (bad bacteria is outweighing the good!) Dr. Peter Braglia states that..
Often times, mucus in the nose, throat, sinuses, ears and other parts of the body can arise from the failure of the digestive system due to certain foods. Adults may suffer from the same process as well. Those foods most likely to increase mucus production and further stress a child’s already weak digestive system are: dairy, soy (especially overly processed soy products), commercial formulas, wheat and most flour products, baby cereals and commercial cereals, thick, creamy and heavy foods, processed grains, juice, soda, refined sugars, processed foods, fried foods/oils.
Another cause that many parents don’t know about is having a misalignment of the neck & spine, so the ear is not draining properly. Children can get this misalignment during birth and it can go undiagnosed very easily.
What Are Some Natural Remedies During An Ear Infection?
*Never put anything in the ear if there is a ruptured ear drum. Go to the doctor immediately.*
Chiropractic Care – One of the first things that I did when my child suffered from his first ear infection was take him to the chiropractor. The doctor met with him every week and helped realignment to aid in drainage and flow. We never had a problem with ear infections, since we did this. A study done in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics showed a strong support of chiropractic care and the positive results of ear infections.
Garlic Oil – Making some homemade garlic oil is one of the easiest ways to help with an ear infection. Garlic has been studied to be more powerful than antibiotics. It has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti fungal properties. The olive oil that is also known to improve inflammatory markers and has antimicrobial properties. To make homemade garlic oil, you heat up a 5 of tablespoons of olive oil and a 3-4 cloves of garlic. Make sure to crush the garlic cloves and let it sit out for 5-10 minutes before you use it because the allicin content will increase (which means more antibacterial & antiviral activity). Heat up the oil and garlic together. Take it off the heat & let it cool down until it’s just warm/cool. You don’t want to put anything too hot in your ear. Using a cheesecloth, separate the garlic cloves from the oil, so all you have left to use is the oil. I used a couple of drops in the ear that was infected on my son. I let him lay there for five minutes with his ear facing the ceiling. I did this once every couple of hours throughout the day.
Elderberry Syrup – Elderberry syrup comes from elderberries that have been studied to be a fantastic anti-viral. This is a great supplement for the kids (and you!) to have when battling any type of virus. Elderberry is known for boosting the immune system by many studies. It’s been also studied to reduce symptoms and length of Type A & B flu. Get your hands on some elderberry to fight off viruses that is making the mucus and inflammation in your ear. Wellness Mama has an awesome recipe for making your own (which is what I do) or you can purchase some Sambucol Elderberry Syrup at a local GNC, health food store, CVS, Walgreens, Target, and more.
Compresses – Warm compresses are truly wonderful to help with the pain. To make a quick warm compress, you put rice in a sock and heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until it’s warm) and you can place it behind the ear. Make sure to tie off the end of the sock with a rubber band or a hair tie.
Essential Oils – I love to rub lavender essential oil around the ear to help ease any pain. Lavender has a gorgeous ‘calming’ affect. If your child is over the age of 2, you can also use oregano essential oil diluted with coconut oil and massage around the ear. Oregano oil has very strong antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Probiotics – To help with immune system function and focus on taking care of the good bacteria in my body, probiotics are a must! I love the company Garden of Life for both kid and adult probiotics. You can check out my affiliate tab under ‘shop’ and check out which ones I personally use.
I personally have used these wonderful natural remedies on my family & my son has never had another ear infection. I truly believe what is on this Earth can bring your health back in a holistic beautiful way.
Disclaimer: Most importantly, follow your gut. This is your child, your decision, be informed and knowledgeable is important. From my experience & research, working with a functional medicine doctor and/or homeopathic family doctor will be your best bet because you are caring for your children naturally & under medical supervision.