Home remedies for an ear infection

Ear Infection Home Remedies

Acute otitis media is a condition that is commonly referred to as an ear infection. However, this term is usually not entirely accurate, since otitis media simply means there is a painful buildup of fluid in the middle ear that is typically not yet infected. Therefore, antibiotics are generally not prescribed for ear infections at first, since they will usually be able to clear up on their own within a week or two. However, the pain and discomfort can still be difficult to deal with, especially for infants and small children. 

So, what can you do to alleviate the pain of ear infections without resorting to prescription medications? Here are five household ingredients that are commonly used to effectively treat ear infections. 

Salt or Rice

When heated over a stove or in the microwave, salt or rice can be very effective at drawing out moisture and fluid from the ear, which will help relieve swelling and alleviate pain. It is best to place the hot salt or rice on a cloth and then seal by tying a knot or using a rubber band, and then when the heat is bearable, lay down and place the cloth on the affected ear for roughly five to ten minutes. 


There are several ways you can use garlic, which has both antimicrobial and natural pain relieving qualities, to treat ear infections. One way is to make oil by cooking garlic cloves with sesame oil and placing a few drops in the affected ear. Another option is to mix crushed garlic and salt, wrapping in a cloth, and placing against the affected ear. Finally, eating raw garlic cloves daily can also help speed up the healing process. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is a very good option for getting rid of any fungus that may be causing the ear infection. Mix apple cider vinegar with water or alcohol and then soak in a cotton ball. Put the soaked cotton pad in your ear like a plug. You may use tape to hold in place. Leave this for about five minutes and then lay on the opposite side to drain liquid from your ear. You can also use white vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. Also, gargling with apple cider vinegar may help heal the Eustachian tubes as well. 

Warm Water Bottle or Heating Pad

Simply applying heat to the affected ear can help quickly relieve pain and can also prevent micro-organism infestation. It is important to not apply too much heat to the ear though. Alternate between five minutes of heat and then remove the heat for a while before repeating the process as needed. 

Breast Milk

Many women have discovered that breast milk has natural antibodies that can help speed up the healing process of any kind of ear infection, as well as eye infections, minor cuts, and minor burns. When treating ear infections, simply place a few drops of breast milk into the affected ear and repeat the process every few hours as needed. This will usually clear up an ear infection within one or two days. 


Last Updated: June 22, 2016