I recently returned from a trip to Quito, Ecuador. Quito is one of the highest in elevation cities in the world. It took me my whole visit to somewhat adjust to the elevational change as well as cope with my ears popping. Ears popping?! Yes, every bus ride around or in/out of the city, my ears would pop. Ouch!
It wasn’t until I arrived back in Washington that I realized my ears weren’t hurting from the popping change of elevation, but in fact, I had an ear infection…
Everyone kept advising me to go to the doctor’s in case I had some foreign infection, yet I was adamant about using my mullein flower and garlic infused olive oil. And guess what? It worked!
So here is a little guide of how to infuse oil with garlic, then follow Lesley Tierra’s Ear Drop Application instructions from her book, “A Kid’s Herb Book, For Children of All Ages.”
Garlic Infused Olive Oil:
1. Purchase or harvest 2-3 medium sized garlic bulbs during proper harvest season (in PNW this means between July and August).
2. If you harvested your bulb: Let bulb dry normally.
3. Combine 16-32 cloves (~1 or 2 bulbs) garlic, sliced and diced (I normally use the peel because it’ll be strained anyways) with 1 cup olive oil in the top of a double boiler.
4. Warm over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until you smell the garlic infusing.
5. Use both cheesecloth and stainless steel strainer to strain garlic from olive oil.
**make sure you don’t get any garlic in the oil or else that might get into the ear…
6. Pour garlic oil into a small glass dropper bottle.
7. Store in cool, dark area.
OPTIONAL: Follow Oil Infusion Guide to make a mullein flower and calendula flower oil infusion. Combine 1 pt Mullein Flower Olive Oil, 1 pt Garlic Olive Oil and ½ pt Calendula Olive Oil. Use this formula for Herbal Ear Drops.
The garlic oil helps fight infections. The mullein and calendula flowers help relieve pain and inflammation in the ear. If your oil is WARM, this too helps relieve a painful ear infection.
As Rosemary Gladstar states, “This shouldn’t be used for ‘swimmer’s ear’…” and seek a medical advisor if this oil does not help your ear within 24 hours.
· Warm oil by putting dropper bottle in a pan of hot water (it should be no hotter than mother’s milk)
· Have the person lie on his/her side with the affected ear up.
· Drip 2-5 drops into the affected ear.
· Place a small cotton ball into the ear to prevent the oil from spilling out.
· Have the person lie on their side for 5-10 minutes. Keep cotton ball in place.
· Repeat this process 5-6 times throughout the day until the symptoms are gone.
Also try holding a hot water bottle on the ear to help quicken the healing process.
CAUTION: Do not use Ear Drops if eardrum is ruptured. If ear infections go untreated, they can result in a perforated eardrum and permanent hearing loss.