As cold weather settles into much of the country, ear infections and subsequent trips to the doctor increase as well. Far too often, my kids complaints of ear infections seem to come just as I tuck them into bed...long after the doctor's office has closed. I would tuck them into bed, give them a bit of tylenol and reassure them that we would get some medicine in the morning. Too often, that gave them little comfort through the night.
Then, last winter, I got a taste of their pain. I got an ear infection late on a Sunday night. I never knew they could hurt that much. Suddenly, my sympathy for my kids went way up! Unable to tolerate the pain, I scoured the internet for anything I could do at home. I had hoped to find something that would dull the pain until I could get to the doctor. What I found, however, appeared to be a home remedy cure. What's the magic? Garlic. Plain old Garlic from the grocery store.
It worked wonders. Within 15-20 minutes, the pain subsided completely. By morning, I had no signs of an ear infection. It never returned.
Last week, my son suddenly came down with a low grade fever and complained of an earache. I grabbed my garlic and got to work. Within 10 minutes, he felt great and said he was all better. Still, just to be sure, I had him use garlic through the night and by morning he was fine.
Two nights later, however, he complained of pain in his other ear and the fever came back. Again, I went to the fridge, grabbed some garlic and got to work. Same results...he was healed with no run to the doctor, no antibiotics and the resultant digestive problems. Just plain old garlic.
Here's how to do it:
1. Cut up garlic into small slivers, approximately the width of the ear canal you will be placing it into. The smaller the child, the skinnier the wedge.
2. Warm the garlic in the microwave until warm but not hot enough to burn. I start with 10 seconds and continue in 5 second intervals until I get the right temp. It is so important to NOT burn your child's ear canal. It is obviously a very sensitive area.Better to err on being too cool than too hot.
3. Place the garlic in a thin layer of gauze. The only purpose of the gauze is to allow you to easily pull the garlic back out. The more contact the ear canal can have with the garlic itself, the better. So keep the gauze thin.
4. Place the garlic, wrapped in gauze, in the ear canal. Have the child lay on their opposite ear, with the infected ear facing upwards to assist the garlic in staying in the ear.
5. Replace garlic periodically as it cools until all symptoms are gone. I like to continue garlic treatment for at least 12 hours since pain can be gone long before the bugs are.
Now, why does this work? Garlic is a natural antibiotic and pain killer.
So, next time your child comes down with an ear infection, hopefully this little tip may just do the trick.