Earache is very common in children but it can also affect adults [1].

It can bring a sudden sharp pain or burning sensation in one or both ears [2].

It’s extremely distressing, and can cause children especially babies to cry incessantly.

Adults, meanwhile, will have a difficult time doing their usual work and routine.

According to WebMD, some of the most common causes of ear pain include infection in the middle or outer ear, fluid buildup in the eardrum, colds, and throat infection.

Using the following home remedies will ease the pain and give you relief from this annoying condition.

If pain persists, consult your doctor as it is possible that there’s an underlying infection that needs to be treated.

13 Best Home Remedies for Earache

1. Basil

A traditional medicinal herb used by Chinese healers since the ancient times, basil is widely regarded for its broad-spectrum antiviral and antibacterial properties [3].

Ursolic acid, apigenin and linalool have been identified as some of its active compounds that produce these pharmacological effects [3].

In a study conducted in Iceland, researchers applied basil oil and a placebo in the ear canals of rats with ear infection caused by Haemophilus influenzae or Pneumococci [4].

The use of basil resulted in a healing rate of 56 percent to 81 percent for those infected with H. influenzae, and 6 percent to 75 percent to those with Pneumococci infection [4].

These rates were much higher than those observed in the placebo group [4].

Apart from neutralizing the bacterial strains that cause earache, basil also has analgesic properties that can provide immediate pain relief.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 to 5 basil leaves

Recommended Directions:

  1. Extract juice from the leaves.
  2. Pour four drops in the affected ear.
  3. Do this once or twice a day until pain subsides.

2. Olive Oil

Aside from being a healthy cooking oil that you can use for your dishes, olive oil can also benefit your health in more ways than one.

It stabilizes blood sugar and cholesterol levels, wards of cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments, and supplies the body with various essential nutrients and antioxidants.

On top of all these, olive oil can also be a useful remedy for ear pain.

A 2003 study that can be found in the Pediatrics Journal assessed the efficacy of an herbal ear drop that made use of olive oil as one of its main ingredients [5].

A total of 171 children with middle ear infection were treated with either an ear drop made with olive oil and other natural ingredients, or anesthetic ear drops with or without amoxicillin [5].

The treatment was applied three times a day for three days [5].

When it was over, ear pain as well as other related symptoms such as fever and discomfort subsided most in the group that used the natural ear drop [5].

Findings reveal that the natural ear drop worked just as well as regular medications in relieving ear pain [5].

It’s also important to note that no side effects have been documented following the use of the olive oil based ear drop [5].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Soak a cotton bud in olive oil.
  2. Insert it gently into the ear.
  3. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Do this remedy everyday for one to two weeks.

READ MORE: 7 Ways of Using Olive Oil for Ear Infections

3. NeemNeem

In India, neem is considered the “most useful traditional medicinal plant” [6].

Most parts of the neem tree have remarkable medicinal use, and in fact, have been explored for commercial use by pharmaceutical industries [6].

Also called Indian lilac, neem has become a viable source of medicines designed to treat various health problems [6].

It also appears to have strong antibacterial properties that can combat pathogens that cause ear infection and ear pain [7].

In a laboratory experiment dated 2009, neem seed extract was tested against pathogenic bacteria including Staphylococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli that were obtained from patients with ear and eye infections [7].

Using agar well diffusion method, researchers were able to confirm that neem extract can successfully inhibit the growth of all these bacterial strains [7].

Researchers recommend the use of neem in making oral antibiotics for treating infectious diseases involving the ears [7].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of neem oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dip cotton ball in neem oil.
  2. Insert cotton ball into the ear.
  3. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Repeat twice a day until pain disappears for good.

4. Garlic

Since the dawn of civilization, garlic has been considered a cure-all herb that can ward off countless diseases.

From inflammatory disorder to bacterial infections and many other serious ailments, garlic can come to your rescue and help you find the relief that you’re looking for.

It’s what you can also use when you’re suffering from earache and could no longer bear the pain.

Garlic’s analgesic properties as proven in a 2012 study indicate that it’s a feasible solution for earache [8].

It also has antinociceptive properties that work by blocking the pain signals and preventing these messages from getting to the brain [8].

Rich in sulfur compounds, garlic can inhibit the growth and spread of microorganisms that cause ear infection and pain such as S. pneumonia [9].

Since most people have this herb in their kitchen pantries, it’s one of the simplest and most handy solutions to ear pain.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 cloves of garlic

Recommended Directions:

  1. Crush garlic and extract juice.
  2. Pour garlic juice into the painful ear.
  3. Do this once a day for one week.

5. Carom Seeds

If you have no idea how carom seeds can benefit your health, it’s about time that you learn more about this excellent medicinal remedy.

A popular folk treatment for various ailments, carom seeds are another possible treatment method for earache.

There has been sufficient scientific proof to validate the anti-microbial and antibacterial powers of carom seeds [10, 11].

Carom seeds’ bactericidal activities can be attributed to the presence of various types of phytochemicals including flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, saponins and glycosides [10].

These seeds work mainly by killing the source of infection.

Other than this, it is also said to have analgesic actions, which are useful for curbing pain.

You’ve probably heard about carom seeds being used for rheumatic pain, stomach ache and other sorts of painful conditions.

It can also be used for relieving the disturbing pain in the ears.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of carom seed oil
  • 3 teaspoons of sesame oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix oils together.
  2. Warm mixture in a pan.
  3. Let it cool a little.
  4. Pour mixture into the affected ear.
  5. Follow this remedy once a day for five days.

6. Mullein Flower Oil

Mullein flower is a highly valued traditional medicine used for a wide array of inflammatory and infectious diseases [12].

For a long time, this flower has been used for treating asthma, cough, diarrhea, skin problems, pulmonary ailments, and more [12].

Studies have shown that this flower is replete with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial capabilities [13, 14].

It appears to be highly toxic and damaging to the cells of bacterial strains such as Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli [12].

Its antibacterial properties combat the root of ear infection while its anti-inflammatory activities tone down swelling to reduce pain in the ears.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 mullein flower blooms
  • 1 cup of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Place olive oil in a glass jar.
  2. Soak mullein flowers in the oil.
  3. Let it sit for one week.
  4. Strain the flowers.
  5. Apply oil in the ear using a cotton bud.
  6. Use daily until pain goes away.

7. Onion JuiceOnion-Juice

One of the oldest cultivated herbs in the world is onion.

Since the ancient times, onion has had various applications as food and traditional medicine [15].

It is abundant not only in vitamins and minerals but also with phytonutrients that produce remarkable pharmacological activities [15].

These are highly useful in the prevention and treatment of a number of diseases [15].

Not surprisingly, onion is another quick-acting remedy for annoying ear pain.

Juice extract from onions has been found to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, according to a study in the African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology [15].

These properties were confirmed after researchers applied fresh onion juice in animal subjects with acute and chronic pain, and inflammation [15].

The effects of onion are said to be similar to morphine, which is a commonly prescribed pain killer [15].

As if all these are not enough, onion is also a powerful antibacterial that has inhibitory effects against bacteria that cause painful ear infections [16].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 onion

Recommended Directions:

  1. Grate onion to extract juice.
  2. Warm onion juice in a pan over low heat.
  3. Pour slightly warm onion juice in a cloth.
  4. Put cloth on the painful ear for 10 minutes.
  5. Do this several times each day until ear infection is cured.

8. Tea Tree Oil

Utilized for hundreds of years as a botanical medicine, tea tree oil has been the go-to solution for many types of ailments, especially those that are related to inflammation and bacterial infections [17].

Tea tree oil also shows potential as a remedy for earache [17].

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Laryngology & Otology reported that tea tree oil had a positive effect on external ear infection [18].

To get to this conclusion, researchers obtained 57 swabs from the ears of 52 patients diagnosed with ear infection [18].

They utilized a broth microdilution method to find out what the minimum inhibitory concentration was needed for tea tree oil to neutralize the ear infection-causing microbes [18].

A 2 percent concentration was enough to diminish bacterial activities by up to 71 percent [18].

Most microorganisms were susceptible to tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties except for Pseudomonas aeruginosa [18].

This essential oil is an efficient way to reduce pain brought about by bacterial infections without causing any side effects.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 20 drops of tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Put in a glass jar.
  3. Pour a small amount on a cotton pad.
  4. Apply cotton pad on the ears.
  5. Repeat everyday until pain and inflammation disappear.

READ MORE: 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil (Backed by Evidence)

9. Ginger

More than 25 years of research has yielded enough evidence to support ginger’s anti-inflammatory abilities [19].

It is in fact one of the top remedies considered for various types of inflammatory diseases [19].

Ginger works by stopping the synthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators through cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition [19].

These effects are similar to those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [19].

Apart from toning down inflammation, ginger is also a well-known analgesic [20].

It can therefore serve as a potent painkiller for mild to moderate cases of earaches.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix ginger root with olive oil.
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture in the affected ear.
  4. Repeat once a day until infection subsides.

10. Peppermint

Active compounds in peppermint oil have been found effective in inhibiting infections caused by different strains of bacteria [21, 22, 23].

Peppermint was highly active in suppressing the activities and growth of pathogenic bacteria.

In addition to its antibacterial properties, peppermint oil also has soothing effects and can therefore give quick relief to earaches.

When you apply it on your skin, you’ll notice that it produces a cooling sensation.

This means that it’s working in relieving pain and discomfort.

After a while, you’ll notice that you’re in less pain.

Best of all, as long as you follow instructions for preparation and use, peppermint is also safe to use as often as everyday.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of peppermint oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Use a cotton bud to apply peppermint oil in the painful ear.
  2. Do this remedy once a day for up to one week.

11. Lavender

As it turns out, lavender is not just for reducing stress.

It can also be a viable solution for ear infections.

Research suggests that lavender’s anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and analgesic actions are highly useful for people suffering from ear pain [24].

Lavender’s active compounds were potent enough in reducing swelling in the ears, and proving immediate relief from pain.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine two oils in a glass jar.
  2. Blend well.
  3. Pour a few drops of the oil mixture in a cotton ball.
  4. Put the cotton ball in your ear.
  5. Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  6. Repeat procedure three times a day until earache is cured.

READ MORE: 11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular and essential item in home remedy. It can a number of different ailments! Its benefits are truly great!

The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar can surely help in curing ear infections and earaches.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2-3 drops of apple cider vinegar

Recommended Directions:

  1. Take a few drops of apple cider vinegar in a dropper
  2. Lie down in bed, and then put drop by drop directly into the ear
  3. Leave it there for one minute and then let it run out of the ear
  4. Repeat after 12 hours
  5. By doing this, you will find that within one day, the earache symptoms have improved for you!

READ MORE: Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI Treatment: 10 Practical Ways

13. Breast milk

Breast milk is a folk home remedy for earache, pink eye, and other bacterial disorders. Recent medical researchers have suggested the potent antimicrobial effects of breast milk.

This most natural food source of all has essential proteins and carbohydrates or sugar for the new born baby. Recent scientific experiments on breast milk’s carbohydrates have led to the discovery of a new strain of antibacterial component. [25]

This new antimicrobial compound is non-toxic and is effective to inhibit a number of bacterial invasions in human body.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3-4 drops of breast milk
  • Ear dropper

Recommended Directions:

  1. If you have a nursing mother at home, collect some fresh breast milk.
  2. Pour breast milk on the infected ears using a dropper.
  3. Repeat the treatment twice daily to get rid of earache.

Some Q&A About Earache

Q. What is the reason of ear infections?
A. Earaches are caused by ear infections. Generally, earaches are primarily observed when there is a sharp pain the ears accompanied by other symptoms as well. The most common cause of earache is the infection of the middle ear. As you know, we have three parts of the ear: outer, middle and inner ear.

Usually what happens is that the infection that occurs in the middle ear is similar to a cold or infection of the respiratory tract. Ear infections are more common in children.

Q. How do I tell if my child has ear infection or not?
A. The most easiest possible way to say if your child is suffering from ear infection or not is to see your child’s mood.

Usually, earaches in children will cause them to be very upset and restless. They will not be able to tell you that they have pain in their ears, but they will be fuzzy and sad and cry a lot about it. You can try observing the following symptoms in your child to determine if they have ear infection or not:

Q. When should I seek help for earaches?
A. If you find any of the symptoms to be prevalent, then seek medical help immediately. In case of children, do not waste time but contact a doctor soon. However, for adults, this can be managed better so you can try using home remedies like the ones listed above.

Q. What will my doctor say if I tell them that I have earache?
A. usually, your doctor will diagnose the condition and say that it is ear infection. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics or painkillers and ask you to rest.

Bottom Line

You really don’t have to suffer anymore with earache. You can make use of these natural and safe .home remedies to resolve the problem.

Get to the bottom of the problem and get the easy cure you need!

Don’t let the infection progress into something more serious before you can do something about it.

READ NEXT: 10+ Quick Home Remedies for Ear Infections (with Step-by-Step)