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How To Use Essential Oils For Earaches

Ear Anatomy | How To Use Essential Oils for Earaches

You might consider using essential oils for earaches and ear infections only if the problem is in the external ear canal. Middle or inner ear infections require professional attention — consult a doctor as appropriate to avoid possible damage to the eardrum.

Important: Never put essential oils directly into your ears. However, you can place one drop of essential oil (diluted for children) on a cotton ball and place it in your outer ear.

Recommended Essential Oils For Earache

Potentially effective essential oils include:

  • Lavender
  • Roman chamomile
  • Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia, also known as MQV)

Select an essential oil and dilute a few drops 50/50 in carrier oil. Massage some of the blend around both ears (even if only one ear aches) every few hours. Also massage the ear lobes.

For a synergistic effect, make the following blend for massage:

  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques at Home

Here's another possible massage blend:

  • 1 drop grapefruit essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Source: Essential Oils For Healing

Child's Ear Pain

For children, you can make a warm compress:

  1. Add 3 drops of Roman chamomile to a bowl of hot water.
  2. Dip the compress in the water, wring out the compress, and apply it over the ear. 
  3. When the compress cools, reapply a new one. 

After using the compress, make a blend of:

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops Roman chamomile
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Dab a cotton ball in the blend. Gently place the cotton ball in the ear, replacing it with a new cotton ball three times a day.

Source: Healing With Aromatherapy

Essential Oils For Ear Infections

For ear infections in adults, blend:

  • 8 drops lavender 
  • 8 drops tea tree 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

Massage the blend around the outside of your ear and down your neck. 

For children, use only four drops of each essential oil in the olive oil. For infants and toddlers, blend only two drops of each essential oil with the olive oil.

Source: Aromatherapy for Dummies

An alternative blend is

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops tea tree 
  • 6 drops Roman chamomile
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Again, for children, use half the amount of essential oil.

Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

For best results, use these blends around both ears, even if you have pain on only one side. Continue using the blend for several days after the pain goes away so the problem doesn't return.

Also, a study on treating acute otitis (ear infection) in rats found basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum) effectively got rid of infections. You can try diluting basil in a carrier oil and massaging the blend around the outer ear (dilute more for young children).

Related: Essential Oils For Colds

Photo Credit: Iain via Wikimedia Commons [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

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