Garlic is one of the gracious gifts, nature has given us. It has amazing antiseptic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. No wonder that garlic has been used as a treatment for almost every afflicting health conditions human has faced. A few months earlier, one of my kids had an infection in the inner ear and suffered severe pain because of it. One of my friends, who is a herbalist suggested that I put a garlic clove in the infected ear of my child. Although I am an admirer of natural herbal treatments , it sounded pretty radical to me. It invoked me to do in-depth research on the effectiveness of garlic or garlic oil supplements to combat ear infections.

Types of Ear Infections

There are two types of ear infections that can happen. They are:

Otitis Media

Otitis media refers to middle ear infection, redness or swelling on the back of the eardrum. It is pretty common in children. Middle ear infections often caused by trapped fluid in the air or other reasons. Otitis media often improves without any medication. However, you can use some specific essential oils or antibiotic (after discussing with the doctor) to get immediate relief. But it is a matter of utmost importance to check whether there is any fluid or not and does the infection has lingered with fever before taking any medications.

Otitis Externa

Otitis externa refers to infection at the opening of the ear and the ear canal. The ear canal is the pathway which connects the outer ear to the internal eardrum. There is another common name of otitis externa, that is “Swimmer’s ear.”

Outer ear infection often caused by excessive moisture exposure. It is pretty much common in people who spent a lot of time in the water.

Complications Associated With Ear Infections

Ear infections can be caused by mere infections which often heals quickly without any medications or as an outcome of any other medical conditions. It is essential to ensure if there are other medical complications with the infections. The complications might be any of these:

  • Infection that spreads to the ear bone
  • Infection that spreads the fluid around the spinal cord or brain
  • Hearing loss
  • Ruptured eardrums

Although these complications are rare to occur without any unnatural accidental injuries, it is recommended to do a thorough check-up by health professionals.

How Garlic is Effective in Ear Infection Treatment

Garlic has many medicinal uses. It is one of the super plant consisting of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is proven to be one of the super immune booster foods. It can provide pain relief to the infected area which proves to be valuable when needed to apply in sensitive areas. The important thing is it doesn’t have any serious side effects contrary to many prescribed medicines.

Topical application of garlic oil or garlic paste can provide comfort when applied in the inflicted areas. In one study of 103 children, Allium sativum or garlic mixture with other herbs was found to be more effective in managing ear infections than other OTC (over the counter) drugs.

In another study done on naturopathic ear drops, which had 170 child patients with ear pain, found that using alone garlic oil mixed with other essential oil drops is more effective in anesthetic ear-numbing drops.

How to Use Garlic to Get Relief From Ear-pain

Garlic can be applied in the ear in two ways. You can use garlic oil mixed with other essential oil drops or you can use a whole garlic clove. Using a whole garlic clove requires extreme care and it should not be used on children. Both ways are discussed in the following:

How to Make Garlic Oil For Ear Infection

You can buy commercial garlic oil supplements to use for ear infection relief or you can make homemade garlic oil yourself. For making your garlic oil you will need,

  1. 1 Peeled Clove of Garlic.
  2. 2 or 3 spoons of olive oil
  3. Small pan
  4. Small glass jar with dropper


  1. Crush the peeled garlic clove to open it up.
  2. Pour the olive oil and the crushed garlic clove in the pan.
  3. Heat the oil with low to medium heat. Don’t use too much heat. If the oil is bubbling or smoking then you are using too much heat.
  4. Swirl the mixture until the fragrance comes.
  5. Remove the oil mixture from the heat and cool it down.
  6. Put the cooled the oil mixture into the jar. Consider sterilizing the jar according to the (USDA) United States Department of Agriculture guidance.

How to Use the Garlic Oil Ear Drops

The person should be lying facing the infected ear up. Put two or three drops of garlic oil mixture into the ear and place a piece of cotton into the ear to avoid any sort of seeping out. The patient should remain in this position for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you can soak a piece of cotton first with the garlic oil mixture and then put it into the ear. The oil will automatically seep into the ear.

Using A Whole Clove of Garlic for Ear Infection

Peel a garlic clove and cut the tip of it. Then wrap the clove with gauze and put the wrapped clove of garlic in-ear facing the cut end of the clove inside of the ear. Make sure that garlic clove doesn’t go inside of the ear canal. Hold a piece of cloth over the ear until the pain is gone.
If any of the methods don’t work, contact your doctor and don’t apply anything on the ear without the doctor’s recommendation.


  1. If you have any kind of skin irritation after the application of the garlic oil, seek advice from your doctor.
  2. Do not use any medications without the doctor’s advice if you have ruptured eardrums.
  3. Do not use garlic oil which has been made before 3 days.


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