Just as we were going to bed the other night Miss 8 woke up crying hysterically. She was complaining of two very sore ears and a sore throat. Uh-oh, here we go - ear infection time.
If ear infections are something your little ones deal with often, read on for my tips on fighting the infections naturally. Plus, additional information on preventing ear infections below.
(PS - just to add - many times, the first thing we may want to do when our child complains of sore ears, is to rush them to the doctors for anti-biotics. However, even doctors are now cautionary to handing out this medicine, as many ear infections are now resistant to anti-biotics, not to mention these drugs are also very disruptive to our gut bacteria. Most of the time our body can fight the infection on it's own. So in extreme cases, yes, they are needed, but anti-biotics don't always have to be the first option).
Here are the steps I took to help her system fight the infection:
1. First ... I crushed a clove of garlic and gently heated it in a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the oil was warm (the garlic should soften, but not go brown). I then removed the garlic using a sieve, and sucked up the warm olive oil into a syringe (check that the temp isn't hot). Miss 8 lay her head on a towel and I slowly dripped the olive oil into her ear until she said it felt full.
2. Next ... I put 4 drops of oregano oil (anti-bacterial) into my palm and mixed this with some of the olive oil (tea tree oil or any other anti-bacterial essential oil is fine too) and rubbed this all over the back of her neck, up the sides and around her ears too.
3. Then ... Miss 8 was given 3 pro-biotic tablets to swallow, along with 20mls of Colloidal Silver, which is amazing for colds etc. Get it at your local health shop and some chemists. Also you can syringe a few drops of Colloidal Silver into aching ears as well.
4. Lastly ... I opened a pro-biotic capsule and tipped the powder into the back of her throat, instructing her to let it sit there for as long as possible. This enables the pro-biotics to directly boost the good bacteria in her throat, fighting the "bad guys", and will also get into her eustachian tubes which run from the ear to the back of the throat.
Then I lay on the bed with her for a cuddle and wondered why I had a hankering for garlic bread (see previous garlic tip above). She soon fell asleep. She woke up in the morning happy, with only one ear a little sore (which was fine by the next day) and no complaints of a sore throat. Ta daaaaaa!
Additional Information on Ear Infections
If your children are susceptible to a lot of ear infections you may want to consider removing dairy from their diet for a few weeks to see if this is causing an issue, due to dairy being very inflammatory for some children's systems.
Reoccurring ear infections may be due to a deficiency in zinc or selenium. New Zealand has very low levels of zinc in our soils (meaning, there is low levels of zinc in the plants we eat) so a supplement may be needed. I like Clinicians Zinc Drops as you can add it to their smoothies, cereal, etc. Whole-grains (if grown in rich-zinc soils) are also a very high source of zinc.
Selenium can be easily added by eating Brazil nuts (half a nut per day for children under 3, just crush them up). Beef, eggs, spinach and chicken contain it too. Or else try a supplement.
Continue to give them pro-biotics throughout the ear infection season as this will benefit the good bacteria in their guts.
Increasing Vitamin D is also another great option for boosting their immunity, so make sure they get some time outside in the sun each day - well, when it's not blustery and cold.
Taking your child for Chiropractic or Osteopath sessions may also be helpful to assist with drainage and release pressure.
Dr Malcolm Harker's Ear, Nose and Throat Tonic is also another great option to use when infections start. It is available at most Health Shops.
Increase their immunity by feeding them a whole food diet as much as possible (over 70% of our immunity is in our gut) and introducing immunity boosting fermented foods like coconut kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha etc.