Best Essential Oils For Ear Infection And Earache

It is woefully irritating and tough to deal with ear infections and earaches.

Fortunately, you have numerous choices in treating ear pain and infection.

Prescription medicines, OTC antibiotics, homeopathic treatments, and home remedies are the common treatment for inflammation in the ear.

For fear of the side effects of prescription medicines, many people are now opting for essential oils as a great home remedy for managing ear infections.

Do essential oils for earache work?  Are there any risks in using essential oils for ear infections? Which oils work the best?

Here are all the important facts you need to know about using essential oils for infections and pain in the ear.

Earaches And Ear Infections

The reasons for earaches are many.

Different types of infections affecting the ear canal and inflammation behind the eardrums are the most common reasons for ear pain.

Other prominent causes of earaches are excess earwax buildup, foreign bodies in the ear, insects’ bite, teeth grinding at night, or soaps and shampoos lodged in the ear.

Severe and recurring earaches originate from infections in the ear, tonsillitis, sinus infection, a problem with the thyroid, or strep throat.

Some do develop pain in the ear due to allergies, listening to high decibel sound bites, injuries, boil, infected hair follicles in the ear, dental abscess, facial nerve pain, or eczema.

Incidences of earaches are higher among children than adults.

The best home remedies for earaches and ear infections are essential oils and sweet oils.

Essential Oils For Earache

Using Essential For Ear Pain And Infections

Essential oils are a highly concentrated version of the natural oils in plants.

EOs have helped in improving the lives of people for thousands of years providing numerous benefits.

Essential oils are used in natural remedies, aromatherapy, making of medicines, cosmetics production, and dietary purposes, and for spiritual and religious ceremonies.

Analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils make them worthy of pain management. The soothing effect of the essential oils is excellent for immediate pain relief.

Most of the essential oils contain antimicrobial properties that help in fighting bacterial and viral infections.

Ear pain caused by infections in the ear can be managed with essential oils that contain antimicrobial properties.

The results from the essential oils are very promising. However, there is a need for extensive research to unearth and ratify the efficacy, utility, and safety of using EOs in humans.

List Of Essential Oils For Earache

Some of the sweet oils and essential oils are traditionally used for ear treatments.

There are many useful oils for getting fast relief from ear pain and infection.

Best EOs for ear infections are:

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Basil Oil
  • Garlic Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Thyme Oil
  • Oregano Oil

Effective cooking oils and sweet oils for ear pain are:

  • Olive Oil
  • Mustard Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Now let us learn a little more about these oils in detail:

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is excellent for getting rid of ear pain caused by infections in the ear canal or behind the eardrums.

According to a 2006 study report, TTO oil contains terpinen-4-ol, a natural chemical substance effective in eliminating bacteria and viruses.

Any bacterial infections in the ear canal can be best treated with tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil also contains astringent properties that are useful for drying up the excess fluid buildup in the ear.

How To Use:

  • Dilute 3 drops of TTO in 1 tablespoon olive oil and gently warm up the mixture for proper blending.
  • With the help of an eyedropper drip 5 drops of this oil blend in the ear canal.
  • After 15 minutes you can wipe off the oil from the ear canal using ear cleaning cotton buds.
  • Repeat the treatment twice a day until the issue in the ear is settled.

Basil Oil

Basil oil is one of the best-known natural remedies for ear infections and pain.

A rat study conducted in 2005 found that basil oil is beneficial for healing ear infections and reducing pain.

In this study, Basil oil treatment healed about 56 to 81 percent of rats with Haemophilus influenza infection. The success rate of healing rats infected with pneumococci infection varied between 15 to 75 percent by using this oil.

This oil is rich in antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. All these medicinal properties are excellent for soothing ear pain and healing infections in the ear.

How To Use:

  • Moderately soak a cotton ball in basil oil;
  • Place the oil-soaked cotton ball in the infected area of the ear canal;
  • Remove the cotton ball from the ear only after a minimum of 30 minutes;
  • Repeat the treatment twice a day.

Garlic Oil

The allicin compound in garlic oil is beneficial for soothing pain and inflammation in the ear.

One of the studies published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology found that garlic essential oil contains antifungal and antimicrobial qualities.  This makes the garlic oil effective for dealing with a microbial infection in the ear.

How To Use:

  • Add 5 drops of garlic oil to one teaspoon olive oil,
  • Apply the oil mixture on the inner and outer portion of the ear,
  • Apply the oil mixture twice a day,
  • Make sure this oil does not reach the eardrum.

Lavender Oil

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic action of lavender essential oil helps relieve ear pain.

This oil is also effective for healing the infection in the ear.

Persons suffering from severe earaches can get a soothing and calming effect by doing aromatherapy with lavender oil.

How To Use:

  • Rub a few drops of lavender oil on the outer portion of the ear;
  • Inhale the aroma of lavender oil;
  • Do not apply an excessive amount of oil in the inner part of the ear especially around the eardrum.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a highly valued natural painkiller and muscle relaxant.

This soothing oil is known for its efficacy in rapidly eliminating inflammation and pain. It is best used for reducing muscle pain, back pain, and headaches. This oil also works well for treating ear pain arising out of inflammation.

How To Use:

  • Dilute 5 drops of peppermint oil in 1 tablespoon coconut oil/jojoba oil;
  • Gently rub the oil on the outer portion of the infected ear;
  • Let the oil get absorbed for 30 minutes and then rinse it off.
  • Repeat the treatment twice a day.

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil contains an active ingredient known as Thymol which is a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent.

Thyme oil can produce a soothing and calming effect on the aching ear.

How To Use:

  • Take 4 drops of thyme oil and dilute in 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil;
  • Apply the oil mixture on the back of the ear;
  • Do not apply this oil inside the ear or directly on the infected area.

Oregano Oil

Research shows oregano oil is a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.  The carvacrol content is responsible for its analgesic activity.

This oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants which help in clearing up blockage and infections in the ear. It produces soothing effects that relieve pain and irritation.

This essential oil is packed with active ingredients and antioxidants that can quickly clear up any infections or blockages in the ear, and relieve pain at the same time.

How To Use:

  • Dilute the 4 drops of oregano oil in almond or olive oil;
  • Apply the oil blend on the outer side of the ear;
  • Do not spill the oil into the ear canal;
  • Apply the oil twice a day.

Other Oils For Ear Aches

Besides the essential oils, some cooking oils and sweet oils also have the efficacy to relieve pain in the ear.

Mustard Oil

Mustard oil contains powerful antibacterial properties.

This oil works best for earaches caused by infections in the canal.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in this oil help in soothing the inflamed tissues.

How To Use:

  • Mix 5 drops of mustard oil in 1 ounce of warm water;
  • Gently irrigate the ear canal with this diluted mixture;
  • After a minute pour out the liquid from the ear by tilting the head sideways;
  • Repeat the treatment 3 times a day.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is excellent for treating earaches caused by excess earwax or foreign bodies in the ear.

Pouring a few drops of olive oil in the ear canal help to loosen the earwax and then remove the wax with cotton earbuds.

Olive oil can also be used to treat mild bacterial infections in the ear.

How To Use:

  • Pour 5 drops of extra virgin olive oil in the ear canal and hold it in for 10 minutes;
  • Then remove the wax from the ear with cotton buds;
  • Apply a thin layer of olive oil to treat mild infections in the ear.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can effectively heal mild infections in the ear.

This oil has traditionally been used as a healing agent for treating dry skin, diarrhea, diabetes, cancer, and psoriasis. It is also used as an antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral agent for dealing with dermal infections.

According to a study published in the November 2008 edition of “Dermatitis”, coconut oil is an effective remedy for getting rid of fungal and viral infections.  It works best for treating mild infections in the ear.

Using coconut oil with garlic has a higher efficacy in quickly healing bacterial infections.

How To Use:

  • Heat 1/8 cup of coconut oil with 2 cloves of garlic in a small saucepan for 5 minutes.
  • After cooling down the oil, strain it with cheesecloth into a bowl and transfer the oil into an eyedropper.
  • Use the blended coconut oil twice a day for seven days.
  • If the infection does not subside after a week, you should consult a doctor.

Tips On Using Essential Oils For Ear Infection

Essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants.

It contains strong chemical properties capable of causing burns and irritation on the skin.  For this reason, the essential oil must be diluted in any of the suitable carrier oils before applying them to the skin.

Approximately, 1 drop of essential oil requires about 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.

If you are using the EO for the first time, do a small skin patch test to assess how your skin will react to the oil. It is safe to use the oil if you do not experience skin irritation within 24 hours.

For treating earaches with the essential oil you can follow different methods of treatment.

Soak a cotton ball with diluted essential oils and place it in the ear canal. This method is best for loosening the earwax or for clearing the ear canal of foreign bodies.

However, be careful that strands of cotton fibers do not get deposited deep inside the ear after the cotton ball is removed. Trapped cotton fibers in the ear canal can make ear infections even worse.

Another method of treating the ear infection is by directly dropping a few drops of diluted EO into the ear canal with the help of an eyedropper.

Lastly, you can rub the diluted essential oil over the outer portion of the ear. This is the safest method of ear treatment with essential oils.

Most of the time, applying essential oil directly over the infected area can aggravate the infection.

Risks And Warnings

Do not apply the undiluted essential oil on the skin as this may cause skin irritation and burns.

Essential oils should not be used deep inside the ear, especially on the eardrums.

Do not use more than three drops of essential oils in the ear per treatment session. Give a minimum of 5 hours of gap between two treatment sessions.

Children have delicate and tender skin, and for this reason, essential oil treatments in children should be done with great caution.

Essential oils are best for treating mild ear infections and pains. Ear pain and infection of severe and recurring nature should be treated by a doctor.

Essential oils have the potential for allergic reactions and skin irritation, particularly in people with sensitive skin.

Best Essential Oils For Ear Infections

The Bottom Line

The use of essential oils for an ear infection is proved to be an effective solution for dealing with earaches.

The antimicrobial properties found in essential oils are great for getting rid of bacterial and viral infections that might be causing ear pains. Their analgesic properties in them can produce a calming and soothing effect that relieves pain and irritation.

Applying diluted essential oils to the outer and inner portion of the ear can bring about instant ear pain relief in most cases.

However, earaches caused by internal health issues like tonsillitis, thyroid issues, injury, fractured eardrums, or other severe diseases affecting the body cannot be relieved by using essential oils.