Saturday, 26 April 2014
Curing earache naturally
Yesterday evening at bedtime my 2 and 3/4 year old had his first earache, actually the first earache in my 6 years of parenting. I got him straight on the boob, when he wasn't crying and pulling at his ear, and grabbed my phone to Google it and ask for advice on a Facebook group I'm in.
45 minutes later he was sleeping peacefully. He woke after about an hour and cried for a few minutes, saying his ear was sore, but then he fed to sleep and slept without problems for the night, and hasn't mentioned it today. What was the magic medicine? Garlic.
A little medical background, we've been pretty healthy the last few weeks, eating well, getting lots of fresh air, sunshine and exercise. This was our most healthy period in a long while, after The Plague of Feb-April that hit us all repeatedly.
The weather has warmed up in Ireland and pollen counts are rising, I've always been susceptible to hay fever, and my kids are a little sniffly recently too, which I put down to a touch of hayfever. So I was getting honey into their diets and that kept it at bay. (Not even local honey, just any old honey seems to do the trick).
But last weekend was Easter, which meant 3+ days of gorging on chocolate, and not eating much of the healthy stuff at all. I figure our immune systems have dipped a bit because of that. Apparently our nearly 6 yr old seemed to be coming down with something a few days ago, coughing and sniffly, but I have no recollection of it (dh assures me we had a conversation about it at the time). He has recovered though.
So our toddler has been a little snotty (sorry if TMI) and drooly this week but what's new, he's either cutting teeth or getting a cold I figured. He was still in great form, playing, screaming at us, crying for his toys, kissing me load and singing his little songs. So last night when he started crying in pain and telling me he was sad for his sore ear I obviously knew it was getting serious. A while on the boob watching telly before bedtime didn't distract him, and so I took him to bed and he was writhing in agony, and screaming with the pain.
Googling I found lots of mom blog sites attesting garlic (or onions) as being a perfect quick home remedy. I had only used the last of our garlic at lunchtime, so texted a friend and she very very kindly ran over with some cloves and tea tree oil too. Thanks Lynn!
The sites said to either cook the crushed garlic in olive oil, strain it and drop into the ear, or mix crushed garlic in water and use similarly. I was in bed breastfeeding a tired sore baba, and ended up reaching around him, pulling the cloves apart in my hands, and swilling them in a small cupful of oil.
I put some crushed oily cloves in socks on the soles of his feet, which he slept with for an hour before he woke up and realised they were there. I also placed a piece of oily garlic in his ear (not the canal, just resting outside it) as I'd read the fumes work to clear the possible infection. He woke up and swiped that out too, twice, by which time the cup of oil was now pungent with garlic, so I managed to drop a couple of drops into his ear. Then he literally slept like a baby.
I must add I also elevated his head and shoulders on a pillow, and had him sleep on his good ear, so the sore one would be drained by gravity. I also put my arm over his sore ear while he slept for an hour or so, until he got nice and sweaty under it, I wanted to keep it warm and he'd never let a hot pack near him (if we had one, which we don't).
I'm not sure if he had a full-blown ear infection, I doubt it, more likely the start of one. I know it's viral because today I have an earache and so does my husband. But I'm confident we killed it off, and my toddler's feeling ok. I'll still take the precaution of using the oil in his ear tonight when he's asleep, and I'm using it on myself too.
I love learning how to keep us healthy using natural remedies, and garlic seems to be one of the top herbs, I am going to make sure I always have a supply from now on.
Have you any tricks for keeping earaches at bay?