How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways To Soothe a Cranky Ear
There is nothing worse than a cranky ear that won’t let you rest… except maybe your little one’s tired, cranky ears. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to watch what they eat, remove food items that seem to trigger ear problems, and make sure they don’t get water in their ears while swimming, it seems that occasionally our little ones still end up bothered by a painful ear.
Here are a few things that have worked in our family to help soothe cranky ears and let us all get some rest!
Important note: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately.
1. Slice off the top of an onion and, using the stem and outer skin as a handle, hold the onion up to the offending ear. Typically within a few minutes the discomfort disappears.
2. Good digestion can often help you avoid cranky ears. Our littles take a digestive enzyme and probiotics daily.
3. Eliminate common trigger foods such as wheat, dairy, soy, and sugar from the diet.
4. Try steam inhalation with dried or fresh herbs (remember the nasal passages and ears are connected!). In a large heatproof bowl, place 1 oz of each or some of the following herbs: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Elder Flowers, and/or Spearmint. Pour very hot or boiling water over the herbs and let steep for 1-2 minutes. As it steams, drape a towel over your shoulders and head, leaning over the bowl to trap the steam and direct it more easily as you breathe. (Be very careful to avoid steam burns!)
5. Sip on some tea made from equal parts Lemon Balm and Mullein. It is yummy and soothing! Add some honey for extra comfort.
6. Use a clean sock filled with uncooked rice and then warmed in the microwave to apply gentle heat to the ear (keep the heat mild; overheated rice packs can irritate and even burn the skin). One of our Beeyoutiful teammates also recently tried this using Coarse Rock Salt instead of rice; the salt seemed to work faster and hold a gentle heat longer, and the added minerals may also be beneficial.
7. Use Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils, diluted with Sweet Almond Oil to gently massage around the ear and neck.
Ear and Neck Massage Oil
- 1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 Drop Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 1 tsp Sweet Almond Oil
Mix together in small bottle. Massage around ear and neck. For external use only; Do Not Put This Blend Inside the Ear!
8. For soothing of a very cranky ear, try using Garlic Oil or Mullein Oil.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/8 cup Olive Oil
Simmer at lowest possible heat for several hours. (Do not let it burn!) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass bottle. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than one month. This recipe can also be used on the bottom of the feet, spine, and neck to help boost immunity.
- 2 oz Dried or Fresh Mullein
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 oz Olive Oil or other carrier oil
Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and let sit for 1-2 weeks, shaking occasionally. To speed up the process for immediate use, you can cook over the lowest heat possible on the stove for 30 mins to 6 hours.) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass container. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than 1 month.
Important note worth repeating: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately. Massages outside of the ear and on the lymph nodes around the ear and down the neck may continue to be helpful, but never drop anything into an ear that has a ruptured eardrum!