Natural Ways to Prevent and Heal Ear Infections

Middle-ear infections are the most common infection for which antibiotics are prescribed for children in the United States. Watching an infant scream in pain while tugging at their ears is devastating.

Most ear infections are actually just fluid that has built up in the eardrum, which may, or may not, lead to an infection if left untreated. If you’re reluctant to jump to antibiotics, you’re not alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines just this year, recommending watchful waiting over antibiotics in children. Here are some tips that can help prevent and reduce the pain associated with ear fluid buildup.

Make massage a regular part of your nursing routine. Frequent massage behind the ear and down the side of the neck keeps fluid moving through the lymph nodes and out of the ears, reducing the likelihood of fluid buildup.

Cleaning baby’s ears should be a regular part of your routine. Never use a Q-tip–this can push earwax farther into the ear canal, causing more fluid build-up. Instead, warm some olive oil to body temperature and use two or three drops in each ear every few weeks to keep them clean.

Get regular chiropractic adjustments, and increase the frequency during periods of ear pain. Getting adjusted helps the body drain any fluid from the middle ear and can also strengthen the immune system to decrease the chances of future infection.

Collodial silver is a great immunity booster and natural antibiotic. If your child gets frequent ear infections, using a few drops in the ears every few weeks can help keep them at bay, otherwise just use them during an ear infection. I have found 2-3 drops 3 times a day to be effective.

Breast milk really does cure everything, including ear infections. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties found in breast milk can help speed the healing process. Just administer a few drops in each ear as often as you can. There’s no harm in using too much breast milk.

Children with recurring ear infections should eliminate dairy. If you have a breastfed infant with recurring ear infections, dairy should be eliminated from the mother’s diet. Dairy causes the body to increase its mucous production, which can increase swelling and fluid buildup behind the ears.

Sticking to a natural diet and avoiding sugar, artificial colorings and flavorings will help keep the immune system strong and shorten healing time. Always consult with your pediatrician on the best course of action, and remember to ask for an ear swab to test for infection so you don’t end up treating fluid buildup with antibiotics.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby. Visit her blog and website at





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