HERBAL AIDS FOR EAR PROBLEMS
The use of certain herbs can enhance the recovery of problems concerning the ears. This is important to know how to treat naturally, as it is common, and it can prevent life long challenges as a result of inappropriate treatment.
Ear infections fall into two major categories: acute otitis media (AOM) and secretory otitis media (otitis media with effusion (OME)). Children with OME have fluid filling the middle ear. Children with AOM have fluid in the middle ear and ear pain, marked redness of the eardrum, and distinct bulging of the eardrum, often with fever.
Unfortunately, it is common practice for well-meaning physicians to prescribe antibiotics for ear infections. We know that a child who has received two or three courses of antibiotics is seven times more likely to become infected with resistant bacteria. This problem is much worse when the child has been on been on a broad-spectrum antibiotic (an antibiotic that is effective against a wide range of bacterial species). Whenever antibiotics are used, the most sensitive bacteria die first, and the most resistant live to reproduce. When broad-spectrum antibiotics are misused, very resistant strains of bacteria can be bred.
A single dose of some powerful antibiotic drugs is enough to kill most of the weaker bacteria in your child’s body, yet still allow the stronger ones to survive. The likelihood of your child’s getting a subsequent, worse ear infection only increases after this treatment.
Not to mention the effect that the antibiotic has on the probiotics that should be naturally prevalent in the body, especially the colon. This imbalance between ‘anti’ and ‘pro’ biotic (bio = life)
Drug-resistant bacteria, aka “super bugs” , pose a very real problem. Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is the most common cause of ear infections. Over the past years, resistant strains of pneumococcus have been emerging and spreading rapidly.
This will often lead to ear tubes, which bypass the body’s natural defence system called the ear drum. Repeated use of ear tubes, as the child outgrows them, can result in permanent scarring of the eardrum.
Compare this to having a leak in your roof, which is causing water to drip into your house. Instead of fixing the leak, you attach a pipe to drain off the excess water.
A more sensible approach is to look to the cause of the ear infections, eliminate the infection naturally, and support the immune system.
- For earaches/ ear infections the following single and combination herbs will help strengthen the body to assist in a quicker recovery.
CBG– Orally and drops in ear as antibiotic. Good for earaches and other respiratory infections.
Lobelia– Influences the entire system; deobstruant which thins mucous. It is a nerve relaxant and can be used alone or with CBG for earaches. Relieves pain both internally, a couple of drops per ear, and rubbed externally behind the ear with downward strokes towards the tonsils- helps lymphatic drainage.
H.P Garlic– A high potency garlic used as an oral antibiotic.
Golden Seal/ Echinacea or glycerine extract of Oregon Grape – Antibiotic; may be necessary in addition to above, as an added infection fighter if infection has been chronic.
Garlic Oil/ Ear Oil – garlic and mullein infused in oil – used as antibiotic ear drops.
SN-X– Relieves sinus infections and blockage.
Xylitol gum and mints have also been found to reduce the incidence of middle ear infections by 40% in young children, potentially eliminating the need for tube insertions. Xylitol has also been used to prevent sinus infections, allergies and asthma.
Bifidophilus Flora Force – If antibiotics have been used, it is essential to replenish colonic bacteria with friendly, immune supporting bacteria. Otherwise, overgrowth of candida (yeast) infections may worsen the original problem. Bifidophilus Flora Force formula contains
prebiotics and probiotics to achieve this balance.
Blood purifiers can help with runny ears. Combinations will usually include herbs that are mild laxatives & good liver cleansers. Yeast Fungal Detox os one for those with candida or yeast involvement. All Cell Detox is another effective blood purifying combination.
- For tinnitus/vertigo the following herbs may assist:
Ginkgo Biloba– Increases circulation and blood flow to the nerves of the inner ear and brain. Combined with Hawthorne enhances overall cardio vascular circulation. Available in combination Gingko Hawthorne,or Gingko Time Release as a single herb.
Feverfew – High Potency– Used to help dizziness and tinnitus, as it provides circulation to brain and head. Helpful to ears, nose and throat. Also used for liver related migraines.
To order, or for more info, dosages plus dietary considerations, contact Lorene Benoit Health Services at 250-748-6802 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Greene MD FAAP Contemporary Pediatrics, March 1994
“Liquid Herbs” 2003, by Lorene Benoit, MHH, CHC
© Benoit & Associates Health Education