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Sweet Oil & Ear Infections

By T.J. Black ; Updated July 27, 2017

Ear infections are a common ailment among children, although adults can suffer from them too. While physicians may prescribe antibiotics to alleviate the symptoms of an ear infection, you may prefer to try a home remedy first. Sweet oil is one of the most common holistic cures for ear infections and ear aches and one of the most inexpensive ones as well.


Ear infections occur when an infection takes root in the eustachian tube of the ear. Usually, the infection blocks the tube, preventing the drainage of fluid from the nose and throat. Most children will complain about ear pain once an infection sets in, but you may be able to notice signs ahead of time. Children might pull or tug on their ears, which can indicate irritation in the ear.


Sweet oil is a simple oil most often made from olives or from almonds. Most manufactures indicate which ingredient they used as a base in their sweet oil formula. When you use sweet oil for an ear infection, either form will work. Some people use garlic oil, which can work as an antibiotic, instead of sweet oil.


When you decide to use sweet oil to alleviate an ear ache, you may want to heat the oil, which allows the tube to relax and makes it easier for blocked fluid to drain. Test the oil to make sure it isn’t too hot before you apply it to your ear. Use an ear dropper to administer the sweet oil into the ear canal, putting at least three drops in the affected ear.


While some people think using a cotton swab can help, it can impact any wax in the ear, causing more complications. You can use a cotton ball to keep the oil in your ear. If you prefer not to use a cotton ball, you can lie on your side with the treated ear facing up. Remain in this position until the sweet oil has time to drain into your ear canal.


Home remedies may not work for all people. If the pain continues or gets worse, you should contact your doctor immediately. Also keep in mind some doctors discourage the use of sweet oil as it can prevent them from clearly seeing the eardrum in the event you do go in for a visit. While you can ingest sweet oil, you should put it directly into the ear when you use it as a home remedy for ear infections.

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