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Ear infections are rough, especially for kids who are suffering through one. Many conventional methods aren’t effective for ear infections, and while natural remedies work, some can take a while.
One of my go-to remedies for ear infections is garlic oil (here’s how to make your own garlic oil), which works well but can take a couple of hours to relieve pain. In the meantime, I found a simple remedy that helps ease the pain of the infection until the garlic oil or other remedy can fight the infection.
We recently took a family trip to the beach and all of my children practically lived in the water for a week. I typically bring 3% hydrogen peroxide to use in their ears after swimming in the ocean but forgot it this time in the hustle of getting ready. Using hydrogen peroxide has helped us avoid any ear infections in the past and I foolishly thought we would be ok without it.
A couple of days after we got home, two of our younger children started displaying the classic symptoms of ear infection and waking at night with ear pain. I checked to make sure the ear drum had not ruptured and started using garlic oil and my other remedies.
Our daughter was hit with symptoms at 2 AM so I needed to find a quick way to relieve her pain so that we could all get some sleep…
Lavender Salt Ear Infection Remedy
This simple remedy combines mineral rich sea salt (or salt crystals) with lavender flowers for an external hot pack that helps ease the pain of an ear infection and speed recovery at the same time. We’ve used basic rice heat packs in the past for body aches and illnesses, but those were in the room with the last of our sleeping children and I wasn’t willing to risk waking them to get one.
Gazing into our salt lamp while I held my crying four-year-old, I wondered if Himalayan Salt would work like the rice in a hot pack but with the added benefit of negative ions. I made a quick impromptu hot pack with an organic muslin bag and some salt crystals and tried it on her ear.
It provided almost instant relief and gave the garlic ear oil I’d already used in her ear some time to work without her trying to dump it out.
Here’s Why it Works…
Salt is naturally drying and pulls fluid out of the ear. The salt pack is heated, and the heat also offers relief from the pain and Himalayan salt creates beneficial negative ions when heated. These negative ions are known for their ability to bind to pollutants, bacteria, and infection and this helped draw the moisture and infection from the ear.
Lavender is naturally antibacterial and the addition of lavender flowers helps soothe and reduce inflammation. Lavender is also calming and the scent helps induce restful sleep.
How to Make a Lavender Salt Ear Infection Remedy
Supplies and Ingredients
- 1 organic cotton muslin bag or a white cotton sock (no colors or size markings on bottom or it will melt!)
- 1/2 cup Himalayan salt crystals (regular coarse ground salt will work too, but these seemed to hold heat better and didn’t leave a salt dust like powdered salt did)
- Optional: 2 Tablespoons dried lavender flowers (or 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil placed on pack once heated)
- Place salt and lavender in muslin bag or sock and seal tightly. I liked the bag for this reason because it was easy to tie.
- Heat the bag in a pan over low heat (carefully) until warmed or microwave for about 30 seconds.
- Make sure the pack is warm to the touch but not hot enough to burn and place over the painful ear.
- Warm and repeat as needed for relief of ear infection pain.
While this remedy will help draw moisture out of the ear and provide relief through heat, it is not a complete remedy for an ear infection. Consider using other remedies and check with a doctor if you suspect the infection is serious, the child has a very high fever, or the ear drum has ruptured.