Natural ear care: homemade herbal oil drops and massage

Susanna can barely hear; I can barely talk.  If I get right up close, and talk into her ear with my gravelly voice I can usually get the message across, but the situation is frustrating–and worrisome. My voice will be back within a few days, but her hearing may not.

Last week I went to an ENT specialist who told me her second set of ear tubes had come out, leaving fluid trapped in her inner ear. Instead of making an appointment for another surgery to insert a third set of tubes (and increase the risk of scarring), he suggested we wait for three months to see if her situation will improve.

“Right now we are coming to the end of the worst season for ear infections,” he said. “Let’s see if she can stay infection-free for the next three months and then we will re-assess our options.”

I gripped the wheel the whole drive home, my mind spinning through ideas to keep my little girl healthy. I knew the fluid in her ear not only causes hearing loss, but also provides the perfect medium for another infection to grow.

By the end of our two-hour trip home I decided I was going to make some natural ear drops. I called the ENT’s office to run my idea by the nurse and she told me I could try it, but that it certainly wouldn’t accomplish anything.  I thanked her kindly, hung up, and set work.


Natural Ear drops for Susanna

  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic (an anti-bacterial agent commonly used in ear remedies )
  • handful of dried oregano (also anti-bacterial)
  • handful of dried calendula (to stimulate the lymph system)
  • olive oil

I poured olive oil over the ingredients until they were just covered; set the pot in a bigger pot with water; and gently heated it on the stove for about an hour (or two?).  Then I turned off the stove and let everything infuse for the next 12 hours at room temperature.  After straining the botanicals through a fine cloth, I poured the pungent oil into bottles and labeled them.

Garlic/calendula/oregano ear drops

Garlic/calendula/oregano ear drops

After we administer 2 or 3 drops of this oil, we also give her a lymphatic massage to encourage fluid drainage.  I admit, it does feel a little hokey, but almost every time we do it she reports shortly after: “I can feel tickling, like it’s moving inside.”  Let’s hope so!

The following video instructs how to do this kind of massage and gives more background information.

And, for those of you who could care less about any kind of herbal remedy, and are only here to see a picture, or read a story about your grandkids, this is for you.

Last Thursday, 9:30am:

Susanna’s sitting on the couch with a handful of gold fish crackers–her breakfast–and looks at me as if she suddenly thought of something important.

“Hey, Are we supposed to be at school?”

“Yep.  It’s a school day.”

“Well, why aren’t we going?”

The flu.  That’s why.  Our family of four was hit with it at the same time and though the girls are feeling better now, and probably could go to school, I don’t have the energy to get them ready.  On a good day, it’s a formidable task; requiring enough cajoling, nagging and hassling to move a small mountain.  Today I couldn’t do it. So instead we did this. (See agenda below).


Originally, Susanna had written “WE DID IT” at the bottom of her list, as if simply surviving was a great success.  Sometimes it does feel like that, doesn’t it?

Wishing you, and yours, sharp ears …and if you  must be sick, a cozy day like this one.


ps. #9 refers to the “Grandma’s attic” series by Arleta Richardson–another set of books we are enjoying right now.


5 thoughts on “Natural ear care: homemade herbal oil drops and massage

  1. Oh I wish Colin could have had this when he was young. He had ear tubes put in several times and nothing helped. To this day he struggles with constant fluid in his ear and his hearing has been affected. I sure hope this helps Susanna!!! You are a good Mom!!! Keep at it! If it works, I will commission you to make some for Colin, too! Take care and I hope you all get better real soon! Love, Erika

  2. OH, poor Susanna! We love you so much and don’t want you to be hurting. I agree with A. Erika. You do have a good mom and she will do her best to get you better.

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