The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.

Ear Infections-

There are two common ear infections, infection of the external ear canal, also known as swimmer's ear or otitis externa and infection of the middle ear, also known as otitis media.
Otitis externa- is due to bacterial or rarely fungus in the external ear canal. It is characterized by itching and pain in the ear canal and sometimes a bad smelling discharge. It is treated conventionally with local antibiotics and corticosteroids.

Herbal treatment-
Mullein-garlic eardrops- a combination of Mullein, Garlic and sometimes St. Johnís Wort, which has antibiotic, antiinflammatory and pain relieving action. Warm the drops to body temperature and fill the ear canal, using a cotton ball in the outer ear to prevent leakage. Apply 3-4 times a day.

Other herbs-Goldenseal

Otitis media- can be acute or chronic. The acute form is due to a virus or less often a bacteria, and is characterized by a severe earache, fever and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Sometimes the eardrum ruptures which relieves the pain and produces a bloody discharge from the ear canal. Complications include spread of infection into the surrounding tissues including the brain. It is more common in children and is conventionally treated with antibiotics and antihistamines. A recent analysis of studies of antibiotic treatment of ear infections revealed no significant benefits over not treating with antibiotics. Chronic otitis media results in impaired hearing from persistant fluid behind the eardrum. It is associated with allergies. Both acute and chronic ear infections will benefit from eliminating allergenic foods (dairy products, eggs, wheat, corn, and citrus) from the diet for a time. Also eliminate sugar as it can impair the immune system function. A good vitamin-mineral supplement with plenty of Vitamin A & C, zinc, bioflavonoids and beta-carotenes will be helpful. Heat applications to the external ear can help with pain relief.

With acute otitis, you should consult your health care provider if you have severe ear pain, discharge from the ear canal, high fever, headache, hearing loss or dizziness.

Herbal treatment-
Echinacea-proven to be effective for increasing immune function
Liquid extract- 1/2- 1 teaspoon every 3-4 hours for acute, twice a day for chronic.
Dry herb in capsules- 500-1000 mg every 3-4 hours twice a day for chronic
Standardized extract (3.5% echinacoside)- 150-300 mg every 3-4 hours twice a day for chronic
Elder flowers- with their diaphoretic and ability to decrease fluid buildup in the ear are helpful for both acute and chronic otitis. The most benefit may be had from a tea of elderflower.
Tea- 2 teaspoons to a cup of boiling water, every 3-4 hours for acute, twice a day for chronic
Liquid extract-1/2-1 teaspoon every 3-4 hours for acute, twice a day for chronic
Dry herb in capsules- 500-1000 mg every 3-4 hours for acute, twice a day for chronic

Other herbs-Garlic, Goldenrod, Osha

* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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