Ear infections are a common occurrence both in adults and more often, children. It’s estimated that at least 70% of children have one ear infection by the time they reach the age of three1. Exposure of the middle ear to bacteria and viruses due to cold, flu or allergies can lead to ear infections. While serious earaches can cause permanent hearing loss and require medical attention, minor earaches can often be treated at home. In fact, one of the most effective self-care remedies for relieving ear pain and preventing infection is extra virgin olive oil.
How, exactly, does extra virgin olive oil help with ear infections? First, it has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can protect the walls of your outer ear against bacterial and viral infections2. It can also open up the Eustachian tubes of your middle hear to help reduce the infection. Further, it can prevent the build-up of excessive earwax that can block water drainage from the ear canal and lead to infection. Finally, extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenol antioxidants that can protect cells from damage and control inflammation. Therefore, when olive oil makes contact with an inflamed eardrum it can have a soothing effect on the swollen, tightly stretched tissue and help ease the pain.
To treat ear pain and infection, simply apply a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, warm, directly into the infected ear. Cover the ear with a cotton ball and leave it for a while. Repeat the process a few times a day until the pain is relieved. For additional information and application techniques, visit: http://homeremediesforlife.com/olive-oil-for-ear-infection/. Be aware, however, that there is currently no peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that this does anything aside from a perceivable placebo effect.