Ear infections are the most common of all childhood infections and when your little one has one, you certainly know about it. It can be very distressing for your child. The usual route is to take bub to the doc and a round of antibiotics is prescribed.

In many cases, antibiotics are not necessary. A build up of fluid in the Eustachian tube can cause a lot of discomfort but it does not mean your child has an ear infection. Even redness of the ear drum does not guarantee an infection is present. Prescribing antibiotics ‘just in case’ is not only harmful but often sets the child up for recurring ear infections. This was my story with our eldest.


Children’s ear canals are horizontal in structure. They don’t slant down like they do for adults. This makes it more difficult for the body to drain lymph from the ears and nodes, down into the throat for removal. When the lymph fluid doesn’t drain as needed it moves back up into the Eustachian tubes which presses on the back of the ear drum, causing swelling and pain. This is why it is commonly mistaken for an infection. If left untreated, this can advance to an infection so taking measures to address this stage is important.


When babies are teething there is a lot going on in the gums and mouth.

Being close to the ears, there will naturally be some discomfort and stress in this area. Sometimes this will present as swelling, redness and irritation.

If your child is running a mild fever, you will have to be the judge whether you need to take action to stabilise body temperature or just make bub as comfortable as possible.


A lot of heat! High body temperature, hot to touch on side of face and head, pus oozing from the ear.. Obviously we want to prevent this from happening by supporting the body early.

If your child is presenting with a true infection, they may need urgent medical support. It’s always best to act quickly with small children.


The first step is to help the lymph drain from the body so it doesn’t build up in the ear canal.

  1. Increase circulation to the area by wetting a washer with warm water and applying it over the ear and down the sides of the neck.
  2. Gently massage behind the ear and down the sides of the neck with extremely light strokes. Don’t apply too much pressure here. The lighter strokes will help move the lymph more effectively than firmer strokes. Keep the movement in a downward motion and you are doing it right.
  3. Use essential oils to support the immune system and promote lymph flow. I only use and recommend Young Living Essential Oils as I know their standards are extremely high and their farming and extraction processes ensure the healing potential of the oil remains intact.


  • Assists with congestion and helps support the immune system. Dilute 1-2 drops in a little coconut or olive oil and apply to the sides of the neck using the same light stroke massage technique as described above.


  • Contains properties that assist with inflammation. Apply directly to the bottom of the feet or at the site of discomfort. Dilute well for infants and small children.


  • This is THE oil for teething and discomfort. Blend with lemon and lavender or use on its own, diluted with carrier oil (coconut or olive). Apply in the same manner to help move the lymph out of the Eustachian tube. Some mummas will put a drop of Copaiba oil on their finger and rub onto swollen gums as needed.


COLLOIDAL SILVER – A few drops of colloidal silver in the ear canal will help to kill off bacteria thereby reducing swelling and pain.

GARLIC OIL – Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic and olive oil helps with inflammation. Gently heat 2 tbl olive oil in a pan with 1 clove organic garlic, crushed. Keep on low heat for 20 minutes then strain. Cool to skin temperature then apply two drops into the ear. Does not store or keep so make fresh each day if needed.

MULLEIN DROPS – Make the above garlic oil, adding 2 tsp dried mullein flowers to the recipe.

BREASTFEED – If baby is still nursing, keep feeding on demand. This provides the necessary antibodies to help fight off an infection as well as providing comfort and circulation to the area.


NEVER drop essential oils into the ear canal, no matter how pure. This will cause undue pain to your child and risk irritating the thin mucosal membrane that lines the ear canal.

Only ever use essential oils that are trustworthy. Message me for a referral!

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