13 November, 2014

FEVERS, EAR INFECTIONS & GARLIC-INFUSED EAR DROPS

These garlic-infused drops are the bomb for kicking ear infections. We had our first ever bout of ear aches several months back, and these drops worked miracles. The rate at which garlic can destroy an infection blows my mind.

I've said it before: did you know garlic is nature's best antibiotic? And a beautiful thing about garlic is that resistance can't be built up, so its an effective and safe antibiotic. According to this study, garlic is one-hundred times more effective at beating infection than the two leading antibiotic brands.

At our house we don't panic over a fever, because fevers are a good thing.  A fever is our body's way of raising it's temperature to kill viruses and bacteria. (Just as when our body temperature dips, some viruses and bacteria die). Our bodies shift their temperature to move outside the virus or bacteria's line of defence. How amazing is that?

When we attempt to lower a fever, bacteria and viruses are able to survive, and continue to multiply, making the sickness more difficult to fight off, which can lead to further illness, often requiring medication, which compromises the immune system and prohibits it from functioning as it should.




So in a generally healthy person, fevers shouldn't be concerning because temperature control is a weapon of the human body.

Then what do we do? Seek to reduce the discomfort and speed up the healing. Let the fever run its course and keep them as comfortable as possible. For Sebastian this usually means sleeping flat on our chests between episodes of Looney Tunes. And a few other things:

Like water. Loads of water and loads of sleep. If you struggle to get water down your sick child, electrolyte-packed coconut water is a great option, especially when dehydration is more possible.

I appreciate this post by a Loyola pediatrician on when a fever should begin to concern you. If the person is slow, unresponsive, or has had a fever for more than three days, or if they are immune-compromised, seeing a naturopathic doctor or someone you trust, may be needed.


Before the garlic drops recipe, a few tricks we use for achy ears:

  • Garlic in general is great to consume, even if the earache is only viral. You can roast garlic but you're losing the therapeutic properties. The best way to consume it is raw. I like to chop a few cloves and swallow them in a bit of water or raw apple cider vinegar. For the littles, chopping a clove and mixing it in a teaspoon of honey goes down well.
  • Massage lavender (neat) to soothe and Thieves (diluted in coconut oil) for anti-bacterial & anti-viral properties, around the base of ears for relief.
  • Rub magnesium oil on chest and stomach to stimulate immune response.
  • Double-dose on fermented cod liver oil. This blog has interesting facts on Vitamin A deficiency and the ear's ability to function, as well as the damage fever reducers can cause.
  • Hot towel compress  or "rice bag" - one of the biggest socks we can find, filled two-thirds of the way with rice, and knotted. This is one of the few situations where I feel okay with using the microwave-- stick the filled sock in the microwave for 30-second intervals until it is very warm but not hot. Hold on sore ear until cool.



Garlic-Infused Ear Drops

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut oil (it's anti-viral!)
2-3 cloves organic garlic, crushed

In saucepan over a larger pot filled with water (or a double boiler), melt coconut oil, then add olive oil and warm until just hot to the touch. Add garlic to oils and allow to sit over heat, being careful not to cook the garlic. The water beneath the pan will keep the oil hot for quite a while, but once it cools to body temperature,  carefully strain out garlic using a cheesecloth and pour oil into a glass bottle with dropper.


For an added soothing effect, heat oil by placing the jar in a sauce pan of water on the stove until oil is warmed to body temperature. Use generously. Drop 2-3 drops into ear canal every hour or as needed. Massage a few drops on the bottom of each foot and around each ear. For best results, lie on your side for 30 minutes after applying in ear. Should be used 4-6 times daily, but preferably 8-10 or until infection has cleared.

(This recipe is adapted from here).

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