Herbal Ear Oil with Mullein and Garlic (Plus 4 More Mullein Recipes)
An herbal ear oil made with mullein, garlic, and other herbs is perfect for treating earaches and ear infections at home. This simple herbal preparation is a must-have for homes with little ones!
Two of our children have been prone to earaches. During a cold, in the middle of the night when they tend to strike, I would hear the wail of “My ear hurts!”
I would inwardly groan, knowing what was ahead (no sleep). I always felt sorry for them, though. I’ve had earaches as an adult and they’ve truly been miserable. I knew how much pain they were in.
When our oldest child had her first ear infection on a weekend, I did what I thought I needed to do. We went to urgent care, had a quick exam, and got antibiotics and ear drops for pain.
After learning about natural health, though, I opted for other treatments for earaches and ear infections. Antibiotic resistance and gut health both call for a conservative use of antibiotics, and typically, ear infections will clear on their own without the prescription (source).
But when children are in pain, it’s hard for a mom to sit and watch for 2-3 days doing nothing, am I right? Chiropractic care is helpful, but a simple herbal ear oil with garlic, mullein, and other anti-inflammatory herbs is one of the best remedies to use first.
An herbal ear oil can to help a child dealing with an ear infection in multiple ways. The warmed oil itself soothes inflamed tissues and helps relieve pain.
The herbs typically infused in the oil also provide benefits. They are antimicrobial, helping to combat any infection that’s present, and they are also very anti-inflammatory.
The formula I’m sharing here was developed based on one used in this study on naturopathic treatment for ear pain in children. Mullein flower, garlic, calendula, lavender, and St. John’s Wort were infused in olive oil, though I don’t know the exact ratios used since I only have access to the abstract.
Making an ear oil is really quite simple! An even simpler oil can be made with just mullein flowers and garlic, though I do like the addition of other anti-inflammatory herbs if possible. This is something that every momma of young children should keep stocked in the natural medicine chest!
Herbal Ear Oil with Mullein & Garlic
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- 2.5 oz olive oil (other vegetable carrier oils will work as well)
- 1 tablespoon dried mullein flowers
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (equivalent of 1 clove)
- 1 teaspoon dried calendula flowers
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
- 1 teaspoon dried St. John’s Wort
Dried herbs are used to eliminate moisture in the final product and extend the shelf-life. Bulk Herb Store is another online source for quality herbs.
- In a small heat-safe glass or ceramic dish (I like using a small glass measuring cup), combine the oil and herbs.
- Place a canning ring or folded washcloth in the bottom of a small saucepan. Set the dish with the herbs and oil on the canning ring or washcloth, then fill the saucepan with water so that water comes at least halfway up the side of the dish.
- Gently heat the water and oil infusion over low heat for about 3 hours. Check the pan periodically and add more water as needed. The water shouldn’t boil or even really simmer.
- After the herbs have infused in the oil, strain through a lint-free cloth or unbleached coffee filter. Pour the oil into a 2 oz. amber glass bottle with a dropper top, then label with the remedy’s name, ingredients, and date made. This may be stored at room temperature.
To use, place about 3 drops of the ear oil in the ear. Gently warming the oil in a bowl of warm water first will make it more comfortable.
Any ear oil should never be used if the ear drum is ruptured. A care provider can look to check, or you can simply learn to use an otoscope at home.
4 More Mullein Recipes
Mullein is the star in many recipes that support the lungs and throat. If you’d like to learn more ways to put this wonderful herb to use, consider one of these ideas:
- This Healthy Lungs Tea combines mullein leaf with two other herbs. Adding some lemon and honey will help the taste of this formula.
- With a greater variety of herbs, this Autumn Tonic Tea Recipe would taste great and strengthen the body for cold and flu season.
- Another variation of a mullein tea combines mullein leaf or flower with spearmint.
- These mullein cough drops also include mint and horehound to sooth sore throats.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for an herbal set from Mountain Rose Herbs from the previous post! It has just what you need to make a great ear oil at home.
If I am unable to use dried flowers, can I use oil instead? (Mullien oil etc)
Also, what is the shelf life?
Hi Lyn. Can you rephrase your first question? I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking. 🙂
Since dried herbs are used in this recipe, it’ll be quite shelf-stable. I like making a fresh batch of herbal oils every year or two, depending on how the oils retain their color and scent. As long as you don’t use high heat when making the oil, it should last as long as a typical olive oil does before it goes rancid. I hope that helps!
Do you prepare anything for ringing in the ear and or hearing loss? I keep reading olive oil and garlic is good but I just can’t seem to extract any juice for a garlic clove. Please let me know if you prepare that. Am willing to buy some.
Hi Jacqueline. I actually don’t make any products for sale for a few reasons. Mostly, my home isn’t set up for good quality-control and product manufacturing can be a time-consuming endeavor. Thank you for asking, though.
Herbal treatments to support hearing loss will vary based on the root cause, but I don’t believe a garlic ear oil will be one to consider unless an infection is present. (Side note: generally, you don’t press garlic juice to put in olive oil or directly in the ear, but gently infuse the garlic clove in warm olive oil to extract garlic’s beneficial compounds.) Some sources suggest Gingko biloba herb may help with tinnitus, as well as black cohosh and goldenseal.
I hope that helps a little.
I was able to save the entire study, if you would like me to email it to you. I saved it as .PDF.
I’d love that, Terran! But first, did you have to pay for it? I wouldn’t want a copy if you had to pay since I should probably buy my own instead.
I did not. It is available via interlibrary loan.
Great! Sure, you can send to smithspirations AT gmail DOT com. I should check with our library about journal articles. Thanks!