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How to Cure Ear Infections with Olive Oil, Mullein Flowers, and Brewer's Yeast

Updated on April 17, 2018
Mullein flowers
Mullein flowers
Rosette of mullein leaves before the flowering stalk appears and blooms.
Rosette of mullein leaves before the flowering stalk appears and blooms.

Cure ear infections--permanently--with herbs and nutrition!

I struggled for many years with both my own chronic ear infections and my children's.

The problem with conventional medical treatment of ear infections is that it has been well documented that treatment of ear infections with antibiotics tends to make the infections more frequent, more severe, and more difficult to treat, due to increasing antibiotic resistance.

I experienced this, myself, as an adult.

My ear infections were severe and recurrent, and the more I went to the doctor, the more frequent they became. My ear infections only stopped after I stopped going to the doctor and began “toughing them out” with aspirin. I would not advise putting a child through this, of course. In treating yourself, you are better able to evaluate the seriousness of the problem, and you are not always able to do that with a child.

Here are the natural treatments that finally worked for me and my children.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a very old traditional treatment for ear infections that I was slow about trying. It just seemed too simple to really work. But once when my daughter was very sick with an ear infection, I dropped warm olive oil into her ears, and she said it gave her far more relief than the prescription ear drops.

I have sometimes suggested this to friends, who told me that olive alone completely cured acute ear infections.

Use the very best quality olive oil for this: first-cold-pressed, extra-virgin. Drugstores sell “sweet oil” ear drops, which are olive oil that has been processed to make it clear. A micro-biologist friend told me that it might be that the olive oil works because of nutrients contained in it that are absorbed through the skin. Hence, you want olive oil with maximum nutrients, and not some highly refined product.

I am still wondering why I didn't try this sooner. Olive oil ear drops is a very old traditional remedy for ear infections.

But you can take this method one step further.

Mullein Oil

To make olive oil still more effective, it can be infused with mullein flowers to make Mullein Oil. (See the Recipes section for how to prepare Mullein Oil.)

According to Maude Grieve, in her book, A Modern Herbal, “Mullein oil is recommended for earache and discharge from the ear, and for any eczema of the external ear and its canal….some of the most brilliant results have been obtained in suppurative inflammation of the inner ear by a single application of Mullein oil, and that in acute or chronic cases, two or three drops of this oil should be made to fall in the ear twice or thrice in the day. Mullein oil is a valuable destroyer of disease germs. The fresh flowers, steeped for 21 days in olive oil, are said to make an admirable bactericide.”

Mullein is also anti-inflammatory, to help the pain and swelling of ear infections.

But you want to not only cure ear infections, but stop them from coming back.

How To Make Mullein Oil

Collect fresh mullein flowers of the common roadside mullein (Verbascum thapsus, the kind with the yellow flowers) in a jar. About one-half cup of flowers should be enough to make about one-half cup (four ounces) of mullein oil.

Add enough first-cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil to cover the flowers, and close tightly with a lid. Let stand in a warm, sunny window for 28 days (one moon cycle).

Strain this through a coffee filter into a clear glass jar. The easiest way to do this is to tuck a coffee filter into a funnel and insert the bottom of the funnel into a jar.

After straining, inspect the oil for moisture droplets that will collect at the bottom. Allow a few minutes for all the moisture to sink to the bottom and carefully pour off the oil into another clear jar, leaving behind the moisture-contaminated oil in the first jar. Discard the moisture-contaminated oil. You want the final product to be free of moisture, lest it spoil.

Inspect the second jar, to make sure no moisture droplets are present and then transfer the oil to a small bottle with an eyedropper, so that the oil can be easily dropped into the ears. You can buy bottles with droppers at most health-food stores.

How To Recognize Mullein

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a common roadside weed in much of the United States. The flowering stalks can grow five or six feet tall and grow from a basal rosette of large fuzzy leaves. The small flowers are a sulfur yellow. The tall flowering stalks are easily recognized along the roadsides, where they usually tower over other vegetation. Sometimes there is a single flowering stalk, sometimes there is more than one flowering stalk, and sometimes the flowering stalk is branched.

The medicinal type of mullein is the yellow-flowered wild form found along roadsides. There are several other species of mullein that are not used medicinally, and many of these are attractive plants for the flower garden.

Even the wild Verbascum thapsus is a dramatically beautiful plant. When grown on good soil, the basal rosette of fuzzy leaves can exceed two feet in diameter, and the plant will produce a very tall flowering stalk with several branches. The main trouble with growing the wild form in the flower garden is that it is a greedy feeder, and its roots radiate out from the plant for a foot or two, so that few other plants can compete with it.

Brewer’s Yeast

I discovered the effectiveness of brewer's yeast for ear infections after my ear infections had been chronic for several years: My ears were nearly always stopped up and sometimes itching and watering. I decided to take brewer's yeast as a dietary supplement. I was amazed at the results!

After I took the brewer’s yeast for two or three days, my ears unstopped and stopped itching and watering, and my kids stopped calling me “Deafie,” except for when they mumbled.

In other words, a chronic ear infection of several years’ duration was completely cured. And it stayed cured, even after I stopped taking brewer’s yeast. You might still have to take it again, if the condition recurs. Mine recurred a few months after stopping the brewer’s yeast, so I took some more to clear it up again. Now I rarely take brewer’s yeast, but I’ve had no ear problems at all for many years.

When my youngest daughter, who had severe problems with ear infections for most of her life, feels and ear infection coming on, she takes brewer's yeast and drops olive oil in her ears--or mullein oil, if it is available, and her ear infections now seem to be a thing of the past.


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