Back in the day, I watched my own children suffer from many recurrent ear infections.
Researchers and doctors thought that they were primarily bacterial which is why they prescribed lots of antibiotics. We now know 80% of ear infections are viral in origin, not bacterial and they resolve without treatment in 4-7 days.
This is clear in research but the memo hasn’t gotten out because most doctors still prescribe the antibiotics. Parents are really distressed. It is difficult to see children having so much discomfort. I remember my own kids screaming and pulling on their ears. Yikes! I couldn’t stand to watch it.
The problem is you have a 2 in 10 chance that the antibiotic will work.
Common causes of ear infections are;
-Antibiotic use. Antibiotics disrupt gut flora and predispose children to becoming more susceptible to ear infections as they get older.
- Food allergies. Studies show, between 45 and 80% of kids with recurrent ear infections have food allergies to gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, some non-gluten grains. These food allergies cause leaky gut, which disrupts the gut biome and causes immune disregulation. This makes them more susceptible to viral infections.
-Low vitamin D levels . Vitamin D plays such an important role in immune function. Studies show that many kids with ear infections have a very low vitamin D level.
How can we treat ear infections naturally?
-Chiropractic and kinesiology are great for treating viral infections. Many Chiropractors specialize in treating children.
-Fix food triggers and improve gut health, which will strengthen the immune system. Try an elimination diet. Take all gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, and all grain out of the diet and see if it makes a difference.
-Xlear is a xylitol based nasal spray. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that breaks down bio-film. Bio-film forms and makes it hard for the immune system to detox offending pathogens.
-Garlic Mullein oil. Both garlic and mullein are anti-microbial and have a soothing effect on the ear.
-Elderberry and Echinacea. Both are herbs that support the immune system. Check the dosage with an herbalist.
-Vitamin C. Use up to 400mg for a 1-3 year old child.
-Fermented cod liver oil is a potent immune booster. Just adding that to the diet can drastically reduce the frequency of colds and infections. For a 1 year old use 1ml. During active infection use 1.5-2ml.
-Probiotics. Under 2 years old use Ther-biotic infant formula. Give all children probiotic foods. Naturally fermented sauerkraut, kefir, beet kvass, fermented cabbage juice and other naturally fermented vegetables.
-Ginger compress- on children over 2 years of age do a ginger compress on the kidneys. According to Chinese medicine an ear infection is stagnation in the kidney. I have a how-to do a ginger compress video on my website. It is also amazing for coughs and bronchitis.
-Dr. John Doulliard, an Ayurvedic specialist, recommends putting olive oil in your child’s nose and ears every day. He believes fluid and colds are a response to a dry mucous membrane in those areas and putting the oil in prevents that reaction. I know people who have been very successful with that application.
It’s going to be a long winter, let’s make it a healthy one. Be green, never be blue, eat the rainbow!