I just met this cute blonde mom named Mary Jane, who was telling my friend about her little boy’s chronic ear infection that multiple courses of antibiotics just can’t eliminate. She was saying that her son’s “cold” just keeps going—six weeks now of constant, thick mucous.
I sometimes just can’t believe that no pediatrician will do ANYTHING for an ear infection besides nuke it with antibiotics. Limiting your practice to systemic drugs that hurt more than help . . . well, I guess you’d be a pariah in the community of M.D.s if you did anything different. Oh, and also insurance companies wouldn’t pay. (Minor detail, how could I forget?)
And yet their own medical journals are clear that more than 80 percent of ear infections are viral. Therefore, more than 4 times out of 5, antibiotics won’t do a bit of good. But they don’t have a clue if it’s that 1 in 5, so they give you an antibiotic because . . . well, that’s all they know how to do.
(I’m not trying to be mean. I used to ask pediatricians point-blank: “Do you have any way to help me besides an antibiotic prescription?” and the answer is simply, NO.)
And even if it was a bacterial infection that isn’t antibiotic-resistant, with just one dose, you’ve wiped out ALL the healthy flora in the entire gastrointestinal tract. That’s what was standing between your little one and the NEXT infection. So now the little guy is down for the count, just waiting for the next bug to come along when he has no resistance.
I administered my last course of antibiotics well over a decade ago. Moving on to natural treatments that work WITH instead of AGAINST the body has been so liberating that I just want to tell perfect strangers about it!
#1: Eliminate dairy products and refined sugar/flour. (That all by itself might be enough to say goodbye to infections forever.)
#2: Use warmed garlic/mullein drops in the ear (in an olive oil base) that you can get at a health food store.
#3: Colloidal silver: get some and administer a spoonful three times a day for a week or two.
#4: See if you can get something like my friend Charlene’s Anti-Plague formula (801) 785-0943 for locals. She’s an herbologist and makes a batch once a year, so you get waitlisted for the fall. The stuff is AMAZING, works on anything but the stomach bug every time I’ve used it. (But can you stand the kid’s garlic breath for 12 hours after?) If you can’t get it, find something similar featuring garlic, mullein and other herbs, and apple cider vinegar.
#5: See if you can get that kid to drink LOTS of water!
#6: Use ear candles. They draw the wax out of the ear gently (most children and adults will enjoy this treatment) and get the fluids behind the ear drum moving and draining. I believe this is a Latin American tradition, and you can get ear candles in a health food store. I’m sure you can get instructions online (too lengthy for this post). My daughter’s pediatrician even endorsed ear candling and said it works when I told her we did it.
#6: If you’re frustrated reading this because you’ve already done the antibiotics and are in Mary Jane’s position, all is not lost. Give your child good, homemade kefir or yogurt (in my recipes) every day—no sugar added, please—and you can rebuild a healthy colony of good bacteria in about 30 days.
#7: This one will take more effort, but getting a massage therapist trained in cupping therapy is worth whatever she might charge! (I pay $35 for 60-90 mins. and will give a referral to anyone in Utah County.) It physically drains the lymph system, starting behind the ear, and I have done it several times with incredibly fast, effective results.
#8 If you do want to use medical treatment, I actually believe that the simple ear-tube surgery (no general anaesthesia, 15 min. procedure) is much less invasive and harmful than ONE round of antibiotics. And it’s actually very effective for most children, although you should keep their heads out of the water, which is hard if your kids like to swim or take baths.