Some might wrinkle their nose while thinking of garlic cloves or paste due to the strong odour, but there are many who believe in its health benefits. Yes, garlic not only gives a dish more flavour, but also offers several health benefits. Some eat it to lower blood pressure, while consume garlic to control cholesterol levels. But one day, I heard my mom suggesting our neighbour to try out garlic drops to get some relief from ear infections and earaches. Let’s find out what an expert has to say about using garlic as a home remedy to treat an ear infection or pain.
Health Shots connected with Ankita Ghoshal Bisht, Dietitian Incharge, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, to find out the connection between garlic and ear pain or infection.
Garlic and ears
Health benefits of garlic include boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart disease. The expert says garlic has antimicrobial properties and may help to fight infections. It also has anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, some even eat garlic on an empty stomach for better health.
Bisht notes that garlic does have antibacterial and antifungal properties, but there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it is effective in treating ear infections. In fact, putting garlic cloves in the ear can be harmful and potentially lead to further damage or infection. But she says that traditionally, garlic has been used as a natural remedy for various health conditions, including ear infections.
Going by research, JAMA Pediatrics had published a study that involved 103 children with ear pain from middle ear infections. The researchers found that naturopathic ear drops containing garlic (Allium sativum) and other herbal ingredients like Calendula flores and Hypericum perforatum in olive oil was as effective in managing ear pain as ear drops available in stores.
Tips to make garlic drops
Some people rely on castor oil and mustard oil as natural ways to clean ears. But it is important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of ear infections to avoid potential complications. Still, if you wish to try garlic drops for ear infection or ear pain, you can follow these steps:
• Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix it with warm olive oil.
• Let the mixture sit for half an hour, then strain it and put a few drops into the ear that’s bothering you.
• Do this two to three times a day for relief from pain and inflammation.
Garlic as home remedy for babies
Garlic is generally considered safe for adults when consumed in moderate amounts. You can also drink garlic tea in the morning and your body will thank you for it. But there is limited research on its safety and efficacy for babies. Also, applying garlic to a baby’s skin or ears may cause irritation or allergic reactions. It is important to take advice from a medical expert before using any natural remedies on little ones, suggests Bisht.
Who should avoid using garlic in ears?
Garlic drops may work as a natural remedy to alleviate ear infections and earaches. However, people with sensitive skin or allergies to garlic should avoid using garlic drops in their ears. People with perforated eardrums or ear tubes should also not use garlic drops as they may cause irritation or damage to the ear.
Just remember to consult with a doctor before using garlic as a home remedy for an ear infection.