Garlic in the ear?! Give me the science!
When we have an ear infection or ear pain, we probably reach for the standard main brand over-the-counter ear drops.
OTC ear drops are expensive and questionably effective. By the time you come to use them a second time, they’ll probably have expired too!
Garlic is a more-than-viable alternative. Studies have shown that it outperforms OTC ear drops, and it’s obviously cheaper to produce.
There are 3 key studies that illustrate garlic’s potential in treating ear infections:
This 2019 Turkish Otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose, throat) study found garlic compounds effective at treating microbial and bacterial infections, even at low concentrations. The authors suggest that garlic is effective at treating antibiotic-resistant ear infections, echoing the findings of other studies that have also found garlic remarkably effective at fighting infection in general.
This 2001 study by Jama Paediatrics of the American Medical Association looked at 103 children with middle ear infections. The authors found that garlic ear drops were at least as effective in fighting infection and managing pain as over-the-counter (OTC) eardrops.
Another 2003 study published in the American Academy of Paediatrics looked at 171 children and found garlic ear drops to be more effective in managing ear infection pain than most OTC ear drops.
Healthline also recommends garlic ear drops for both ear infections and treating ear wax buildup.
It all figures out - we haven’t been using garlic to fight infections since Ancient Greece for nothing!
There’s another twist in the tale also, as homemade garlic drops are infused with olive oil. Olive oil is a superb natural treatment for ear infections and wax build-up - it’s a win-win scenario to combine garlic with olive oil.
So how do you actually make your own garlic ear drops?