Earache & naturopathy – onions for ear inflammation?
What alternatives does naturopathy offer for earache and ear inflammation?
Earache is something that everyone is familiar with, but the causes of the unpleasant symptoms vary greatly. The large number of possible diseases which ENT experts have to look at is well-reflected in e.g. the German Professional Association of Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists portal: https://www.hno-aerzte-im-netz.de/krankheiten.html
In conjunction with conventional medicine, complementary medicine can also make a contribution toward combating ear diseases such as ear inflammation, similar to how this is the case e.g. with gastritis. What symptoms should you watch out for and what naturopathic remedies are available for earache and ear inflammation?
Earache & naturopathy - first let’s ascertain the symptoms
For Farid Zitoun, institute manager and lifestyle blogger at Bottrop’s center for naturopathy, it is important that patients who e.g. suffer from earache quickly clarify their symptoms: "There’s no reason to panic if there’s a slight pain in your ears or if you have symptoms such as mild rotary vertigo. However, if the symptoms persist or intensify, you should quickly go to the doctor or naturopath to ascertain the causes."
One possible cause of earache is, e.g. acute middle ear inflammation. According to a report by the Robert Koch Institute, this is particularly common in children, but in principle, it can occur at any age: https://www.degam.de/files/Inhalte/Leitlinien-Inhalte/Dokumente/DEGAM-S3-Leitlinien/Leitlinien-Entwuerfe/053-009_Ohrenschmerzen/LL-07_Ohrenschmerzen_Langfassung_20141222.pdf
Remedy for ear inflammation - prevent ear inflammation with a hair dryer
Not only can ear inflammation occur in the middle ear, but in the outer part of the ear canal as well. In particular, Zitoun refers to the role of moisture in the ears here: "Those who frequently go swimming or diving and thus often have water in their ears should be careful. Over a long period of time, water, especially when mixed with chlorine, can soften the protective layers of the skin in the ear. The high amount of moisture then further facilitates the spread of germs."
However, no one has to give up having fun in water. Instead, the experienced naturopath has a simple remedy up his sleeve for wet ears: "Even though this sounds silly, blow-drying your ears after swimming can actually prevent ear inflammation. Always be careful not to hold the hair dryer too close to your ears, because it’s very hot and loud."
Ear inflammation - onions for ear inflammation?
There are consistently helpful naturopathic remedies that can supplement conventional medical therapy when ear inflammation occurs. One of them is the common onion.
"The use of onions for ear inflammation has been a proven remedy for centuries. The juice of the onion contains substances that actively fight against bacteria and thus act as a completely natural antibiotic."
The effect of the onion on ear inflammation has also been confirmed in an article on the Netdoktor portal: https://www.netdoktor.de/symptome/ohrenschmerzen/. In cases of ear inflammation, an onion can therefore be both finely chopped as a poultice and worn behind the ear (as a so-called "onion bag"), as well as drizzled directly into the ear as onion juice.
Remedies for earache - keeping an eye on the big picture
Naturopathic remedies for earache will therefore be with us for a while yet. However, it is especially important to not just rely on self-diagnosis and therapy, but to always apply it in consultation with a doctor or naturopath, as Farid Zitoun points out: "All treatment, whether it involves conventional or complementary medicine, should always have the cause at the forefront of your mind and a firm diagnosis just behind it. Most symptoms such as earache or dizziness are very non-specific and should therefore be clarified by an experienced specialist."
Zitoun and his colleague Christian Rüger examine the many facets of ear complaints in the new video on the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop YouTube channel. Meanwhile, guest blogger Christian Schreiner reports on an ear condition of a completely different kind in his article about tinnitus & naturopathy.