Avoiding Antibiotics, Ear Infections: 4 Moms Q & A

Today the 4 Moms are answering reader questions.moms of many manage

Be sure to visit the other Moms of Many to read what they’re talking about today:

KimC at Life in a Shoe
Connie at Smockity Frocks
Headmistress at The Common Room

Amanda asks, “Have you ever had a baby with ear infections? Did you ever find a natural way to prevent/heal them. I’m tired of the antibiotics!

I’m not a doctor and have no medical training, so I’m simply sharing what we do, not prescribing a plan of action for you.

Our story

Our family has never been big on antibiotic use, but 13 years ago when we took Matthew, then 9 months old to the doctor for a well visit, we were convinced to avoid routine use of them if at all possible. At that well visit, Matthew was diagnosed with severe ear infections in both ears, we decided to use antibiotics for the first time in any of our children. The doctor put him on a standard round of Amoxicillin and his ear infection cleared, but we began a 10 month battle with C. Diff.

The doctor explained that the C. Diff was caused by the round of antibiotics for the ear infection, but explained that it’s EXTREMELY rare for someone to get it after using such a mild antibiotic especially because it was the very first time our son had ever been on antibiotics. This event caused us to look do some research.

I found that, in Europe, ear infections are not routinely treated with antibiotics because most infections clear on their own and the overuse of antibiotics is causing more and more problems. (I just looked this up and found that the U.S. is finally starting to catch up as the AAP recently started to recommend a period of “watchful waiting” for ear infections.)

From this point we avoided antibiotics in our family for the next 8 years until Savannah (2 years at the time) was prescribed antibiotics of an ear infection that had continued longer than usual. The day after she finished that round of antibiotics she woke from her nap unable to walk and was (after two days of multiple doctor visits and tests) diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.

With some misgivings, Mark and I decided to put her on the prescribed antibiotics for the UTI. The day after coming off the antibiotics she came down with another UTI and was put on more antibiotics, only to end up with a third UTI as soon as the second round of antibiotics was completed. At this point, we did our research and began to treat her UTI naturally. (We treated with mannose.) This finally cleared the infection and Mark and I were more convinced that antibiotics are not always the way to go.

Because of the difficulty in clearing the infection and the very strange presentation of the initial infection (her inability to walk) the doctors ordered more tests and it was discovered that Savannah had  Vesicoureteral Reflux . The treatment for VUR? Yep, antibiotics, prophylactic antibiotics taken each and every day for years. Because of the severity of Savannah’s VUR, surgery was an option for her, but because most children outgrow VUR, we wanted to wait and see if the surgery could be avoided.

Instead of prophylactic antibiotics, Mark and I continued to give Savannah mannose daily and for the next 3 years she had no urinary tract infections.

The end of the story is that Savannah did eventually undergo surgery to correct the VUR and she has continued to be UTI free.

All of this to say that while we use antibiotics, we use them as a last resort because the two times that we’ve used them for ear infections have led to other complications.

How we treat ear infections

I must tell you that we’ve have only a few ear infections in our years of parenting and most of the time they do clear on their own, so generally we just treat the pain. To do this, we make fresh garlic oil and use it to drop in the ear.

Garlic Oil Recipe

1-2 cloves fresh garlic
small amount of high quality olive oil

Finely mince the fresh garlic and place in the olive oil. I then put the mixture into a mortar and pestle and mash the garlic to help release more of the juices into the oil. Allow to sit for several minutes to several hours (the longer it sits the more garlic will get into the oil). Strain the garlic pieces out of the oil, make sure the mixture is room/body temperature and put a couple of drops in the affected ear.

In place of antibiotics we’ve had success with Echinacea, Colloidal Silver, mannose and various essential oils. Nowadays we prevent and treat ear infections by using Thieves essential oil at the first sign of a cold. (We use essential oils to treat everything from bee stings to sore muscles, bumps and bruises to coughs and colds and burns to repelling bugs. Essential oils even brought my Thyroid levels up during this last pregnancy.) If you wish to avoid overuse of antibiotics, do some research and you’ll find lots of opinions and options.

Please let me know if you would like more info about essential oils, I’d be happy to answer your questions.

If you’re interested in purchasing high quality essential oils that really do work medicinally, you may sign up to purchase Young Living essential oils here. Choosing the ‘distributor’ option will give you better pricing, but they do require that you purchase an essential oil kit (We love the Everyday Oil kit and use most of those oils frequently) to begin (you do not need to ever sell any oils). Otherwise you may choose the ‘customer’ option. Either way the next page will ask for a member number. My member number is: 1328200 Then you will place your order.

Sorry I wandered a bit today. Health and wellness is an important topic, the Lord has taught us a lot in our years of parenting and it’s something that we are currently focused on researching and learning about right now.

For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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60 Responses to Avoiding Antibiotics, Ear Infections: 4 Moms Q & A
  1. Sarah Graw
    October 4, 2012 | 9:43 am

    Thank you so much for writing on this topic! right now I am currently having terrible pain in my ear. I went to the walk in clinic and they diagnosed me with excess ear wax in it. I am currently trying to get rid of it but I just wanted to thank you for the encouragement to only use antibiotics as last resort. Sometimes we as mothers get desperate and we think that they are the only way out or something. Though health conscious I still can get caught up in this scare at times I guess… Anyways the essential oils really interest me and I’d love to begin finding out more about them. Is there a good book on this topic for which I can learn what is good for what? :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I can’t choose just one book. Here are three of my favorites and why I like them:

    Essential Oils Pocket Reference – Complete, complete, complete. It has a listing of individual essential oils, their properties and what they are used for. It has the same type of listing for all the oil blends that Young Living sells. Additionally, it has a listing of hundreds of ailments and problems with a listing of all the oils that may help and all the ways to use those helpful oils. The problem I have with this book is that it requires more trial and error to find which oils applied which way work best.

    Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children – This is great for all of the conditions that it lists. It lists the BEST oils and the BEST ways to use them for each symptom/condition, etc. It just doesn’t list as many things as we face on a regular basis.(For it’s scope, this is my favorite book.)

    The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment – Complete and thorough, we’ve been pleased with the effectiveness of all the recipes we’ve tried. (Our 14 year collided heads with our 10 year old on Saturday and she had a huge lump on her forehead. We treated with ice and a recipe from this book and there was absolutely no bruising. The lump was barely noticeable by Sunday morning gone by Monday.) I also love some of the history and they ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the effectiveness and safety of EO. This one is a bit complicated as most things call for combining several different oils and I wonder if it would be discouraging to someone just starting out. However, for us, it’s an important part of our EO use.

    We own several others and use them, but these are the three that I use nearly every time I want to look something up.

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

    Victoria Reply:

    Hi Sarah, have you heard of ear candling? This is a helpful natural way of clearing up excessive wax.
    blessings, from Victoria

    [Reply]

  2. esther
    October 4, 2012 | 10:07 am

    Hi Kimberly, i follow your blog for a while now…was curious, do you know what essencial oil would work for sinus headaches? my husband has been suffering from them for several weeks with no apparent relief. He saw a chiropractor, has been rubbing peppermint oil as well as lavendar..

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We haven’t had sinus problems here, so haven’t treated them, but these are some recommendations from one of my books.

    Steam inhalation:
    Rosemary – 3 drops
    Thyme – 1 drop
    Peppermint – 1 drop

    Make a blend with the following, put on a tissue and inhale:
    Rosemary – 2 drops
    Geranium – 1 drop
    Eucalyptus – 1 drop

    Massage 5 drops of the recipe below around neck, behind and in front of the ears, over the cheekbone, nose and forehead:
    Rosemary – 5 drops
    Geranium – 5 drops
    Eucalyptus – 2 drops
    Peppermint – 3 drops
    Add this mixture to 3 tsp of carrier oil (We use high quality olive or almond oil) and then massage areas described above.

    If you use any of these, I’d love to hear which you tried, what brand of oil you used, (I’ve heard many say that some brands are less effective medicinally) and if it worked. :)

    [Reply]

  3. Marya
    October 4, 2012 | 11:48 am

    Thanks for sharing. We’ve had a lot of reader suggestions for home remedies for earaches – lots of great ideas there, too! http://youpinspireme.blogspot.ca/2012/09/25-natural-earache-remedies.html

    [Reply]

  4. Janelle
    October 4, 2012 | 11:50 am

    My youngest is four and she has always struggled with ear infections. She had her first one at eight months old and we took her to the doctor who prescribed Amoxicillin. She was on it for one day before she had an allergic reaction. Went back to the doctor who said it looked better. A month later same story different antibiotic. She has been allergic to every antibiotic they have tried. So I finally found the garlic and olive oil recipe online and decided to try it. It really works and not only does it work for pain but for nasty infections too. I took her last October to make sure it was her ears that were bothering her, got a new prescription from her Dr. and tossed the prescription and did the olive oil and garlic twice a day for a week. Went back with a different kiddo for croup and Dr. looked in her ear at day three and said the medicine is working it looks almost perfect! She is prone to ear infections and my sweet cousin got me an otoscope. Now I can check her ears and treat her before it becomes to icky. Only three of my five kiddos has ever had antibiotics and we use them very sparingly. Would love to know what book you use to learn about essential oils. I use them in my water pot on my wood stove in the winter and in all my cleaning sprays I make.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Janelle,

    Here is a copy of my comment to Sarah about books. These books are more how to use EO rather than why or how EOs work.

    I can’t choose just one book. Here are three of my favorites and why I like them:

    Essential Oils Pocket Reference – Complete, complete, complete. It has a listing of individual essential oils, their properties and what they are used for. It has the same type of listing for all the oil blends that Young Living sells. Additionally, it has a listing of hundreds of ailments and problems with a listing of all the oils that may help and all the ways to use those helpful oils. The problem I have with this book is that it requires more trial and error to find which oils applied which way work best.

    Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children – This is great for all of the conditions that it lists. It lists the BEST oils and the BEST ways to use them for each symptom/condition, etc. It just doesn’t list as many things as we face on a regular basis.(For it’s scope, this is my favorite book.)

    The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment – Complete and thorough, we’ve been pleased with the effectiveness of all the recipes we’ve tried. (Our 14 year collided heads with our 10 year old on Saturday and she had a huge lump on her forehead. We treated with ice and a recipe from this book and there was absolutely no bruising. The lump was barely noticeable by Sunday morning gone by Monday.) I also love some of the history and they ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the effectiveness and safety of EO. This one is a bit complicated as most things call for combining several different oils and I wonder if it would be discouraging to someone just starting out. However, for us, it’s an important part of our EO use.

    We own several others and use them, but these are the three that I use nearly every time I want to look something up.

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  5. Janee Campbell
    October 4, 2012 | 12:01 pm

    Lavender and lemon oil are the ones I use the most. They are great for infection and Lavender will pull the heat out of a burn like nobodies business. Lemon oil must be cut with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil but lavender can be used safely without dilution. You just don’t want to use it too often or too large a dose because it has some estrogenic properties. I’ve cured strep with lemon oil by taking it in warm tea/juice about 5 times a day. It can also be put in the ear with a carrier oil to soften ear wax and kill infection in the outer ear. Lots of info online for essential oil use and I can say from experience it works. Antibiotics cause all kinds of problems with the flora of you gut. Your gut comprises more than half of your immune system. When you mess up the gut flora you compromise your immune system.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You’re so right about the lavender. On our beach vacation we had a couple of sunburns and the lavender lotion we received from Young Living was amazing!!

    [Reply]

    Janee Campbell Reply:

    When my nephew was 5 he picked something up out of a dead fire (no more flames but still hot ash) that was metal and very hot. My mom soaked a cloth in lavender oil and wrapped it on the burn and it never blistered or left a mark. I keep a large container around mostly for this type of thing. I’ve also used it on abcesses and it draws the infection right out so it can heal…avoiding expensive doctor/hospital visits. Its great stuff.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Hi Janee,
    I also love essential oils. You said you use lavender oil on abcesses…could you elaborate? Do you mean tooth abcesses or something else?
    One of the uses for oils that continues to amaze is getting rid of warts – both lemon oil and theives are helpful!

    [Reply]

    Janee Campbell Reply:

    I’ve never tried lemon oil for warts. I will try to remember that next time we have a problem with those.

    I have never used lavender oil in my mouth only on my skin. I’ve had various problems with infections both internal and on the skin. Some of which have required expensive surgery. After having several surgeries on the same area I have been prone to having them return after any minor imbalance. I’ve managed to avoid more surgery by using the lavender oil. I put it liberally on a cloth and hold it in place until the infection breaks the surface. Replacing the cloth as needed. This can take hours or sometimes days but its far better than having surgery to open the area up again. Lemon oil is great for surface infections but the lavender draws it from the tissue so it can be opened up.

    [Reply]

    Liz Reply:

    aloe vera has that same effect. My friend gave me a plant, and all you do is break off part of one of the leaves and squeeze out the gel inside, and rub it on the burn. I don’t know how well it would work with a more serious burn, but with normal cooking burns I have often used it and the next day there is no mark at all. It’s incredible!

    [Reply]

    Janee Campbell Reply:

    I’ve used both for burns and just from my experience the lavender works much faster and better than aloe. My only problem is it doesn’t smell all that great…I don’t like flowery smells. The other nice thing about Aloe is you can grow it yourself so its much cheaper and its always plentiful.

    [Reply]

  6. Michele P
    October 4, 2012 | 12:07 pm

    Thank you for this post. We are just getting serious about starting down the road of essential oils and I love reading what other people are doing and what works for them.

    [Reply]

  7. Amy Clark
    October 4, 2012 | 12:37 pm

    We do not use antibiotics for ear infections, and avoid them as much as possible. What do you do for strep throat, may I ask? We have a daughter that has had it multiple times per year since she was born. I HATE that she has to be on stronger and stronger antibiotics, but my (very conservative) pediatrician (who has supported my resistance to antibiotics, by the way) has warned me that strep is nothing to mess with, and can cause kidney and heart problems later in life. Interestingly, my daughter has a severe, permanent BPI (which I know you are familiar with!), and we were warned early in her life that strep could be a problem;strangely, that prediction has come true! Have you experienced this, and how do you deal with strep throat?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Amy,

    Can you believe that we haven’t had to deal with strep?

    I’ve also heard not to mess with it, but I know some people who treat it naturally (using colloidal silver) I guess that I’m saying that I’m not the person to ask. :)

    Here’s what Jill recommends.

    It’s always surprising to me how interrelated our bodies are and how much a BPI can affect.

    [Reply]

  8. Tricia
    October 4, 2012 | 1:11 pm

    I have always used rubbing alcohol drops when any of us have had ear infections. The pain stops in 5-10 minutes and clears it up right away. It was all I knew growing up. My siblings and I were on the swim team and always dealing with ear stuff.;D

    [Reply]

  9. EstherH
    October 4, 2012 | 2:03 pm

    Kimberly, I love this blog, and this post is informative, mostly the information on the essential oils – I would love if you could do a more thorough post on it!
    I have 3 children ages 3, 2, and 1, and expecting G-d willing our fourth. My kids come down with everything. I don’t know how you managed to avoid it! Ear infections every few months when they are infants (our doctor advises us to wait it out unless it looks really bad), but also strep throats, impetigo, bacterial eye infections, etc – as per doc’s orders (and my research), we use antibiotics for anything bacteria-related (not viral). It’s just dangerous for young children to let bacteria continue to wreak havoc on their system. That said, I know antibiotics are problematic too. It’s a no-win situation!
    I just had a problem recently with strep throat – I got it once a month about six times in a row, tried a few different antibiotics, nothing worked, even tried letting in play itself out without antibiotics, but it was horrible, i just got sicker and sicker for two weeks. Finally the ENT put me on penicillin for 2 months. I hated the idea (especially being pregnant in the first trimester!) but even after scouring the internet, there didn’t seem to be any options, since the strep infection itself can harm the fetus! Well, the good news is, it’s been two months since I stopped the medicine, and no strep. I am left with come-and-go ear pain from fluid build-up that there is just nothing to do about but wait for it to go away.
    If anyone else has dealt with that, ear fluid in adults, I would love to hear…

    [Reply]

    Janee Campbell Reply:

    Esther….My son used to get impentigo around his mouth constantly when he was little. I can’t hardly find a picture or video where the poor kid doesn’t have a rash on his face. It was very severe most of the time. What I found worked best was to keep it very clean by washing it regularly and then I applied coconut oil/lemon oil mixture 3-5 times a day. It worked better even than triple antibiotic. I keep this mix ready in a dark colored jar for use all the time. It also works great on his eczema spots. I use 1 drop of lemon oil for each Tablespoon of coconut oil. It doesn’t have to be perfectly measured just approximate. I also used lemon oil for strep. It works best as a preemptive strike…as soon as your throat even gets scratchy put a few drops in some juice or warm liquid and drink it. If its viral it won’t help but if its bacterial you may stop it before it even begins. It also won’t hurt your system if it happens to be viral and you don’t have to wait for any tests to prove bacterial infection. Do it 3-5 times a day until it either gets worse (viral) or goes away.

    [Reply]

    Kim Cupo Reply:

    Perhaps you could look into ear candling to clear your eustacean tubes? They are available at most health food stores.
    Prayers for a continued healthy pregnancy.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Esther,

    There are many very effective, natural treatments for bacterial infections. Often these are more effective (and of course safer) than using antibiotics. I wonder if you could avoid some of the infections in your children by further limiting your antibiotic use.

    Our bodies are full of bacteria all the time. The key is that they are all in balance, the good bacteria keeping the harmful bacteria in check.

    Antibiotics destroy the bad bacteria AND the good bacteria. The absence of good bacteria can lead to further infection. (This is what happened in the stories I shared in the post. The antibiotics opened up the path for the C.Diff. and the UTI infection.)

    One thing you can do to offset the negative effects when you do need to use antibiotics is to use probiotics and fermented foods. These things provide the good bacteria that our bodies need, but our modern diets are lacking.

    You may purchase probiotic supplements at a health food store, but our family simply chooses to regularly consume foods/drinks that contain the good bacteria that our bodies need. We use kefir (both milk and water depending upon our preference and time of year), kombucha, yogurt, sourdough and homemade lacto-fermented things like sauerkraut, relishes, etc. This probably sounds overwhelming, but start small.

    I keep thinking that I’m going to do a series of posts on this, but just haven’t had the time. Since my focus now needs to be my husband and family and then our church family. Maybe someday… :)

    [Reply]

  10. Caryn
    October 4, 2012 | 2:09 pm

    Wonderful post! Thanks for the thoughts. We haven’t had any ear infections or sickness yet, and hopefully won’t thanks to good habits, eating and chiropractic care, but this is great stuff to know. I’ve been using essential oils in the last year and love them. Thanks for the tips and the books you mentioned in the comments!

    Curious, I’ve had milk supply issues in the past 2 months and something we considered as causing problems was peppermint oil. Are you familiar with that at all? We’ve eliminated it in use for the time being, just in case!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Caryn,

    You can use peppermint oil in large amounts (5 drops orally, several times a day) to decrease milk supply, but anecdotally, regular use of Young Living brand essential oil (I really don’t recommend other brands because of problems with quality and sometimes even added toxins) doesn’t negatively effect milk supply.

    Of course, if you’re having trouble, I would eliminate it just in case.

    On the other hand you can use Young Living’s Fennel EO as follows to increase supply:

    Swallow** 2 drops of the oil in a teaspoon of honey every two hours. Follow with a glass of water.

    Fennel should not be used during pregnancy as it can cause uterine contractions, miscarriage and/or early labor.

    **I do not recommend using any brand other than Young Living internally as most are not made for this purpose and may contain toxins or other harmful fillers.**

    [Reply]

  11. Ariann
    October 4, 2012 | 2:53 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    Thanks so much for this post. Have you dealt with mastitis without antibiotics? I’ve had it 4 times between my 2 kids and I always end up on antibiotics because I get so sick. I hate taking them while breastfeeding.

    [Reply]

    Janelle Reply:

    I have had mastitis with all of my babes but my last one I had it four times. Not fun. I never took antibiotic for it. I would watch my symptoms and give myself twenty-four hours to see improvement then I would have gone to the Dr. It is very important to take good care of yourself and watch watch watch your breast. If the red streak starts moving get yourself to the Dr. O.k. so I would heat a baked potato in the oven or micro, slice it in half and place it on the sore lump or red spot. Then I would have the baby start nursing on that side every time. You can try to position the baby’s chin towards the lump-red spot. Massaging your breast while baby nurses also helps. Hot shower letting the water hit the sore area also helps. And drink, drink, drink, and rest lots. I have cleared up my infections every time with this protocol.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Ariann,

    I’ve never had mastitis.

    Here is Kelly Mom’s non-antibiotic treatment for mastitis.

    I also think this post is helpful.

    [Reply]

  12. sara
    October 4, 2012 | 10:38 pm

    GOd is so good! Such a timely post… My fourth just went to a well visit to find out she had double ear infections! We have never had problems with the other children but I am strongly against antibiotics. I have heard from friend breastmilk helped her child but I will be making some garlic oil tonight!

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  13. Marti
    October 4, 2012 | 11:50 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    Thanks so much for all the mentoring and advice you have given me thru your blog! I normally don’t post, but your Cdiff reference caught my eye. We have been battling intestinal issues with my 4 year old for a year. I have her on the very strict and trying GAPS diet, with much success, but have recently suffered a setback. I’m wondering if it isn’t time to break down and test her stool with the pediatrician. I had no idea you could develop cdiff as a result of antibiotics. Would you mind to describe your experience battling the cdiff- and how did you finally rid your son of it? Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Marti,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your 4 year old and hope that you are able to sort things out with her soon.

    Our run-in with C.Diff was about 13 years ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy. Also, we’ve learned a lot since then and I would almost certainly do things differently now than I did then. Ultimately, we ended up doing a significantly more powerful round of antibiotics that cleared the C.Diff. I followed that up with several months of probiotics.

    C.Diff. presented as horrible, constant diarrhea that just wouldn’t stop. If I remember correctly it took a while for them to diagnose it (and did require a stool sample).

    [Reply]

  14. Krista
    October 5, 2012 | 12:28 am

    We’ve never been opposed to anti-biotics. My husband likes the quick fix that they usually give. However, I’d love to learn more about natural remedies. I guess I am skeptical, because I want something that works w/out putting little ones through a lot of trial and error. I’d like to learn more now while everyone is well. Do you use any other remedies in addition to essntial oils? Has your family used a neti pot? Head cold are the common thing with us.

    [Reply]

  15. Kim Cupo
    October 5, 2012 | 2:10 am

    I was so blessed to find D-Mannose powder whilst researching natural treatment of UTI. When it worked for myself and five year old daughter, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Thank you for another useful post.

    [Reply]

  16. Anita Chamblee
    October 5, 2012 | 6:46 am

    Kimberly, I became a Young Living distributor several months ago and really haven’t spent much time learning about all the oils yet. We’ve used several oils for many years, however, and all have our favorites. My favorite for daily use now is Peace and Calming! I keep it in my purse so I can use it on the go for our busy Town Days, on our way to church, or whenever I need to be reminded to slow down and breathe! I use it like a perfume…it smells so wonderful! The other day while driving I applied some to my neck and wrists. My 3 yos asked, “What’s that smell?” I asked him what he thought it was. He said, “Peace and Calming! Can I smell?” I held my finger tip behind me to his car seat and he took a deep whiff and sighed….. Love it!

    [Reply]

  17. Laura
    October 5, 2012 | 8:33 am

    Another route to take as far as ear infections go- go to the Chiropractor! I know it sounds like a strange connection, but it totally works. Anytime my son starts tugging on his ear we take him and he stops tugging. He’s never had an ear infection and he’s almost two.

    [Reply]

  18. Tisha
    October 5, 2012 | 9:46 am

    I would love to hear more about what you used (and how) for natural treatment for Thyroid. Thank you for the openness and encouragement that you share through your blog.

    [Reply]

  19. Crystal
    October 5, 2012 | 10:04 am

    I’ve always been interested in natural remedies, but now I’m sold! My question is do essential oils effect the reliability of birth control pills? I know some of the natural herbs do.

    [Reply]

  20. Vicki
    October 5, 2012 | 3:52 pm

    I love your posts and reading your blog.
    My children were prone to ear infections. We found with our children that what was causing the infections was a side effect of teething. We give them Kide-Calc from Dr. Christopher’s and have not had an ear infection since. Also no fevers and problems with teething. If you do have to do the last resort of any type of antibiotic, I would highly recommend a good probiotic. This has saved us from numerous UTI’s and other problems with the anitbiotics.

    I hope that this helps. Essential oils are wonderful and we love them but they are symptom helpers and not always treating the cause.

    [Reply]

  21. Amanda
    October 5, 2012 | 5:09 pm

    I am new to naturally treating my family. Are there other resources you would recommend? I know so little about natural herbs any help you would be able to share is appreciated. I want to be wise in what resources to choose but it has been overwhelming. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  22. Kathy L
    October 5, 2012 | 5:20 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    I want to compliment you on how you presented this information about a complementary medicine aid. I’m a longtime medical writer and know it’s important to write about any health care topic in a balanced, responsible way. There are extreme views about antibiotic use – yours is reasoned one. I would for sure steer someone away from using alternative medicine to treat strep – the problem is that treated incompletely, it can morph into rheumatic fever, which is very serious.

    [Reply]

  23. Nicole
    October 5, 2012 | 11:47 pm

    Chiropractor! My son had repeated ear infections that antibiotics did NOTHING for, so I started taking him to the chiro…not one infection since and it’s been 5 months.

    [Reply]

  24. Bonnie
    October 6, 2012 | 11:26 am

    Thank you so much Kimberly for this post! The Lord’s timing is perfect! I have just recently been introduced to the amazing world of essential oils. I used them during my recent labor and delivery of our 7th baby and have used them on the whole family including newborn to boost immunity and heal from a nasty cold that the toddler handed down to baby! I have been using DoTerra oils and just have started hearing about Young Living. Do you know how these two compare to eachother or if there is any difference? I feel that EO are a gift from our Creator to help navigate this sin-sick world! I also would love to hear how your family approaches vaccines in your quest for more natural healthcare.

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  25. Marilyn
    October 6, 2012 | 12:51 pm

    Hello! I found your site when I googled “homeschooling knitting” looking for another site (I found it). But this was interesting to me. I’m a doctor (and a mom and a knitter). I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have C diff in the house for 10 months! And after only one course of antibiotics for an ear infection. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY super bad luck! You are right in that many ear infections are viral can be monitored clinically and antibiotics saved for the severe cases, ones which are clearly bacterial. But some kids do of course need antibiotics and I hope your readers are not scared off from seeking medical advice when their kids fail to get better after a few days.

    Sorry also about your child’s VUR. I guess with 11 kids you are destined to have a few medical challenges! (But that C diff was really awful misfortune and NOT typical.)

    Best to you. I like your site. Marilyn

    [Reply]

    Julie Johnston Reply:

    We have 5 kiddos and I also love a more natural approach, but really appreciate you comment. We try to only use antibiotics when absolutely needed, and appreciate that our doctor always does blood workup first before prescribing. I know antibiotics can get a bad rap, and are often overused, but no doubt they save a lot of lives as well! One of our sons had one…and only one…. ear infection at 10 months old, but that one went into the mastoid bone and was a life threatening situation. I was glad we did not wait the ear infection out in that case!

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  26. ashley rahar
    October 6, 2012 | 2:53 pm

    I HAVE TO ASK!!! What did you use for your thyroid?! I have hashimotos disease, causing an underactive thyroid. I’ve searched for some natural remedies, but had given up after finding nothing. I would LOVE more info on this!

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  27. Cheryl @ Moms in Need of Mercy
    October 6, 2012 | 6:23 pm

    Have you heard of doTerra oils? They are similar to Young Living. I love them. I signed up to order theirs wholesale, so that’s why I use them instead of Young Living.
    I love lemon. It’s amazing for cleaning (gets crayon off walls, scuff marks off floors, grime off anything–it cut through the Scentsy wax that had spilled on the heat register and the kids crayon wax from their crayon maker on a coffee table). I love to drink it in water, too. It’s so refreshing. And lavendar is one of my favs. Great for mastitis help, for those who asked.

    Anyway, a book I have that is great is called Modern Essentials: A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils. You can look up the condition and it will suggest oils. It also tells about the uses for each individual oil. And has info about medical studies with each of those.

    It suggests basil for ear infections, rubbed on the outside of the lobe. And also lavendar.

    You know, the melaleuca oil talks about how in lab studies, it kills strep and other strains of bacteria more effectively than antiobiotics. So that is one I would recommend, too. (But make sure you order a pure, therapeutic grade oil like doterra, or Young Living. They’re not all created equal!).

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  28. Homesweetgrown
    October 7, 2012 | 10:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Out of curiosity, I was wondering if you have ever tried any other oils other than YL, and if so, how do you think that they compare?

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  29. Kate
    October 11, 2012 | 2:01 am

    Kim- I did not read all the comments so I am unaware if you’ve covered this. I was wondering if there is anything you recommend for the after birth pains that one goes through. I am going to have my second c-section this year in December, seventh child and I was just wondering if there is anything that you take to help with the different things associated with pregnancy, delivery, afterward, etc. Thanks for your help. Also, many months ago I asked you for advice about conceiving after a c-section, about how the Dr. warned us to wait at least a year. You told me then that yours gave you no such warning and that I should rely on the Lord (my words but I believe I remember that was your meaning). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I had been so prayerful and I knew that I was to have another and that it would happen right away, but I was scared that there would not be a Dr. that accepted me. You helped me to dispel that fear and I am grateful for your help in that matter. I realize that I was lacking faith in that moment and leaning on yours and I am just so very grateful that the source I turned to was steadfast and immovable. Thanks for your example.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    A great book that covers essential oils for pregnancy and beyond is Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children .

    Thank you. Praise the Lord for His goodness to us!

    [Reply]

  30. sarah
    October 14, 2012 | 6:09 pm

    How often do you use the garlic oil? Once a day? Every few hours? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Sarah,

    We use the garlic oil as needed for pain and if using to get rid of a stubborn infection 2-3 times a day.

    If the infection seems persistent, we would use other things to combat it, but we haven’t experienced that yet.

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  31. Kelly
    November 3, 2012 | 1:12 am

    I know this post was a while ago but I came back to reread it and to go to your link for Young Living Essential Oils but the link doesn’t appear to be working anymore. Do you have a current link?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Kelly. The link should be working now, please let me know if you have any questions.

    [Reply]

  32. Sara
    November 20, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    My 4 month old daughter has VUR and is currently taking antibiotics daily as everytime she stops taking them, she gets another UTI. We just met with the specialist and he gave us the plan of long term antibiotics to see if she outgrows it. I am not happy with that idea as it could mean 5 YEARS of daily antibiotics. So, after reading this, I have a few questions for you: How did you know how much mannose to dose? Is the dose by weight/did you increase the dose as she grew? Did you work with a naturopathic doctor? What Grade (1-5) VUR did your daughter have? Do you recommend any certain brand/company for the mannose? Did you tell the doctor you weren’t using the antibiotics (the specialist looked at me like I was crazy for suggesting the idea of using something natural)? Sorry to bombard you with questions, but any help/advice you could give me on this would be greatly appreciated!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    We experimented with the Mannose dose. Mannose is the sugar part of cranberries, so it’s pretty safe. This is how it was explained to me. The Mannose causes the urinary tract to be slippery making it impossible for the bacteria to colonize and grow there, it simply gets washed out. So it seems the dose is not too critical (since it’s not attacking and killing the bacteria, merely creating an environment where it can’t grow). I think we started with 1 tsp. 3 times a day and then got down to 1/2 tsp. twice daily once she was infection free.

    Her VUR grade was a 4. At the time of her surgery, it was discovered her VUR was caused by a birth defect, she would never have outgrown the problem.

    We told her doctor that we didn’t want to use the antibiotics and at that point he insisted on surgery. So,we simply took the prescription and left. I had done lots of research and if you do you’ll probably find what I found and that is that the standard prophylactic antibiotic treatment is being questioned by many even within the medical community.

    When we took her back in 3 years later to check up on things, we choose a different urologist. We told him exactly what had been recommended and what we had done and he supported our decision. So within the medical community there are differences of opinion on how to treat this, so perhaps finding a different urologist may be an option.

    As you know with VUR, a UTI can cause kidney damage, so the goal is keeping them infection free. During the time before surgery, we kept a very close eye on her.

    No, we didn’t work with a naturopathic doctor.

    I hope this helps and you are able to find a good solution for your daughter. Please let me know if you have other questions.

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  33. Katherine
    February 4, 2013 | 11:14 am

    I am treating my son’s ears with the garlic ear drops. Do you make a fresh batch each time you do the drops? We’ve been putting them in his ears a few times a day, but I’ve read that the garlic and oil can cause botulism if it sits out too long. Do you know anything about that? Do you think I could at least use the same batch of oil three times in one day? Thanks!

    [Reply]

  34. Michelle
    March 28, 2013 | 10:25 pm

    Hey Kimberly…I hope you get to check your messages. Despite my reading this awhile back, I allowed my Christian to take 3 doses of amoxicillin. Just after 3 doses it is clear he has watery stools like that of c diff. (This is for an ear infection btw) So, I’ve decided to stop treating the ear infection and pray that it has cleared or will clear on its own. Now, hat about the suspected c diff? They’ll just prescribe another antibiotic, right? Will probiotics work? I obviously know you are not a medical professional but do trust your advice on homeopathic remedies. Do you have any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    Michelle from Westminster, I should add!

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  35. Among
    April 9, 2014 | 7:20 pm

    Hi Kimberly, my daughter who is 9 months old has vur reflux grade 3 and is taking antibiotics. I have been doing a lot of research on vur and was very glad to come across your website. I am not keen on antibiotics but not sure if I should give it up. I have started giving my daughter probiotics and would also like to start d mannose.

    Please can you tell me if I can give her d mannose as well as the antibiotic at different times and also what brand can you recommend for a 9 month of baby. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    While I don’t have the experience to give you medical advice, D mannose is simply the natural sugar that occurs in cranberries, so I would assume it would be fine to use in addition to the antibiotics. It would be like your daughter drinking lots (and lots and lots and lots) of cranberry juice. Mannose prevents UTIs by making the urinary tract ‘slippery’ so that bacteria are unable to collect and multiply and overwhelm the good bacteria that should be present.

    I would head to a health food store with a knowledgeable staff and ask them about a dosage for your daughter, or contact a naturopath or someone who knows more about it than I do. :)

    [Reply]

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