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