This is an acute or chronic infection and it affects the middle ear. If acute it is usually bacterial
and often preceded by an upper respiratory tract infection, such as a cold. Chronic cases have
a swelling of the middle ear and constant pain.
What causes it?
It is usually caused by poor functioning of the Eustachian tube and various factors can aggravate
this, such as:
a blockage with mucous due to an allergic reaction
trauma, such as a difficult birth, leading to retained moulding within the temporal bone,
which houses the ear. This can set up a dysfunction with the drainage of the middle ear via
the Eustachian tube.
Other possible causes:
Air travel due to the pressure changes
Very cold weather
Constant exposure to loud noises
Poor immune system
What are the psychosomatic causes?
It may be an indication that something we are hearing are irritating us, or making us upset. When
it affects a child it may be due to conflict at home, at school or with peers.
What can I do myself to help?
Improve your immune system (see relevant chapter).
What can I do to help my child?
Avoid bottle feeding your baby, because it is then more susceptible to infections due to a
decrease of the protective antibodies from the mother’s milk.
It has been found that breast-fed infants have roughly a twenty times larger thymus gland
(vital organ for our immune system) than bottle fed infants (40).
Therefore it is advisable to exclusively breast feed for the first six months of a baby’s life.
Also a baby’s digestive tract is poorly developed until six months of age, which is why it is
more common to develop food allergies and sensitivities when various foods are being
introduced too early, especially cow’s milk, other dairy products, wheat, egg, nuts and
fowl. It may be needed for the breast feeding mother to exclude common allergenic foods
from her diet, since it can pass on to the baby through the breast milk.
What should I avoid?
Avoid any known food allergens, such as milk and other dairy products, nuts, wheat, corn,
egg and oranges. (See section on food allergies). An allergic reaction can cause a blockage
of the Eustachian tubes setting up a perfect ground for chronic ear infections. (Many
children with chronic ear infections have an allergy to food, inhalants or both).
Avoid colourings and food additives.
What else should I avoid?
Public swimming pools
Getting a chill
Smoky environments, house dust, animal hair and fungus spores. Instead remove all wall-to-
wall carpets, do not smoke in the house, clean regularly (using natural cleaning materials),
and remove all signs of damp.
What should I do in regards to antibiotics?
Often antibiotics are prescribed for acute ear infections, because of the risk of the infection
spreading to the brain and mastoid. It is always important to be examined by a medical doctor to
establish how serious the infection is. However, children receiving antibiotics seem to have more
recurrent infections than those that do not. Also, antibiotics increase the risk of fungal and yeast
infections. Therefore, if antibiotics have to be given, also give probiotic supplements, such as
Lactobacillus acidophilus, to help normalise gut functioning, since antibiotics wipe out all the
friendly and necessary gut flora. (This supplement need to be taken at least three hours apart from
the antibiotics, so the probiotics may need to wait until after the course of antibiotics have
How can I help prevent ear infections?
Take echinacea, zinc, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, propolis and garlic. The
cochlear needs vitamin A to function properly, and vitamin E can also help with reduced
Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement daily (tablet or liquid).
Take essential fatty acids daily, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil.
If given antibiotics also take Lactobacillus acidophilus capsules/powder.
Humidifiers seem to help, probably because low humidity may contribute towards an ear
infection, since it may decrease the ventilation of the Eustachian tube or dry the lining of the
Eustachian tube. This could then increase the secretions and reduce the ability to clear the
fluid from the ear.
What can I do when an infection is present?
Soak diluted mullein oil on a piece of cotton wool and put this in the affected ear.
Alternatively diluted lavender oil can be used.
Cotton wool soaked in diluted garlic oil and placed in the ear may help to draw out an
infection. (Be careful not to let the garlic oil touch any skin surface).
An onion poultice applied locally can help.
Bach Rescue Remedy cream can be applied just around the ears to decrease the inflammation
and soothe emotions.
Stimulate the thymus gland by doing hot and cold treatment over the lower part of the throat.
Soak a flannel in hot/warm water. Place it on the throat for about 30-60 seconds, remove it
and then soak a flannel in cold water and now place this one on the throat for 10-20 seconds.
Keep repeating this 2-3 times a few times per day. This is a highly effective treatment for
improving the immune system.
Make sure you and your child is well dressed to avoid chills. If during winter make sure to
wear a hat that covers the ears.
If a child has an ear infection it is useful to have the child sleeping slightly elevated so that
the eustachian tubes can drain naturally.
How else can I improve my or my child’s emotional, mental and spiritual health?
When it comes to the emotional, mental and spiritual health of a child it is obviously
important to look at the family dynamics. Children pick up any negative emotions, such as
anger, sadness, fear, guilt and hurt from their environment, even if the parents are trying to
cover it up in order to protect the child. This is because when we are very young we react
instinctively to our environment and we take things very personally. That is why children
always believe it is their fault if the parents are arguing or being upset. The most appropriate
action here is for the parents to release any emotional issues within themselves that may be
upsetting the child.
If you are suffering from ear infections then with the coaching programme release all your
negative emotions, limiting beliefs and emotional pain held in the body or caused by
unwanted states and behaviours and do the forgiveness exercise.
If something is irritating you in your environment, then try to see the situation from the other
person’s perspective and do the exercise for solving difficult problems.
Which complementary treatments help?
Cranial Osteopathy helps by reducing any retained moulding and compression within the
temporal bone, assisting with the drainage of the mucous build up, as well as improving the
functioning of the Eustachian tubes. Normally the response to treatment is a gradual
improvement, and a good sign is when a cold does not develop into an ear infection, where it
normally would have done so.
Homeopathy - homeopathic ear drops can be very useful, such as Pulsatilla and Belladonna.
Homeopathic remedies work on an energetic level, so therefore they can be of great help to
address any emotional imbalances within the body-mind framework. See a qualified
Homeopath for appropriate advice.
Medical Herbalism - there are several herbs, such as echinacea, goldenseal and liquorice that
can assist greatly in improving the immune system, which will help the body to resist
infection. Consult a qualified Herbalist for appropriate advice.
Aromatherapy - various oils have a calming effect on our emotions, such as Rhoman
Chamomile and Lavender. It may help to have a few drops on a piece of cotton wool
underneath the child’s pillow at night.
Healing - may be of great benefit, especially if the whole family receive it.
Kinesiology helps by establishing if any food sensitivities are present and also aids to balance
the musculo-skeletal system.
Tibetan, Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine help to improve the immune system and aid the
drainage of the ears.
Reflexology, shiatzu and acupressure help by stimulating pressure points relating to the ears,
digestive tract and nervous system.
NLP and hypnotherapy help by releasing repressed negative emotions and limiting beliefs. If
it is a young child who is suffering with recurrent ear-infections, then it may be appropriate
for the parents to look at if it is something within them which is causing the child to feel
stressed, in which case NLP and hypnotherapy can help greatly.
“It is safe for me to hear everything that goes on in my life ”
“I am filled with love and light. All is well in my world ”.