Randall Neustaedter OMD, Lac, CCH
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Ear infections can be accompanied by mild or severe pain, or no pain at all. In babies, symptoms often only include fussiness and night waking, runny nose, or fever. Sometimes all three symptoms are present. Ear pain tends to worsen at night while lying down.
How do you know that your baby or child has an ear infection?
Get a small home earscope (see below) and check the eardrums for redness. A flushed, red ear may indicate an ear infection, but a red ear could also be due to allergies, teething, or excessive crying. The earscope will allow you to monitor the progress of the eardrum. Or go to your health care provider for a diagnosis. Ask for a one to ten scale of how bad the ears look.
What Steps Can I Take?
Give one of the following homeopathic medicines in a 30 strength. Use two pellets as a dose. Repeat every one to three hours while your child is awake depending on the severity of symptoms. Give only one homeopathic medicine at a time. If one remedy does not improve symptoms, then you can switch to another. Homeopathy will stimulate a healing reaction. When symptoms improve, stop the remedy and wait. If symptoms recur, then begin the medicine again. Remember that fevers are good. They indicate that the body is fighting the infection.
Belladonna 30c In the first stage, especially if symptoms have come on quickly and there is fever. The child is usually tired.
Hepar-sulph. 30c For any painful ear, especially if the ear seems tender to touch and the child is fussy or irritable. The most effective remedy for ear infections, and the best choice for swimmer’s ear.
Pulsatilla 30c For mild ear infections without severe pain, and for lingering symptoms with thickening nasal discharge.
If there is pain, place a few drops of body-temperature organic cold-pressed vegetable oil into the ear. This is soothing. If pain persists and is severe, despite homeopathic medicines, or if pain is keeping a child awake, then it may be sensible to give acetaminophen (Tylenol), but only while it is absolutely needed. This will allow your child to sleep while the homeopathic medicine does its job.
Give echinacea, an immune-building herb. Echinacea stimulates the body to produce more white blood cells that fight invasion by viruses or bacteria. Stop after four to five days.
Babies under one year: 10 drops three times per day
Children over one year: 20 drops three times per day
What about antibiotics?
Antibiotics have a tendency to weaken the immune system and cause recurrent ear infections. Try to avoid them. Bacteria also become resistant to antibiotics if they are overused. Many ear infections are not even caused by bacteria, and antibiotics will do nothing for ear infections caused by viruses or allergies.
What do I do about recurrent ear infections?
Discontinue all dairy products (cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese). If you are breastfeeding, then stop dairy in your own diet. Cow’s milk proteins will travel through your breast milk.
Give colostrum, one capsule twice a day mixed with food such as applesauce. This is the first milk that is secreted in mammals for a few days after birth. It contains immune system stimulants that prevent infections. Cow’s colostrum is freeze dried and packaged in capsules, which can be opened and mixed with food. Use an organic form of colostrum, such as New Life Colostrum produced by Symbiotics. Note: children with a dairy allergy should not be given colostrum.
Take your child to see a homeopathic practitioner for a deeper-acting constitutional medicine. This will strengthen the system and prevent future infections. Check the Holistic Pediatric Association directory at www.hpakids.org for a homeopath in your area. Contact the Council for Homeopathic Certification for a homeopath near you who is certified in classical homeopathy (415) 789-7677, or visit the directory at their website www.homeopathy-council.org.
Your ear infection home kit:
- Echinacea extract without alcohol
- Homeopathic medicines
- Belladonna 30c
- Hepar-sulph. 30c
- Pulsatilla 30c
- Earscope (Order from Notoco, Model 1202, Send $33.45. They also will include a book Ears: An Owner’s Manua,l which includes color photos of eardrums and instructions for home ear exams. Add $5.00. Notoco, PO Box 300, Ferndale CA 95536, (707) 786-4400
Dr. Neustaedter has practiced homeopathic medicine for over twenty years, specializing in child health care. A licensed acupuncturist with a doctorate in Oriental Medicine, Dr. Neustaedter practices at the Classical Medicine Center in Redwood City, California.
Go to CureChild.com to learn more from Dr. Neustaedter on keeping your child healthy with holistic medicine.