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Garlic Oil For Ear Infections: Why You Should Make Your Own

Garlic oil ear drops are simple to make and a great natural ear infection remedy. The following is a simple recipe for how to make garlic oil for ear infections: crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and mix with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Leave the mixture to steep for 30 minutes, and then strain out the garlic. Voila! You’ve made your own garlic ear drops!

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How To Make Garlic Oil For Ear Infections

Once strained, put a drop or two in each ear every hour for a few days. Results are typically seen within the first few doses!

Most people who have used this remedy have had great results, often the pain lets up immediately.

Is it dangerous to put garlic oil in your ear? What about botulism?

The short answer is no. Studies show that herbal remedies for ear infections produce better results for earache management than the use of the antibiotic amoxicillin, and should be a go-to (source, PDF file).

It is widely known that garlic is a potent antimicrobial agent. More recent studies confirm that the substances in garlic are potent antifungals and can inhibit the growth of aflatoxins and cure infections when diluted and applied topically (source).

It is best to make a new mixture every 24 hours, to preserve the benefits of the garlic and olive oil and ensure the mixture doesn’t get contaminated by Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria grows best in anaerobic conditions, and typically takes hold after 3 days of storage in the fridge. This is one of the reasons I prefer to make a new batch each day.

What about just putting a whole clove of garlic in my ear?

Many people have benefited from putting a whole clove of garlic in the ear. Some will wrap with wet gauze and warm gently. It can and does work. However, I prefer to use garlic and olive oil for ear infections and earaches. For one, the clove of garlic cannot enter the ear canal (even if it is small enough to fit, do not put it inside your ear canal!!!). Secondly, using garlic oil for ear infections and earaches works much more quickly, is kid-friendly, and allows you to go about your day as you normally would.

Make Your Own Garlic Oil Ear Drops for Earaches

So… Why Should You Make Your Own Garlic Oil?

There are several concoctions of garlic oil available ready-made at the store, some with additional herbs like mullein, lobelia, calendula or St. John’s Wort. These are often heated and may contain additives/preservatives (check labels carefully!).

When you make your own garlic oil, you can ensure that it is never heated. You can also use quality ingredients of your choosing and opt for organic garlic and a reputable brand of extra virgin olive oil.

In case you haven’t heard, there have been reports that some olive oils are tainted with fake fats that may be rancid and definitely not good for your health!

You can also add additional herbs to your garlic oil mixture if you choose to do so, but it is not necessary. In short, making your own allows you to reap all the homemade garlic oil benefits–a pure product that is potent and most importantly, works quickly.

How does olive oil help ear infections?

Olive oil contains fragile polyphenols, which are antioxidants that protect us from cell damage and help control inflammation. When the oil is heated, these polyphenols are greatly reduced, or even eliminated. Olive oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties when raw that directly help attack ear infections. This is why it can be used to avoid using antibiotics and the gut damage that follows.

Olive oil is also mildly acidic and astringent. It greatly helps to soften ear wax which can contribute to ear pain.

In addition to these benefits, olive oil lowers the risk of cancer, arthritis, diabetes, depression and other diseases. It also helps to lower blood pressure. It is a great cooking oil to use for salads, sauces, sandwiches, etc.

When you use olive oil for ear infections, these properties help to control inflammation (which can lead to earache pain) and fight the infection.

How can garlic help with ear infections?

Garlic shares many of the benefits that olive oil offers, including being full of antioxidants. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and helps protect against cancer.

This member of the allium family is high in sulfur compounds which aid the body in detoxification. It even helps our bodies to avoid forming carcinogens from overcooked meat! Garlic helps with iron absorption and is a good source of Vitamin C, manganese, selenium, and other important vitamins and minerals.

These are only some of the wonderful benefits that garlic has to offer, and unfortunately many of them are quickly destroyed by heat. For this reason it is often recommended to add garlic when a dish is done, or very close to being done. This way you can take advantage of all the health benefits it has to offer.

Garlic is important for ear infection remedies because it is potent and helps stop ear infections and the associated pain fast.

DIY Garlic Oil For Ear Infections

Raw, Garlic-Infused Olive Oil Works Miracles

When combined together and kept in their raw state, garlic and extra virgin olive oil offer the best of both worlds. Additional herbs can be steeped with the mixture.

I have many friends who have had success with this remedy, including my neighbor who was a skeptic. Making a new solution daily is advised because after a period of time, garlic submerged in olive oil may encourage botulism to grow.

Administering frequently ensures that the properties of the oil are available to continue healing the infection at all times. Many people get away with dosing every 4-6 hours, though.

Can I substitute another type of oil?

I highly recommend using extra virgin olive oil because of the properties it has inherently. However, you can also make garlic oil for ear infections with a good quality sesame oil or coconut oil.

I would not use vegetable oils such as canola, corn, rapeseed, etc to make this garlic oil remedy. These vegetable oils can cause or worsen inflammation. I would personally choose the coconut oil for ear infection relief if I could not access olive oil.

How do I apply garlic olive oil ear drops home remedy?

Here’s how to apply garlic olive oil ear drops.

You can use a dropper or syringe if you have one, and put a drop or two in each ear.

If you do not have a dropper, you can use a spoon, just use a small amount.

Crushed Garlic Steeping In Olive Oil For Ear Infections

Homemade Garlic Oil Ear Drops Recipe
A simple DIY garlic oil ear drop recipe useful for treating ear infections quickly.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Steep Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Natural Remedy
Servings 2 tbsp


  • 2-3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  • Strain and begin using infused oil right away. Discard garlic (or use to cook if you wish).
  • Store your garlic oil in the fridge and make a fresh batch every 24 hours.


It is important to move the mixture to the refrigerator and replace at most every 2 days to avoid bacterial growth in the garlic oil. I prefer to make a new mixture each day as it will also be more potent!
You can warm the garlic oil gently as you would warm breast milk, by putting into a bowl or other container of lukewarm water for a couple minutes. Body temperature is the goal, just for comfort.
Keyword Ear Drops, Ear Infection Remedy, Garlic Oil, Natural Remedies

A Note On Ear Infections

Recurring ear infections should not be a normal part of childhood! It often signifies that something is wrong. Dietary intervention may be necessary, and sometimes just eliminating dairy makes a huge difference. For more information, read this related post for how to stop recurring ear infections naturally.

Adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut and fermented daikon can also be very helpful. Including more garlic in the diet can lead to a stronger immune system and therefore less infections as well.

Have you tried making your own homemade ear drops? What do YOU use for ear infections?

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Rate Recipe

Ashutosh Mahajan

Monday 18th of October 2021

I have one doubt. Garlic oil, when applied to sensitive skin like Belly Button, Scrotum, etc causes severe skin burning sensation, then can it damage Tympanic Membrane which is said to be a very sensitive and delicate organ? Please guide, because I am also planning to put Garlic Oil in my ear.


Monday 18th of October 2021

@Ashutosh Mahajan, most people have no issue with using garlic oil in their ears. Some more sensitive persons can experience dermatitis. Be sure to use a fine sieve to strain out the actual pieces of garlic so you only have the steeped oil.

Miranda Robertson

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Hi I'm just wondering if you need to worry about cleaning the garlic oil out of the ear once you are done with treatment Or will it make it's way out on its own?

Will fluid drain out even if you don't lay with the bad ear on a heated cotton ball?

How many days do you have do this?


Monday 18th of October 2021

@Wanda, you can use it as needed in a sense. You would want to use it at least 2-3 times a day, but the first day many choose to use it every couple hours other than while sleeping.


Sunday 17th of October 2021

@Jo, Hi, how often should I use the garlic oil 2 to 3 times a day?


Wednesday 8th of September 2021

You don't have to clean out the garlic oil. Yes, fluids will drain out either way. Typically 2-3 days.


Monday 19th of August 2019

This is great! Our pediatrician actually recommends making it with coconut oil because it has natural antibacterial and anti fungal properties!


Monday 19th of August 2019

That's awesome that your pediatrician recommends making garlic oil! Our pediatrician supports holistic methods as well, and is into using food for healing whenever possible.


Monday 19th of August 2019

I love your blog! I'm definitely going to come back soon and browse around. I'm happy to hear how to make garlic oil - it looks so easy. I've always just stuck a peeled garlic clove in my ear, but of course that was as an adult! The comment thread makes it even more useful, thanks for all the great responses.


Monday 19th of August 2019

Wow! I never knew Garlic could do that, we always use another home remedy, but it is costly, this looks cost-effective- certainly going to give it a try!