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

Fresh Pressed Garlic For Making Garlic Oil

This post may contain affiliate links. It was last updated on October 24, 2020.

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!

Fresh Pressed Garlic For Making Garlic Oil

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.

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.

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.

Garlic Ear Drops Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Homemade Garlic Oil Ear Drops Recipe

A simple DIY garlic oil ear drop recipe useful for treating ear infections quickly.
Prep Time5 mins
Steep Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Natural Remedy


  • 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.

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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50 Replies to “Garlic Oil For Ear Infections: Why You Should Make Your Own”

  1. Hello, when you say left to steep for 30 minutes you mean just to let it sit and absorb with no heat. Sorry for the most likely stupid question, but the only reference I know to steep is when I make tea and thats after ive heated the water and added tea….just wanting to clarify. My daughter has had 2 ear infections back to back and seems to be getting it again, and after 2 rounds of antibiotics im not doing a third.

    1. Yes, just let it soak with no heat. Not stupid at all! Hope your daughter feels better ASAP!

      1. Thank you, I very much appreciate your help. I made the oil and put some in her ears, and she started crying. It wouldnt be hurting her would it? Im thinking just because it felt weird…

        1. It may have been too cold? Would depend on the temp in your home. You could put the container in warm water (similar to how you’d warm up breast milk if you’re familiar with that) first and try it that way.

        2. I just made this with fractionated coconut oil I bought to use as a carrier oil for administering essential oils on my my kids. It was the only oil we had on hand. Will get the EVOO when I can get to the store but both my littles have been sick sick Saturday and my 3 yr old finally kicked the fever but woke up complaining about her ear and I had heard of this method but never tried it before since out of three kids (oldest is 7) we have only had one ear infection if you can believe that. As soon as anyone gets sick cut out milk and most other dairy besides yogurt since I try to keep up the probiotics that way. Anyhow, I just put two drops in her ear and will do it again when she wakes back up. I has already given her some Motrin for the pain so I’m not sure if it was that or this but she says it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’ll give an update after a day or two of administering. Praying my baby doesn’t get it, I can’t bribe her with a gummy, LOL! One quick prep tip, what do you use to strain the oil? I really only have colanders and one mesh strainer but didn’t want any garlic chunks to get through so I used a coffee filter??

          1. It depends how finely you chop the garlic. I have a small strainer I use for tea that works perfectly fine.

  2. Also would it benefit her to give it to her orally, in food or maybe mixed in her drink?

    1. Oh, and it could have also been the new sensation of having something put into her ear, of course. I am not sure if it would benefit ear infections internally. =/

  3. Hey there! I’ve got it steeping right now!
    Thank you so much. We live out of town and I would have had to order this online and wait- I have all of these ingredients at home and would much rather make it myself. I hope this works πŸ™‚

    My Mother in Law heard I was trying this and said:
    “It is what my Mom called sweet oil. She would heat a little in a teaspoon put it in our ear then put a cotton ball in the ear. She would have us lay on a heating pad with the bad ear on the pad. Next moring remove cotton ball and all the yucky stuff would be in the cotton ball.”

    1. That’s awesome! I’ve read of using onion in that way (and a sock of rice, warmed). πŸ™‚

    2. no there actually IS an oil called sweet oil and it does not have garlic infused.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for clear, easy directions! I have a few drops in my ear as I type. When my baby wakes, I will put some in his ears. Darn travel & cold weather made us all sick:(

    1. You’re welcome! Wishing you guys a speedy recovery πŸ™‚

  5. Can I use sesame oil instead?

    1. Yes, you can! πŸ™‚

    2. Hello there! I really enjoy this tip, but I would like to know if only the garlic juice, can it still work? I mean a preparation in which you grat garlic cloves and press to extract the juice and apply it in your ear without having mixed with another oil neither passing it to any degree of heat. Can it still be effective? Thanks for your response (s).

      1. You can use sesame oil, but I would not use the garlic juice directly. It is caustic and may cause skin irritation/rashes!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m coming back to tell you that this REALLY WORKED. My son had been having lots of ear infections, some rupturing. I tried this and it took a couple days of applying it hourly throughout the day, but his EI went away and ear ache went away! THANKS!

    1. Awesome! Glad to hear it πŸ™‚

    2. Kayla, how many drops do you put in each time? And this is a dumb question, but how do you know if it has errupted? Also, do you warm it up at all before putting it in the ear? Thanks!

  7. Can I use extra virgin coconut oil? I’m out of olive oil. Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can πŸ™‚

  8. I’m trying this now as I type. For inner ear inflammation? I read garlic oil was good for it………. I put two cloves in an 1/4 cup of oil and heated it and let it sit……. You think it will help?

    1. Yes, preferably crush or chop up the garlic first.

  9. How often do you apply it at night, still hourly?!? If not hourly, how often? And do you have to use the cotton ball for it to work? Not sure my 2.5 year old and 9 month old will keep it there. They both have ear infections. πŸ™ I’m very tempted to use the antibiotic bc my little one is in pain and can’t sleep. But I know the benefits of going natural!

    1. Sorry for the late response. If you or baby wakes in the night you can reapply but otherwise I’d just start it up again once awake. Many people report relief from the pain from the 1st or 2nd dose. Hope your babies are better by now!

  10. Brenda Peters says: Reply

    My grandson is one year old and has a ear infection is he too young for this ? TIA
    My hearing has been muffled for the last 9 months and the ENT specialist says nothing’s wrong , if I am lying down my hearing is much better , I am wondering if this might help as I have tried acupuncture. Chiropractic adjustments, lymphatic drainage and ear candling to no avail . I have to see the ENT again in 10 days as this is frustrating me . Could this garlic oil , or garlic/ coconut oil help my ears ?? TIA

    1. Your grandson is not too young. I’m not sure what’s going on with your ears but it wouldn’t hurt to try the garlic oil–if it is an infection causing it, it will help. Hope you’re both better!

  11. What if all you have is regularl canola oil? Is it still beneficial for the pain? My son suffers from ear problems, he has had tubes put in twice, I’m trying to find something to ease the pain for him.

    1. I would not use canola oil as it is inflammatory πŸ™ I would try to get extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.

  12. Should it be kept refrigerated because of the danger of botulism? Thank you for the wonderful recipe. It’s so much healthier than the heated version! I plan to use on problem skin areas.

    1. No, a new batch should be made every day! That’s why I suggest making a small amount at a time.

  13. Using this now, thanks for the article. Something I noticed–it really itches/tickles the inside of my ear. Is this normal? I have not had this feeling with Colloidal Silver drops, so I just wondered. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    1. I haven’t had anyone complain about that. Does it itch if you apply elsewhere? I’d probably try with coconut oil if it keeps itching.

  14. Does the garlic oil need to be refrigerated throughout the day until you make a new mixture the next day? Or can it sit at room temp for the day?

    1. It can sit at room temp πŸ™‚

  15. Going to try this for the first time on my 8 month old, my olive & coconut oil aren’t extra virgin is it ok to use?

    1. Yes, that’s still OK. I do recommend switching to extra virgin olive oil if funds allow.

  16. Yvette Verhoeven says: Reply

    Thank you for this recipe.i have just made a batch to try on my 15month old.poor thing has been troubled with so much this winter.4 ear infections and I think another is brewing as she has the distinctive disruptive cough when lying down.when warming the oil slightly (as described above) can you warm just a little or can the whole 2 tablespoons be warmed and then rewarmed at the next administration?

    1. You can warm like you would warm breastmilk, by placing the small container you have it in into another larger container with warm water. It is a very slight warming, re-warming won’t hurt. Preferable to make a fresh batch daily.

  17. Can you make this a regular regimen? meaning to take precaution over cure?


    1. I’m sure you can. However, if recurring ear infections are an issue, I would recommend trying to find the cause.

  18. My garlic turned green!
    Is it still good?

    1. Yes, it can do so from being cut.

  19. 5 stars
    My son was getting his THIRD ear infection this month! We tried antibiotics and they do not help with pain and it still came back. This recipe helped him quickly and I am going to try removing dairy from his diet as well. Can I use this as a preventative too?

  20. I’m going to try this later in the week!! I think I have an ear Infection, and I don’t want to go to the dr.. z

  21. 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!

  22. 5 stars
    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.

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

    1. 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.

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