Using Garlic Oil for an Ear Infection – Easy Home Remedy

Garlic oil for an ear infection

Over the last years, garlic has become one of the most popular home remedies for almost any health condition imaginable. People use it to control blood pressure, diabetes, and even to relieve inflammation! Garlic’s forte, however, is in fighting microorganisms, so today I will tell you everything you need to know on how to prepare and use garlic oil for an ear infection.

Because let’s face the fact:

Most websites that tell you how to use garlic… Are doing it plain wrong. Moreover, their recipes of preparing garlic oil are useless as well, and I’ll tell you why.

But before we get specific, there’s a couple of things I want you to know.

Garlic for infections: how does it work?

A quick off-topic fact: the substance that’s responsible for the spicy hot flavor of chili peppers is an alkaloid called capsaicin. It is the result of millions of years of evolution, a powerful weapon created to prevent any living creature in its sane mind from eating this crimson fruit. The irony is that capsaicin is the exact reason why we humans love chili so much.

Likewise, garlic has a weapon of its own: allicin. With potent antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and even antiprotozoal properties, this substance ensures any kind of germ will have a really bad time should it try to harm the plant. Additionally, allicin is responsible for garlic’s unique aroma to a great extent.

The trick here is that allicin is a substance so powerful that it could destroy garlic itself if it were to be present in the plant at all times. Instead, garlic creates allicin only when it is damaged, with the help of an enzyme called alliinase which transforms alliin (an amino acid) into allicin.

And that’s when the annihilation begins.

  • Allicin can kill cancer cells and inhibit the proliferation of any survivors.

  • Allicin is effective against an absurdly wide range of bacteria including E. coli, S. aureus, Str. pyogenes, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Acetobacter, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, H. pylori, Salmonella, Clostridium, and Shigella, and many others more (including methicillin-resistant superbugs).

  • Allicin has powerful antifungal properties both when used alone and as a support for conventional medications. No antibiotic can brag about such a feat.

  • Contrary to conventional antibiotics, allicin can even fight protozoa, such as Leishmania and Entamoeba. Again, no antibiotic does that.

  • Although not as powerful as its antibacterial and antifungal properties, virucidal effects of allicin against some viruses (Herpes simplex virus, Human parainfluenza virus, Human rhinovirus, and others) were also confirmed throughout many scientific studies.

In other words, garlic can help you kill almost any kind of microorganism that could be causing your ear infection. Sound great, right? But here goes the bad news: allicin is a quite unstable substance.

In a sense, that’s for garlic’s best, because if allicin was stable, it would easily destroy the plant after a minor injury to the bulb. Instead, garlic has come up with a clever solution over the past millennia: when it is damaged, it quickly transforms one of its safe amino acids into a powerful weapon, gets rid of the threat, and then makes sure that the weapon itself is destroyed to prevent any self-harm.

And this is exactly why most websites have the wrong recipe for making garlic oil. Not that it won’t be tasty, but its antibacterial properties would be questionable at the very least.

Here’s the only garlic oil recipe for ear infections you’ll ever need.

The best recipe to make garlic oil for an ear infection

Garlic oil for an ear infection


  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or sesame oil


  1. Pick a clove of garlic and “damage” it as much as you can (remember that allicin is created only in response to any kind of damage to the garlic’s tissues). Chop it, mince it, crush it!
  2. In a clean saucepan, mix the garlic and the olive or sesame oil and start warming them on the lowest heat available.
  3. Your goal is NOT to cook the garlic, but to warm the oil up to around 35o C (95o F). This is the optimal temperature for the conversion of alliin to allicin, according to this study. A temperature of 40o C (104o F) and up speeds up the decomposition of allicin to volatile components.
  4. Strain the mixture and put it into a clean dropper.
  5. Lie on your side and put 2-3 drops of your garlic oil into the affected ear.
  6. 5 minutes later, lie on your other side to let any residual oil flow out of the ear.
  7. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times per day until symptoms subside.

Bonus tips: how to make sure your garlic oil will work

  • Try not to warm the olive or sesame oil over the 35o C (95o F) mark when preparing your remedy. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, you can just use the good old tactile approach: if the oil feels slightly warm on contact but quickly starts feeling “neutral” in a matter of seconds, you’re close to the needed temperature.
  • Use only freshly prepared garlic oil for treatment of infections. Allicin is extremely unstable in vegetable oil, with an activity half-life of 0.8 hours, according to scientific studies.
  • Young garlic has a higher allicin content than aged garlic, so look for the first whenever possible.

The bottom line

Garlic oil is a fabulous remedy for treating ear infections at home, but there are quite a few things to remember when making it. For example, you should take into account that allicin, the compound responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial and antifungal properties, is a very unstable substance that quickly breaks down when heated over the 35o C (95o F) mark. Its activity half-life is around 0.8 hours (48 minutes) in vegetable oil, so make sure to make a fresh portion of it twice a day if you want to treat your ear infection effectively.

If you don’t want to bother about all that mincing and chopping twice a day, the best alternative is going with colloidal silver instead. This extremely beneficial natural remedy has all the fabulous properties of garlic (antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral), but it is endlessly more stable and absolutely odorless (not all people like the aroma of garlic, after all). To learn more about the health benefits of colloidal silver, check out my other article dedicated to this matter.

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  1. Hi there,
    very interesting and useful remedy for ear infection, I have kids that do get an ear infection every now and then. I was just wondering, do you think these remedies can be used on little kids?

    • Hi Kay, that’s a great question. Using garlic oil to treat ear infections in children is absolutely safe and I have used this recipe for clearing ear infections on my own children in the past. One thing that is really important though is to make sure that the ear drum has not ruptured. You can normally tell if the ear drum bursts as the pain will recede but if you are unsure of this then consult a doctor.

  2. Some great advice here and something we all have access to . I use a lot of garlic in cooking so always have some on hand. Next time I have an ear infection I will remember this tip and how to prepare the oil and garlic, so simple. I wonder how long the garlic odor would remain in the ear? Never mind better to have cleared up the infection.

    • Hi Judy, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love using garlic when cooking and it’s great to know that something so tasty is also really good for our health. The oddur does linger for a while but you can get around that by opting to use another natural remedy that works superbly at fighting off ear infections. I wrote another article about using colloidal silver for treating an ear infection. Here’s the link if your interested, otherwise thanks for commenting and have a great day.

  3. Hello, just ran across your post. Since I’m a garlic and chili-holic this post was good news for me. I’m so glad we’ve been eating something good all these years. We use powdered garlic on most all the veggies we stir fry and bake. I plan on using fresh garlic from now on since I’ve read your article. Thanks…

    • Hi Joan and thank you for your comment. I also use garlic all the time when cooking, I can still taste it in my mouth now, as I write this, after making a
      fresh pesto earlier. Glad you enjoyed this post.

  4. Ok, this post interests me and it is certainly worth it. I have had an inner ear infection for over a month now. It is so debilitating that I just can’t hear right now. I have been given Augmentin, and steroids, nose spray, and ear drops. I still have the infection which is painful. I am now on a different antibiotic that was a fortune, a different ear drop and a more powerful steroid dose. I thought maybe I would wake up feeling better and hearing better…..nope! I am most definitely going to try this today. Tired of the pain and tired of not hearing 🙁

    • Sorry to hear of your continuing health issues with your ears Leahrae. It’s always hard to tell which was the specific germ that caused your infection and this is why antibiotics don’t always work. If your infection is viral or caused by fungi then it could be the reason why they are not working. If you do decide to try the garlic, let us know of the results, otherwise try the colloidal silver which kills all of the germs that could of caused you infection.

  5. I really enjoyed your article. I am a strong believer of natural remedies for illness and I use herbal medicinal supplements daily. Did you know that garlic is also used as a treatment for heartworms in dogs. It supposedly kills the little buggers and also helps prevent mosquitoes from biting. Your article was very informative and I copied your recipe since my Granddaughter gets ear infections all the time. Thanks for the info.

    • Hello Deborah, I’m glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for sharing you thoughts. I’m always discovering new ways in which to use garlic and yes, I have read somewhere before how it can prevent mosquitoes from biting but treating heartworms in dogs is new to me, so thanks for educating me on another beneficial use of garlic. It’s great to hear you are a advocate for using natural remedies and I’m sure that this garlic remedy will help to fight off your granddaughter’s ear infections. All the best Lee

  6. Wow, i have garlic oil all in my house. Well, my wife, does she uses it for personal reasons. I have ear infections during certain times of the year. Never would’ve thought to use the garlic oil to help with the problem. Great post I will be sure to bookmark and save this information for later.

    • Thanks James for your positive feedback. It’s great to hear that you plan on trying this out the next time you get an ear infection but just remember to use freshly prepared garlic oil as it loses it healing properties quite quickly.

  7. Great article about garlic! I once read that a region of people in the far east that uses garlic in all of their foods had an almost zero rate of cancer. It’s amazing that some plants can have such a positive effect if used correctly. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for you comment Leslie. In the Western world we eat a lot of processed foods because of our constant need for convenience and it’s not surprising to hear that places in the far east, on a diet of natural foods, experience better health. Garlic has some fantastic healing properties but also tastes great, so no excuses for missing out on it. 🙂

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