middle ear infections


When I first saw 20-month-old Lyle, he had shown an intermittent fever for several days ranging from 100.2 to 101 degrees. His mother reported that she thought the child was just teething, but she wanted to have him checked.

Lyle had had two previous episodes of a middle ear infection over the past 5 months. He was still breastfeeding, along with eating a whole-foods, dairy-free diet.

His temperature was 100.8. An exam showed a red, bulging eardrum. He had also been teething for several weeks. Middle ear infections may accompany teething due to increased fluid production in the upper respiratory passages.

I put Lyle on an herbal formula that contained:

Elder flowers and berries for the treatment of feverish catarrhal conditions. These ingredients are rich in fiavonoids that act as immune tonics and produce antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
Echinacea for its immune-boosting and antimicrobial activity.
Eyebright. This herb's medicinal properties make it anti-inflammatory and anticatarrhal, plus it acts as an astringent and an antihistamine. These actions aid in reducing swelling and irritation in the upper respiratory system while decreasing mucus production.
Fenugreek seeds to loosen congestion, reduce swelling of the mucus membranes and soothe irritation.
Thyme, which belongs to the mint family. Like most plants belonging to this family, its volatile oils make it highly antiseptic.
Anise seeds, which have a licorice-like flavor, while their volatile oil is warming and antiseptic.
I directed Lyle's mother to give him 1 milliliter (mL) of the formula every 2 hours for 3 days, then reduce the dosage to three times a day for a week. I also recommended an application of warmed herbal ear drops followed by a warm compress two or three times a day. Lyle was restricted to only water and tea made of chamomile, lemon balm and spearmint, and he was not to drink fruit juice for several weeks. I'm happy to report that his condition soon improved.

Internationally known lecturer and author, Mary Bove, ND, offers real-life case studies from her clinical practice in Vermont.



By Mary Bove, ND

Mary Bove received her doctorate of naturopathic medicine and midwifery certification from Bastyr University of Natural Health in Seattle. She also received a diploma of phytotherapy/herbal medicine at the School of Phytotherapy in Great Britain.

Share this with your friends