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 Integrative Medicine: Childhood Ear Infections 

Mercurius dulcis often works if other remedies have failed. Give your child one dose of Mercurius dulcis 12x or 6c, three times daily, for two days.

If none of the above remedies seems right for your child, a homeopathic combination earache remedy may be helpful.

If your child has ear surgery with a myringotomy and tube placement, give him one dose of Arnica 30x or 9c, three or four times daily, for two days. Arnica helps reduce inflammation surrounding the tube and also helps the body adjust to the tube's presence.

General Recommendations
The pain of an earache is caused by pressure as the congested middle ear pushes on the eardrum. To promote drainage, prop your child at a 30-degree angle.

Prepare and use one of the herbal oil ear drops recommended under Herbal Treatment, above. A drop or two of warm oil on the eardrum helps relax and anesthetize the membrane, lessening the pain.

If your child cannot tolerate ear drops, apply a warm compress. If the warmth is comforting, use that knowledge to guide you in choosing an appropriate symptom-specific homeopathic remedy. Some children seem to feel better with a cold compress. Experiment with hot and cold to see what helps. If your child doesn't like the warmth, give him homeopathic Pulsatilla.

If your child has an ear infection, avoid taking him on airplane flights. A child with an earache or upper respiratory infection will be very uncomfortable traveling by air. Air travel does not necessarily injure the ear or increase your child's risk of developing an ear infection, but the change of air pressure in the cabin on takeoff and landing can greatly increase the pain. If you must fly with a child who has an ear infection, it may be worthwhile to give him nasal decongestant drops, along with acetaminophen, before takeoff.

Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke. Studies show that children who live in households with one or more smokers suffer more ear infections than those from smoke-free households.

Do not give your baby a bottle to suck on while he is lying flat on his back. This position allows fluid to drain directly into the middle ear. Instead, hold or prop your infant at a 30-degree angle.

Massaging your child's ear can help keep the eustachian tube open. Using gentle pressure, draw a line along the back of the ear and down the back of the jawbone. Gently push and release the flap of skin in front of the ear several times. You can also massage your child's ear by placing the fleshy part of your palm, just belong your thumb, over your child's ear, and rotating the ear in all directions.

Use an elimination diet to determine if food allergies are contributing to the problem. Cow's milk tops the list of common troublemakers. Other common allergens worth deleting for a child with recurring ear infections include eggs, wheat, corn, oranges, and peanut butter.

(Excerpted from Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child ISBN: 1583331395)
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 About The Author
Janet Zand LAc, OMDJANET ZAND, O.M.D., L.Ac. is a nationally respected author, lecturer, practitioner and herbal products formulator whose work has helped thousands of people achieve better health....more
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