If your child is subject to recurring ear infections, do not expose him to common irritating allergens such as pet dander. Down comforters and pillows are another possible source of trouble. Items like carpets, draperies, and stuffed toys all collect dust and are possible offenders as well.
Minor bupleurum is a Chinese herbal formula that helps to strengthen resistance to infection. It can be very helpful in preventing the recurrence of ear infections. Give your child 3 to 5 drops, five days a week, for one month. Discontinue it for three weeks, then resume giving 3 to 5 drops, five days a week, for another month. Discontinue it for another three weeks. Repeat this regimen for a six-month period.
Note: Minor bupleurum should be used as a preventive only. It should not be given to a child with a fever or any other sign of an acute infection.
If your child suffers from repeated ear infections, give him 1/3 tube of homeopathic Anas barbariae (available as a product called Oscillococcinum), once a week, during the month or two he is most susceptible to infection.
In some cases, chiropractic care and cranial-sacral work may be helpful for a child with recurrent ear infections.
If your child suffers from recurring earaches, your physician may recommend a daily low dose of antibiotic to suppress any possible developing infections. If your doctor advises this, discuss it thoroughly to find out why he or she considers it an appropriate treatment for your child. A child on such a regimen will need to be seen by the doctor every month or so. He will also need to take yogurt or a lactobacillus acidophilus or bifidus supplement every day to counteract the effect of the medication on his digestive system. This approach may be effective in a few particularly intractable cases, but it runs the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant organisms and inhibiting the development of the body's own natural resistance. It is better to consider and try all other options before agreeing to give your child a daily dose of antibiotics. It may not be presented as such, but this is an extreme-and not necessarily health-promoting-type of treatment.
From Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, N.D., L.Ac., Robert Rountree, MD, Rachel Walton, RN, ©1994. Published by Avery Publishing, New York. For personal use only; neither the digital nor printed copy may be copied or sold. Reproduced by permission.