Sunday, July 19, 2009

Skin Free Skincare Kid Health Tip #1: Olive Oil for Earaches

I was reading "somewhere" (sorry! need ginko!) that one of the naturopathic pediatricians recommended warmed olive oil accompanied by accu-pressure on the feet for that emergency earache that always comes late at night, on weekends, or just after the doctor's office closes.

I whole-heartly endorse this recommendation. "Sweet oil", aka, olive oil has been sold forever as a magic earache remedy. Well, I have to tell you, it's not magic and it does work and here's why:

*Earaches are caused by pressure on the very sensitive eardrum. Pressure is generally caused by congestion, earwax build-up, or an accumulation of serum or pus on the eardrum.

*Warm olive oil directly heats the eardrum, which can help relieve the pressure.

*If there is actually pus on the eardrum, you have a serious infection and the pain will most likely return. This condition requires medical attention.

*If the problem is congestion caused by a cold or allergies, the olive oil will take care of the pain until the congestion returns. The child should be receive lots of fluids orally and a dose of OTC allergy meds or antihistamines.

* Olive oil also contains a natural non-steroidal antiinflammary similar in structure to ibuprofen. This may contribute to local pain relief.

* Warmed oil may also help dissolve built-up earwax.

* The accu-pressure is a marvelous therapy if you know where the pressure points are in the feet. Even if you don't, a good foot massage is relaxing and can help get your child to sleep as the pain in the ear is relieved.

Extra recommendations:

* Warm oil by placing small container in hot water. Do not use microwave. You don't want to burn the ear. Test the temperature on your wrist before using.

* Don't buy "Sweet Oil"! Get the good stuff at your local grocery. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is great for you inside and out. Buying a small bottle of low grade sweet oil at the pharmacy is a waste of money. It's probably old and not the quality oil that will have the NSAID moiety left in it.

* Never use cotton swabs in your child's ear to apply oil or try to clean wax. This causes a compaction of the wax against the eardrum and can cause mild hearing loss and pain.

* If you are out of Olive, but you have some Skin Free After Shower Moisture Spritz around, you can always use that. It's not pure olive oil, but it will do the trick in an emergency.


Anonymous said...

My mom used to put something called sweet oil in my sister's ear for her earaches. Not sure what that kind of oil that was, exactly, but it worked wonders.

The Mommy Files sent me!

Anonymous said...

So sweet oil is olive oil. Ha! I should read more carefully, huh? Wow, I hadn't a clue. As usual.

amanda said...

Great blog! I'd love to try these products. Just stopping by from the Hands, House, and Heart Full blog.

etirv said...

Very useful tip, thanks! I came via The Mommy-Files!

noble beeyotch said...

your products are lovely....i am a follower now...i was sent here by hands, house and heatfull for the giveaway!