Anyone can get an earache, but children tend to get them much more often than adults. In the U.S., it’s reported that five out of six children will have at least one earache by their third birthday. In fact, ear issues are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor.
How can you tell a little one is struggling with an ear problem? Any of these behaviors or symptoms may be an indication:
Tugging or pulling at the ear(s)
Fussiness and crying
Fever (especially in infants and younger children)
Fluid draining from the ear
Clumsiness or problems with balance
Trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds
It is not uncommon for pediatricians to recommend a course of antibiotics and OTC pain medications like acetaminophen for children with this problem.
Luckily, homeopathy is an awesome option that can bring effective, speedy relief  – without the risk of unwanted side effects.
This article is intended to look at six commonly prescribed homeopathic remedies in great detail.
Belladonna: This homeopathic remedy is a great one to think of when your child’s ear problem develops suddenly and he or she is quite red in the face. There will often be a fever that almost burns the hand when touching the face (the body can at times feel cool despite this red, hot face). The child may be very sensitive to noises – with noise making the ear pain worse. Slightly jarring the child will often make the child very uncomfortable. Dullness, drowsiness and lethargy are common in a child needing this remedy. Sleep may be restless and the child may scream or jerk violently in sleep, waking in a delirious, or “out of it” state. Right-sided ear pain may be present (though not always). They may also be quite thirsty for cold water.
Chamomilla: A child needing this homeopathic remedy is easy to spot – their mental/emotional symptoms give them away. They are restless, extremely irritable, whiny, and demanding and will often ask for a toy or a bottle – only to toss it aside as soon as you give it to them. Another key for this remedy – the child cries incessantly and is only quieted when being carried about the room… at other times they may object strongly to being touched – particularly near the painful ear. The ear pains are sharp, stitching and often sudden in nature – worse if the child bends to stoop. The ears may be quite sensitive to open air. While some redness in the face is not uncommon, at times, a parent may notice that one cheek is bright red while the other cheek is pale. The child is often worse at night and from warmth. Consider this remedy when teething is likely present at the same time.
Ferrum phosphoricum: This homeopathic remedy can be called for at the beginning of a problem. The picture the child presents is similar to that for Belladonna - but not as intense (less heat, pain, redness, lethargy). Again – the ear pain may be on the right side. I have found the best clue to this remedy is that the child will seem overall well – good appetite, good mood, playing as usual– though they might have quite a high fever and a big problem brewing in both ears! Think of it generally in the first stage of a problem.
Hepar sulphur: This homeopathic remedy is often helpful for a child that is extremely sensitive to their environment – particularly cold air, touch, and noise. Ear problems might actually commence after exposure to dry, cold air. They may ask to be covered even in a warm room. They may also sweat more easily than normal – and the sweat may have a strong, somewhat offensive odor. A child needing Hepar will often show no interest in playing, will laugh infrequently if at all, will be easily angered, and will prefer to be left alone. Often you can find the ear pain accompanied by a very congested nose (yellow mucus) and loose or barky cough. If there is a discharge from the ear, it will have an oppressive odor and a pus-like consistency.
Mercurius sol: The clues for needing this remedy are usually a right-sided earachewhich is worse during the night. And the pain can be quite severe – causing the child to hold their head with their hands. The child may complain that the ear feels clogged or they may have some difficulty hearing low volume sounds. There will often be great restlessness, sleeplessness and much thirst (even though the mouth appears to be quite moist). The warmth of the bed at night often makes the child feel worse. In addition, you will often find a tendency to drool, bad odor from the mouth and a general sweatiness about the child.
Pulsatilla: This homeopathic remedy is often called for after your child experiences a cold with yellowish-greenish discharge from the nose first. The ear pain causes little concern during the day, though as evening sets in, pains variable and of increasing severity (sometimes violent in nature) develop and continue through the night. There can be a profuse, thick, yellowish or yellowish-green discharge from the ear that is typically bland and inoffensive smelling. The ear(s) may also feel as though they are plugged resulting in some difficulty hearing low volume sounds. The child needing this remedy is often weepy, whiny and clingy and is better from affection (i.e., a sweet or even pathetic child rather than a cross and irritable “Chamomilla” child). Symptoms are often better in cold air and from cold applications and from being gently carried. The child is often thirstless as well.
Remember (particularly if you’re new to homeopathy) the key to choosing the correct/helpful remedy is always the same. One must match the “characteristic symptoms” (i.e., unusual or peculiar) of the person you are caring for (not the common ones like a headache, sore throat, cough, fever, etc.) to a remedy capable of producing similar characteristic symptoms to have success. If you choose a remedy with characteristics most similar to the characteristic symptoms of your family member, you should have a happy outcome every time. If you don't, you or they will either feel no effect or one that is mildly positive at best, but there is never a bad effect from choosing the “incorrect” remedy.
Once you have chosen a remedy that appears to match your symptoms, dose with a 30C or 200C to start by placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and then giving a teaspoon dose as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of the problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. is an exceptional homeopath who provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a regular column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. She is perhaps best known as a guest expert on homeopathy used by Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. on the popular TV program - the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet.You can follow her on Facebook as well.
 Bell IR, Boyer NN. Homeopathic Medications as Clinical Alternatives for Symptomatic Care of Acute Otitis Media and Upper Respiratory Infections in Children Glob Adv Health Med.2013 January;2(1): 32–43.