How but in custom and ceremony

Are Innocence and Beauty Born?

—William Butler Yeats


Teething with Earache and Fever

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Samantha A. Little is not a medical doctor, nor is she a licensed medical professional. The following is intended to educate for consumer health awareness, and should not be considered diagnosis or prescribed treatment for any medical condition.

Name:                        Sex: Female                    Age: 1.5 years                    Weight:

Diet: weaned, eating normal food

Current Concern: She is teething, cutting her molars. In the night, she woke up screaming and pulling on her earlobe. Her temperature is 103℉.

Overview: This is not a diagnosis! It is not uncommon for teething to cause earache, or to effect mucus drainage and cause ear infection in the undeveloped eustachian tubes of young children.

CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PHYSICIAN if the child shows no improvement in 24 hours; or if, at any time, symptoms appear to worsen or include nuchal rigidity (stiffness in the neck, which may indicate meningitis) or lethargy.

Immediately contact your healthcare physician if there are symptoms of dizziness, ringing in the ears, bleeding or bloody discharge, sudden pain (or sudden lessening of pain), or hearing loss in one or both ears. These symptoms indicate the possibility of a perforated (ruptured) eardrum. With proper treatment, a perforated eardrum often heals naturally without permanent hearing damage.

Suggested Physical Support

  1. Keep the child well hydrated. Unless necessary to avoid dehydration, avoid fruit juices (or other sweet drinks) that may lower immune function. A warm herbal tea delivers medicine while also providing some pain relief through heat. The child can drink the tea from a cup or bottle, or chew the corner of a clean cloth that has been dipped in the tea. For recommendations, see under “Suggested Herbal and Nutritional Supplementation.”

  2. The following suggestion applies only if the eardrum remains intact! One to two drops of garlic oil with mullein (warmed to room temperature) can be placed in the ear as a topical antimicrobial. Mountain Rose Herbs® provides an Ear Oil of organic olive oil infused with garlic and mullein with Vitamin E oil. (Let the child know she may not hear as well with the drops in her ear.) The next morning, clear out the wax and oil with hydrogen peroxide. If the garlic oil is irritating to the skin, carefully use a cotton swab to remove the oil.

  3. Place a warm compress against the child’s ear and cheek to provide some pain relief. You might use a warm cloth dipped in chamomile tea and wrung, half an onion baked until translucent, or a rice bag heated in the microwave. Be careful to cool the compress to a tolerable temperature before placing it against your child’s skin!

  4. Promote lymphatic drainage with this simple massage. Oil your finger and place it behind the ear lobe. Rub firmly down the front of the neck muscle to the clavicle bone, several times. Do this several times a day until the infection is resolved. Massage only one side at a time, or the child may lose consciousness due to temporarily restricted blood flow to the brain. Trilight Health™ provides an essential oil formula for children called Lympha Rub,™ which includes lemon, lavender, and chamomile essential oils in an olive oil base.

  5. Fever is the body’s own healing response to infection; the higher body temperature is necessary to physiological processes that activate the immune system. Doctors consider a temperature below 104℉ to be safe, and energy levels may be more important to consider than temperature readings. If you desire to give something for the fever, mint and yarrow (prepared as tea) are herbs safe for children that support fever’s healing effects by helping direct circulation and body ventilation. I recommend for further reading the article “Fear Phobia” by herbalist Jim McDonald. If at any time you feel concerned about your child’s symptoms, contact your healthcare physician.

Suggested Dietary Support

  1. Avoid simple sugars (honey, sugar, fruit juice, dried fruit, etc.), wheat, dairy, eggs, and meat. These foods may lower immune function.

  2. Eat warm, digestible foods—such as soups—prepared with warming, antimicrobial spices such as garlic, onion, ginger, or cinnamon. Avoid chilled foods.

Suggested Herbal and Nutritional Supplementation

  1. Traditional Medicinals® has medicinal teas formulated “Just for Kids.” Two that may be helpful are Organic Nighty Night® for calm (linden flower, chamomile flower, hibiscus flower) or Organic Cold Care for immune support (elder flower, linden flower, chamomile flower, peppermint leaf). You can prepare your own tea blend with this recipe from the book Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Romm.

Teething Tea—Combine equal parts chamomile flower, lemon balm, catnip leaf, and lavender flower. Steep 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture in 1 cup of boiling water, for 15-30 minutes.

  1. An herbal tincture rubbed on the gums delivers medicine while providing physical comfort. Trilight Health™ provides a relaxing glycerite for children called Peace Treaty™ which contains valerian root, white willow bark, skullcap, passionflower, chamomile, hops, catnip, and clove in a base of vegetable glycerin. Please note that this formula includes a salicylate-containing herb. You can prepare your own soothing tincture blend with this recipe from the book Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Romm.

Baby’s Teething Tincture—Combine equal amounts of chamomile tincture, catnip tincture, lemon balm tincture, lavender tincture, and vegetable glycerin. Give 20 drops as often as every 2 hours for irritability and discomfort associated with teething.

  1. Echinacea is an immune stimulant specifically indicated for ear infections. Most children will readily take a sweet herbal glycerite. Trilight Health™ provides an antibacterial glycerite for children called Scout Out,™ which includes the herbs like echinacea, goldenseal, St.John’s wort, and mullein in a base of vegetable glycerin.


December 15, 2012    Originally published as “Teething with Earache and Fever” on the blog Linnet on the Leaf.

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