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How to Unclog Your Ears

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/05/2024

Clogged ears can be an irritating and sometimes unbearable issue that can cause tinnitus, hearing issues, and infections.

Understanding the causes of clogged ears is crucial to preventing them from occurring regularly. Learn about various natural remedies for unclogging your ears, including garlic as a natural antibiotic and olive oil for softening clogged mucus.

Causes of Clogged Ears

Understanding why your ears are clogged is critical to finding relief - allergies, swimmers' ears, and infections are common culprits. 


Allergies cause inflammation in your nasal passages and eustachian tubes, leading to excess mucus production that can block your ears - avoid allergens or manage symptoms with natural remedies.

Swimmer's Ear

Water trapped in your ear canal after swimming or bathing can lead to infection and inflammation, causing pain, itching, redness, and swelling. If swimmer's ear is a common issue for you, consider protecting your ears with earplugs or a swim cap.

Woman applying eardrops


  • Otitis Media: A middle ear infection caused by bacteria or viruses that results in fluid buildup behind the eardrum due to blocked eustachian tubes.

  • Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: Blocked tubes connecting your middle ear with the back of your throat can cause pressure and ear pain.

  • Earwax Impaction: Excessive earwax buildup or improper cleaning methods may result in a blockage that prevents sound from reaching the eardrum - clean your ears safely.

Prevent clogged ears by keeping them clean and dry and reduce mucus production by eliminating common triggers foods such as milk products or sugar.

Natural Remedies for Unclogging Ears

Get relief from clogged ears with these natural remedies that help with associated symptoms like itchiness, earaches, pressure, or tinnitus.


Crush garlic and mix with olive oil, warm it up, and apply it directly into your ear canal using a dropper to unclog your ears.


Make mullein tea by steeping dried leaves in boiling water, straining them, and adding a few drops into your affected ear to help clear congestion.

St. John's Wort

Mix St. John's Wort with olive oil and apply several drops to the congested ear twice daily until symptoms improve.


Mix calendula with olive oil and apply a few drops into the affected ear using a dropper.

Olive Oil

Warm olive oil slightly before applying directly into the ear canal using a dropper to help loosen up any hardened wax or mucus.

Natural remedy for quick relief

Combining natural remedies into a liquid form makes applying them directly to your ears easy for quick relief.

Create an effective remedy for ear congestion by combining equal parts of garlic, mullein, St. John's wort, calendula, and olive oil, which have natural antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Garlic - natural antibiotic

  • Mullein - antiviral and mucus softener

  • St. John's wort - relieves earaches and infections

  • Calendula - treats disorders and tinnitus

  • Olive oil - softens clogged mucus

Crush fresh garlic cloves and combine them with the other ingredients in a small jar or bottle. Let the solution sit for at least two weeks before straining out the solids so that only the infused oil remains.

Utilize a dropper to put 2-3 drops of the mixture into each ear before going to sleep and rub around your ears to assist with spreading the oil further and helping it enter into your ear canal.

Boost Your Immune System to Prevent Ear Issues

A robust immune system is critical to preventing recurring clogged ears caused by allergies and infections.

Eliminate Milk Products or Sugar

Interestingly, certain foods have been suggested to increase the production of earwax. Dairy products, such as milk and foods high in sugar, have been associated with higher levels of earwax in some individuals.

Avoiding excess milk products and sugar reduces mucus production, inflammation, and congestion that worsen clogged ears.

Exercise Regularly to Improve Overall Health

Regular exercise improves blood circulation, including in the ears, promoting better drainage of fluids that cause blockages or infections. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days per week.

When to Seek Professional Help for Clogged Ears

If you suffer from persistent or recurring blocked ears, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider to evaluate your symptoms and establish an appropriate treatment plan. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Fever: A high fever could mean a severe infection.

  • Pus discharge: Drainage, pain, and swelling could indicate an advanced disease.

  • Loss of hearing: Sudden or gradual hearing loss is a red flag.


Natural remedies such as garlic, mullein, St. John's wort, calendula, and olive oil can help to unlock blocked ear canals and improve symptoms of ear infections and excessive earwax production.

Remember, if home remedies don't work or you experience severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.


1. Can you naturally unclog your ears?

You can naturally unclog your ears using home remedies such as warm olive oil drops or herbal mixtures containing garlic and mullein.

2. What is the trick to unblock your ears?

The Valsalva maneuver effectively unblocks your ears by pinching your nostrils shut, keeping your mouth closed, and gently blowing air through it. Do not cause yourself discomfort doing this, if you begin to feel pain, stop and try another solution.

3. How do you get rid of blocked eustachian tubes naturally?

  • Perform the Valsalva maneuver.

  • Inhale steam from hot water with added essential oils like eucalyptus

  • Sip on warm liquids like tea or broth to help reduce inflammation

  • Avoid allergens that may contribute to congestion

4. Why do my ears feel clogged but no wax?

If there's no visible earwax causing a clogging sensation in your ears, other possible causes include allergies, trapped water or debris due to swimmer's ear, infections, or blocked Eustachian tubes caused by sinus issues.

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