Oregano Oil for Ear Infections – Easy Home Remedy

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 09/05/2023

Oregano oil is a potent antimicrobial agent that helps eliminate harmful bacteria, making it a highly effective remedy to treat ear infections naturally.

Learn how to use oregano oil for ear infections and discover other at-home remedies for earache.

Woman with ear painWhat is oregano oil?

Oregano oil is a highly concentrated essential oil derived from the leaves of the oregano plant.

Most oregano oils are extracted using a steam distillation method and combined with a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, or argan oil.  

Oregano oil can vary in potency, and it’s best to opt for high-quality essential oils that contain between 70 and 90 percent of carvacrol. 

Carvacrol and thymol, two naturally occurring compounds in oregano oil, have potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and are believed to be responsible for many health benefits of oregano oil

Oregano oil has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to manage ear infections and other health problems, including sore throat and skin infections, and is a powerful candida and yeast killer

Watch the video below to learn how to use oregano essential oil as a natural antibiotic at-home remedy.

What causes ear infections?

An ear infection, also known as acute otitis media, is characterized by inflammation in the Eustachian tubes that connect the middle ear to the throat. 

The most common causes of otitis media are bacterial or viral infections that trigger fluid accumulation and inflammation in the delicate structures of the ear canal, causing pressure and pain. 

Because children have smaller Eustachian tubes that can easily trap microbes, they are at an increased risk of developing otitis media. 

Research published in Cureus found that “Before the age of two years, 70% of children will have encountered at least one acute otitis media episode.”

Ear infections are also common in smokers and individuals who suffer from seasonal allergies, chronic sinus issues, or weakened immune defenses. 

Conventional approaches for treating ear infections typically include antibiotic medications. 

While these drugs can be effective for many infectious diseases, frequent use of antibiotics can cause weight gain and lead to antibiotic resistance, a serious health issue that makes it challenging to treat common bacterial infections.  

Woman applying eardrops

How to use oregano oil for ear infections

Because of its antibacterial properties, oregano oil can help eliminate a wide range of microbes linked to the development of ear infections.

A study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found that carvacrol and thymol can directly inhibit the growth of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae, two primary pathogens responsible for otitis media and respiratory tract infections.  

If you want to use oregano oil to manage ear infections, it’s crucial to opt for a high-quality essential oil and carefully follow the instructions on the product label. 

General recommendations for using oregano oil for ear pain include:

  • Mix a few drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil

  • Before applying oregano oil to the affected ear, perform a skin patch test. Don't continue to use oregano oil if you experience any redness, itching, or irritation. 

  • Place a few drops of diluted oregano oil into the ear canal daily using a clean dropper. 

  • Tilt your head to the side and let the oil penetrate the ear canal for a few minutes. Tilt your head in the opposite direction to allow the oil to drain.

Oregano oil has few side effects and is generally well tolerated.  

However, some individuals are sensitive to oregano and can experience an allergic reaction when using oregano oil products. 

If you develop itching, hives, or difficulty breathing after using oregano oil, seek medical advice immediately.   

In addition, oregano oil isn’t recommended for long-term use and shouldn’t be applied to the ear canal for more than seven consecutive days to avoid skin irritations.

Selection of different essential oils

Other ear infection remedies

In addition to oregano oil, there are several other effective natural remedies that can help eliminate infectious microbes and relieve ear pain fast.

Here are three natural treatments for ear infections.

1. Essential oils 

Some essential oils are potent antimicrobial agents that help eliminate and kill microbes linked to ear infections.

Here are essential oils found effective in relieving ear pain fast:

It’s important to carefully read instructions on the product labels and always use diluted essential oils to minimize the risk of skin irritation and other adverse reactions. 

2. Olive oil

A buildup of earwax can trap water and microbes in the middle ear and increase the risk of swimmer’s ear and ear infections.

“Olive oil can help soften and loosen impacted ear wax, which promotes healthy ear canals and lowers the risk of ear infections and ear pain,“ explains Dr. Berg.  

Place 2 to 3 drops of olive oil into the ear canal to loosen ear wax buildup and unclog obstructed ear canals. 


3. Colloidal silver 

Colloidal silver is a potent antimicrobial solution that can be used as a natural ear drop remedy to prevent and manage ear infections.  

Doctor performing ear exam

When to see a doctor

Most people notice significant improvements in mild ear pain within a few days of using oregano oil ear drops.

However, if you experience severe ear pain accompanied by fever, difficulties hearing, tinnitus, or discharge from the ear, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider to evaluate your symptoms and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. 

Left untreated, ear infections can cause serious health complications, including hearing loss, eardrum perforation, or the spread of infectious microbes to the nasal cavities and brain.    

Young boy with earacheKey takeaways

Using a few drops of diluted oregano oil for ear infections can help relieve earache quickly and may prevent antibiotic drug overuse and the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. 

In addition to oregano oil, you can use other natural remedies to manage ear pain, such as diluted tea tree oil, basil oil, olive oil, and colloidal silver solution ear drops.


1. Is oregano a natural antibiotic?

Yes, oregano is a powerful natural antibiotic remedy that has been found effective against a wide range of pathogenic microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeasts. 

2. Can I use oregano oil for ear infection?

Yes, oregano oil has been found effective against S. pneumoniae and H. influenza, two pathogenic microbes responsible for the majority of ear infections. 

3. Can you put oregano essential oil in your ear?

Oregano oil can be applied to the ear canal to combat ear pain caused by bacterial or viral infections. 

Pure oregano essential oil is highly concentrated and can cause irritation and redness, and it’s important to dilute oregano oil with olive or coconut oil before using it as an ear drop solution.


4. Which oil is best for an ear infection?

Oregano oil is a highly potent antimicrobial agent that can help manage ear infections.

Tea tree oil, basil oil, and garlic oil also possess antibacterial properties and can be effective natural remedies for ear pain and infections. 

5. Can you put oregano oil on a cotton ball for an ear infection?

You can add a couple of drops of oregano oil to a cotton ball and gently place it into the opening of the ear canal to manage ear infections. 

It’s essential not to lodge the cotton ball too deep into the ear to avoid blockages that can worsen irritation and earache.  

6. How does oregano oil fight infection?

Oregano oil contains several polyphenols with potent antibacterial or antiviral properties that help kill bacteria and prevent viruses from reproducing.

7. What is oregano oil?

Oregano oil is a highly concentrated essential oil extracted from the oregano plant's dried leaves. 

8. What causes an ear infection?

Most ear infections are linked to viral or bacterial pathogens that become trapped in the middle ear, where they trigger immune responses and cause inflammation, swelling, and fluid accumulation.


9. What are the best at-home remedies for ear infections?

Antibacterial essential oils such as oregano, tea tree, or basil oil are effective at-home remedies that can help fight ear infections.

10. What are the best uses of oregano oil?

Oregano oil’s potent antimicrobial properties can help manage various infectious conditions, such as skin infections, sore throat, chronic sinusitis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and yeast infections.

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