Treat Earaches Naturally with Homemade Mullein Oil

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Pain in the Ear Earache Remedy

The weather hasn’t turned cold yet here in Ohio, and yet I’m already hearing from mothers who are dealing with ear infections.

I always come across someone who has taken their child to the doctor at least a few times a year with ear issues and they are usually pretty fed up with it. Antibiotics seem like a great option when you are dealing with a screaming child who is pulling on his or her ears, but there is a much better way to help.

Unfortunately, many infections are caused by viral agents for which antibiotics are useless at best and potentially harmful at worst. We have never had to deal with an ear infection in our house, but that doesn’t stop me from being prepared. One of the best home remedies for this issue is mullein (Verbascum thapsus) flower ear oil.

Mullein Oil – A Great Remedy for Earaches

The best thing about this oil is that whether it is a viral or bacterial infection, mullein will help. The additional advantages are that (1) you won’t have the possibility of adding to the antibiotic resistance problem, (2) you’ll avoid a host of side effects, and (3) your children get to keep their gut bacteria.

You can make the oil slowly in the sun over 4-6 weeks, but it always seems to me that this is one of those oils that you never have when you need it… and there just isn’t a handy device to go back in time to start it. In case you’re dealing with some ear issues right about now I thought I would share how to make this oil the quick way!

Don’t want to make your own?

If you can’t (or simply don’t want to) make your own mullein remedy, you can purchase a great natural mullein oil here.

Now, for the recipe…

DIY Mullein Ear Oil for Earaches


  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh mullein flowers
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil


  • double boiler
  • kitchen strainer lined with 1 piece of paper towel
  • glass dropper bottle (find them here)


  1. Add ingredients to the top of a double boiler and cover with a lid.
  2. Place your double boiler on the stove and bring the bottom pot of water just to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and set a kitchen timer for 40 minutes.
  3. The oil should be kept continuously warm, but should never boil or overheat. This is why it is important to keep an eye on the stove. If your double boiler runs out of water in the lower pot, your oil can easily overheat.
  4. At the end of 40 minutes, turn off the heat and allow your oil to steep for an additional 40 minutes, or until it is completely cool.
  5. Strain the flowers out of the oil through your lined kitchen strainer. Discard or compost flowers.
  6. Pour finished oil into a glass dropper bottle. Your oil is shelf stable and does not require any refrigeration.

How to Use the Oil

  1. Pour a small amount of oil into a saucepan or add it to a bowl and put it in the oven to warm. The oil should be just a bit warmer than room temperature. CAUTION: Be sure to test the temperature of the oil on the sensitive skin inside your elbow or wrist before using this in anyone’s ear.
  2. Add 3-4 drops of the mullein ear oil to BOTH ears, regardless of which ear is affected. Place a cotton ball in the outer ear area and let your loved one rest for as long as possible.
  3. Repeat as needed every 4-5 hours.

Of course, if your child does not show signs of improvement over the next couple of days, it is best to head to the doctor for a thorough examination.

How about you? Have you used natural remedies to treat earaches? If so, please share below!


About Dawn Combs

Dawn is a wife, mother, farmer, author, ethnobotanist, professional speaker, and educator. She has over 20 years of ethnobotanical experience, is a certified herbalist, and has a B.A. in Botany and Humanities/Classics. Dawn is co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows Farm. Her books include Conceiving Healthy Babies and Heal Local.

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  1. Carol L says

    Do you think that using dried herb will work? I don’t have access to the fresh.
    I understand that when you sub dried for fresh, it usually takes less of the dried…
    Thanks for a great post. Wish my mom had had this decades ago. I used to have HORRIFIC ear aches until I was 6 when my tonsils were removed. (I’m 62 now….no more earaches)

    • Dawn says

      This is one of the oils that really works best with fresh. You can try dried, I’ve never done it. In principle it should work, but it might take more than you would expect to make up the chemicals needed.