If I had to name my second best friend during cold season, it would definitely be melaleuca oil, commonly referred to as tea tree oil. I was first introduced to its magical powers several years ago by another sister (oddly enough, the one who makes fun of me for being a granola). Muffa was just a little guy and had gone to the doctor for a regular check-up. He had an ear infection. Not knowing that I had other options, I filled the prescription the doctor had given me and figured we’d be done. A month or so later, he had another one. Boo. The doctor gave us another prescription. Something inside said there had to be another way. My sister suggested I try some tea tree oil. I did, and it worked, and it’s continued to work. We haven’t used antibiotics for ear infections since then, and boy we’ve had our fair share.
There are several ways you can administer it, but this is what has worked best for us. Mix equal parts melaleuca oil and a carrier oil (I use olive oil because we always have it on hand). Dip a q-tip in the mixture and gently rub the oil around the outer ear – not actually in the ear canal itself, just on the part of the ear that leads to the canal. Don’t fret if you go a tiny bit inside the canal. Whatever you do, just be gentle.
I usually apply it several times a day for a couple of days and then maybe once a day for another couple of days. When is pain involved, I apply it as needed. The pain calms down within a few minutes, and it’s never taken more than a day for the pain to completely go away. When I’m a really good mom, I start using the oil as soon as I see a cold coming on just to be safe.
That’s it. I promise it works.