Antibiotics don’t work for ear infections

Homeopathy for ear infections

Homeopath Sue Leach explains how homeopathy is more effective at treating ear infections than conventional medicine

One of the top reasons children come to see me as a homeopath is repeated ear infections. Sometimes children have had up to 10 rounds of antibiotics by the time they are two; yet, as parents come to realise, the drugs have had little benefit and in many cases have only made the problem worse.

This is borne out by research. In a double-blind study, conducted at the University of Utrecht, 121 children with chronic middle ear infections were given either the antibiotic co-amoxiclav or a placebo over seven days. ‘The most striking result of this study,’ concluded researchers, ‘is that even in a population of children aged 6 months to 12 years prone to otitis media the natural course of the clinical improvement is not different from the course when co-amoxiclav is prescribed.’

In fact, giving antibiotics seems to make it all the more likely your child will have a further ear infection. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh examined the effects of antibiotics on ‘secretory’, or weeping, otitis media in children aged 7 months to 12 years. Once again the antibiotic amoxicillin (whether used with or without a decongestant antihistamine) was found to be ‘not effective’ for the treatment of persistent middle ear infection in both infants and children. ‘Furthermore,’ said the study, ‘recurrence rates were significantly higher in the antibiotic-treated group than in the placebo group. Six weeks after antibiotic treatment the number of children without effusions was about the same in each group.’


Proof of the efficacy of homeopathy for ear infections

  • In a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study of 75 children (Jacobs, 2001), patients given homeopathic treatment showed a significant decrease in symptoms within 24 hours, as opposed to 64 hours for those given antibiotics.
  • Another study that also provided evidence of rapid resolution of ear infection in children given a homeopathic medicine was a trial of 230 children (Frei and Thurneysen, 2001). These children were given an individually chosen homeopathic medicine. If pain reduction was not sufficient after just six hours, another individually chosen homeopathic medicine was prescribed. The researchers found that 39% of patients experienced sufficient pain reduction in the first 6 hours and another 33% after 12 hours. This improvement was 2.4 times faster than in children prescribed a placebo.
  • A further study compared children with ear infections who were treated with homeopathic medicines and those who were treated with antibiotics (Friese, 1996). The researchers found that over 30% of children given an individually chosen homeopathic medicine experienced significant improvement in three hours, while only 11.5% of children prescribed an antibiotic experienced similar relief. The experimenters also found that the average duration of pain for children taking a homeopathic medicine was two days, compared to three days for those taking an antibiotic. Of particular importance was that 70.7% of children given the homeopathic medicine had no further recurrence of ear infection during the next year, but only 56.6% of children given an antibiotic had no further recurrence.
  • One study compared individualised homeopathic treatment with standard conventional medical treatment in children with otitis media (Harrison, Fixsen, Vickers, 1999). The researchers found that more children given homeopathic treatment had a normal tympanogram (middle ear examination) after 12 months than children given conventional medical care.

Homeopathic treatment of ear infections

Homeopaths do not have a one-size-fits-all treatment or remedy for ear infections. We have probably 50+ remedies we can choose from, and it is a matter of choosing the right one for your child’s ear infection. We carefully note all the symptoms:

  • Which ear is affected?
  • Is there pain? And what is the pain like?
  • Is there discharge from the ear? And if so, what is it like?
  • Does your son or daughter have a temperature?
  • Are the nose, throat or glands also affected?
  • Is your child’s hearing affected?
  • Has he/she had ear infections before? And if so, how were they treated?
  • And, just as important as the physical symptoms, how is your child emotionally? Angry, tearful, besides themselves with pain? Or playing away like normal…?

Only after taking a whole picture of all the symptoms and how your child is affected by the ear infections can I diagnose a good remedy to treat them.

Sue Leach, homeopath


  • H. Frei and A. Thurneysen, Homeopathy in Acute Otitis Media in Children: Treatment Effect or Spontaneous Resolution? British Homeopathic Journal, October, 2001,90:180-182.
  • K.H. Friese, S. Kruse, H. Moeller, Acute Otitis Media in Children: A Comparison of Conventional and Homeopathic Treatment, Biomedical Therapy, 1997,15,4:113-122 (reprinted from Hals-Nasen-Ohren (HNO), August, 1996:462-66.
  • H. Harrison, A. Fixsen, A. Vickers. A Randomized Comparison of Homoeopathic and Standard Care for the Treatment of Glue Ear in Children, Complementary Therapy in Medicine 1999, 7:132-135.
  • J Jacobs, DA Springer, D Crothers, Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Otitis Media in Children: A Preliminary Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 20,2 (February 2001):177-183.

If your child is suffering from an ear infection do not hesitate to give Sue a call on 01590 670955 for a telephone consultation and same-day postage of your remedies.

Or to book a homeopathy appointment with Sue for recurrent ear infections, click here