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Did I Hear You Right? A Natural Swimmer’s Ear Remedy?

Joette Calabrese

July 26th, 2013  |  44 Comments

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Swimmer's Ear

Nothing says summer like having some water fun in the pool, beach or backyard sprinkler, but “swimmer’s ear” can ruin it all.

This painful condition, often called otitis externa, is caused when water becomes trapped in the ear, giving certain bacilli or fungi that thrive in moist conditions a place to proliferate.

Instead of heading to the doctor for a round of antibiotics, many moms reach for their homeopathy kit. Homeopathy works naturally, quickly and effectively to reduce pain and inflammation so kids can get back in the water without medications!

Here are some popular homeopathic remedies for swimmer’s ear:

Aconitum napellus 30

This remedy is useful for sudden onset of earache with fever and pain that may wake the child from sleep. They may awaken anxious and scared. The child is worse after exposure to dry, cool winds or getting chilled. They may be thirsty and reach for cold drinks and feel better in fresh air.

Belladonna 30

This is often the first remedy to give when a part of the body becomes red and inflamed and throbs painfully, especially when being moved or touched. The earache comes on suddenly and strongly and may spread down to the neck. There may be noises in the ear, and the pain may be worse on the right side. Fever may accompany the earache, with heat radiating from the body.

Hepar sulphuris 30

The ear may be sensitive to touch and cold but does well with the application of heat. Pains feel stitching and may be accompanied by smelly discharge. The ear pains are worse at night.

Pulsatilla 30

Unlike Hepar sulph, Pulsatilla is indicated when there is sensitivity to heat, and the ear may be hot and painful when touched, while the cheeks are pale. The ears feel blocked. Smelly, thick yellow discharge may accompany this ear infection, which is also worse at night.

Prevention is important, so here are a few tips to keep swimmer’s ear at bay: 

  • Always clear water out of the ears after swimming or bathing by tilting the head and gently shaking out any water.
  • Avoid swimming in dirty or polluted water.

While I feel compelled to offer the top remedies above, I must admit that my personal all-time favorite for infections such as this, for boils and even dental infections is Hepar sulph 6 or 30. Consider this story of my part-time copywriter’s son’s swimmer’s ear story from just last night:

“Hi Joette, I just wanted to share my last experience of Jack’s ear infection with you and how again, what you have taught me saved the day (and night!)  Jack was still a bump on a log yesterday, not feeling well and complaining of his ear aching. I started giving him the Hepar sulph 12X at noon and every hour in addition to the Pulsatilla 30C every 4 hours.

“By evening, things were getting worse again, he was very irritable, crying and complained of the pain when we would even go near his right side. I put him to bed at 8 and then around 11 p.m., put some more Hepar sulph 30C in his mouth as he was sleeping.

“My husband was getting very worried and was poised to take him to Immediate Care. (My worst nightmare!) I convinced him to ride it out through one more night, and we would see how things were in the morning. (I then said about 100 Hail Marys for good measure.)

“This morning, Jack woke up at 6:45 a.m., all smiles and proclaimed that his ear no longer hurt him AT ALL!  We could touch it without him jumping to the roof and he was back to talking, smiling and playing again.

“How wonderful is this?! Back to perfect health without succumbing to antibiotics. I don't know whose smile is bigger now, Jack’s or mine! Once again, many thanks for your wisdom.”

— Elizabeth Blouin, Amherst, NY, Bank Project Manager and homeopathic mom

This, my friends, is the way homeopathy works: efficiently, safely, resolutely, and most importantly, in the hands of moms.

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Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


44 thoughts on “Did I Hear You Right? A Natural Swimmer’s Ear Remedy?”

  1. liz says:

    Great topic! I battled these my whole youth as a competitive swimmer. Wish I’d had homeopathy back then! Glad I do now – for me and my family.


  2. Gail says:

    What about when water gets stuck in the ear w no pain?
    That annoying feeling but no pain.
    Thanks, Gail

  3. Ana says:


    Thank you for your helpful information. I have a question concerning a 4 months old baby that has a cold. The mucos goes out through the duct toward an eye which in the morning the eye has dry mocus covering it. And durong the day some mucos drains through the same eye. What would be a natural oitment or dro

    1. this is the kind of situation in which a full case ought to be taken. what i teach in my on-line classes, however is that Calc carb 200 given every 3 days can often boost a child so that this may no longer occur.

  4. larry says:

    I remember getting ear aches when I was a child. Even now so many years later, the memory of the pain is still very vivid.

  5. Ana says:

    Thank you Joette, I need to ask homeopathy counsel for a baby with a cold that it mucos drains throught the duct that is connected to one eye and keeps going out through it. What is the best way to do for the eye’s duct to be clear or the nose to keep the duct clean and keeping the mucos from getting out through the eyes?

  6. Chiara Bonsegna says:

    Hi Joette
    My daughter (2 years old) has impetigo. Do you think that Hepar Sulphur could be a good remedy?

    1. hepar sulph is often a remedy used for impetigo. in calcutta at the Banerji research center, they commonly used H.S. 200 mixed with Arsenicum Album 200 and directed to use it twice daily until improvement.
      i’ve found this method to be useful.

  7. John says:

    The versatility of such common remedies is astounding! I will be using these tips and remedies next time my kids take a dip in the pool and feel those annoying aches.

  8. Beth L. says:

    Very good information…may need it this week in fact!

  9. I was a competitive swimmer for 14 years, and then coached swimming for several more. I wish I would have known about homoepathic remedies back then. It would have saved many trips to the doctor for my antibiotic, and I would have missed far fewer practices.

  10. Meredith says:

    Interesting reading. Thank you.
    I just used Hepar Sulph 30C with my dog. 9 year old border collie, not a working dog. He showed a growing lump under one eye which I treated like a boil with warm compresses gently applied til I saw that it did indeed have pus inside waiting to come out. Besides that treatment I went to the Hepar sulph and I know that remedy helped to handle it. I decide also to use a probiotic application instead of antibiotic and put on some whey. Turned out well. the following week another popped up above his other eye, and resolved itself. I attribute that to Hepar’s ongoing action.

  11. Libby says:

    Dear Joette,

    Re. swimmer’s ear. I have a dog with chronic swimmer’s ear and have just discovered (after years of attempts at both remedies and waster/vinegar flushes with an ear syringe) – that a half pea size “dollop” of coconut oil gently slipped into his ear canal (with a Q-tip), will result in the ear smelling as sweet as can be by the following morning.

    Just thought I’d share. I got the idea from Bruce Fife’s Coconut Cures. My dog is a happy camper because he (understandably) dreaded those water vinegar flushes in his ear. This is painless, easy, and EFFECTIVE. I try to do it every other day during swimming season.

    Same dog has responded really well to Nat. phos. 6x. for his “sour smell”… which I thank you for since your introduction to cell salts has helped our whole family in significant ways.

    Thank you! Thank you!!!

  12. Tina Franklin says:

    Silica 3-6X potency kicked our swimmer’s ear every time.
    Just found your site researching WPA pain/bone growth after a tooth removal.Got my Arnica and Hypericum 200 and so far doing well. Clearly could have used Aconite in the dentist’s chair when I reacted poorly to the local (they apparently shot it into my vein). Not thinking about anything but pain before the chair…Oh well, will think more clearly if there is a next time and I do have higher potencies of Hyp if I need it over the next day.

    Tina in TX

  13. gail ment says:

    Hi Joette,

    I was reviewing your blog for swimmers ear.
    I never saw an answer to my question: ” July 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    What about when water gets stuck in the ear w no pain?
    That annoying blocked feeling but no pain.
    Thanks, Gail”

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      If there’s no infection, pain, swelling, etc. then the swimmer’s ear remedies would not be appropriate. I would think that without an illness, that the water would eventually drain.

  14. Kristine says:

    I am working through helping my 12 yr old with recovering from what I believe is swimmers ear. Symptoms started after a week of swimming in a pool.I am newer to Homeopath, I started with Puls, it helped the left ear quickly, but then right ear has been the issue. We did also fly in the midst of her earache. Upon landing I did more digging and started on Hepar 30, then she went to bed and woke with draining from her ear and less pain, but pain started back up early afternoon so did more Hepar 30, I have added Silica. She is slowly improving but wondering if I am missing something. I was hoping or a quicker recovery.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      We’re looking for a full recovery, not necessarily a speedy one. It sounds like you’re on the right track.

  15. Laurel says:

    Wouldn’t it be ok to put a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in an ear that threatened to become infected? I wonder what professional divers and swimmers do.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      If the professional divers and swimmers were Italian, French, Swiss, Greek, German, British, South American or Indian they’d count on homeopathy. Only here in North America do we consider options other than homeopathy. I don’t believe peroxide wouldn’t be useful, but homeopathy trumps it’s use because it corrects the problem, not just kills this batch of bugs.

  16. Barbara says:

    Hello Joette, around beginning of November my 13yo son started with swimmer’s ear after a bath. He has had an ongoing problem with swimmer’s ear in the summer from the pool, but this is the first from a bath. We have been dealing with this over 3 months of it not completely going away, staying moist in his ear, mold growing (I’ve even seen small trees), 3-4 different Rx ear drops, blocking of his eardrum where he can’t hear, and finally the last ENT said to buy “swim ear drops”, but I tried my own homemade first and it just burns so bad that he won’t let it stay in his ear but a few seconds before draining. He has had 7 different ear appointments to 6 different doctors who haven’t figured it out. The last one suctioned his ear for the third time and hearing tested him and said he has mild hearing loss. My husband took him to the doctor, so I’m not sure if that is permanent. I hope not. Can you recommend something for me to try? Thanks, really appreciate your work.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      HAve you read over the remedy choices I present here? Do any of them fit? IF so, that’s where to start. If not, feel free to contact my office to set up a free 15 minute conversation to see if you might be interested in working with me. Having said that, however, I believe that you might be surprised at how much you can accomplish on your own.

  17. Anita says:

    Hello joette,
    What can i gv my son whose 25yrs, goes for swimming, but had giddiness after water was trapped, may be some filaments moved, was something like vertigo

  18. homelovingmom says:

    Having grown up here in Florida swimming most every day of the summer and raising three boys here, all of them competitive swimmers, our go-to routine was to dry the ear and then put a few drops of a mixture of one part rubbing alcohol and one part vinegar in the ear, wait for a few seconds and then drain. The girls on the team often used a blow dryer to dry their ears. The idea was prevention first and this mixture would help dry the ear canal and slightly change the ph so fungus would be less likely to grow. For stubborn water stuck in the ear, (a medical doctor on the team taught us this trick,) use the corner of a soft tissue twisted into a blunt tipped cone to carefully and gently insert into the ear; the tissue acts like a wick to soak up stubborn water stuck in the ear. You knew when you reached the water because the person could actually hear the water soak up into the tissue.

    1. Desiringwholeness says:

      My 5 year old son had water trapped in his ear for months. I naturally killed off the bacteria preventing need for drugs but the water never drained and became thick fluid. We ended up having to go to an ENT and get tubes put in his ears, but I declined the post surgery antibiotics under the agreement if any pain or any yellowish fluid started draining I would give it to him, but that never happened. That was last year and I believe one of his tubes have fallen out, and now one of his ears is clogged again. No pain, but he is telling me he can’t pop his left ear. Homelovingmom… did you use Half Regular Whitie Vinegar and Half Rubbing Alcohol? Or was there a particular vinegar you used? I’ll try that and the tissue rolled up before I call the ENT…. :/

      1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

        Why would you use vinegar, alcohol, etc when you have homeopathy? Re-read the article and choose a homeopathic. Homeopathic medicine trumps home remedies.

        1. Desiring wholeness says:

          This same ccomment was asked previously in this thread of comments and you stated the fluid would drain normally if there is only fluid trapped with no other symptoms. That easnt his case lastbyear…He has no other symptoms. The rubbing alcohol is a drying agent so makes sense to me unless you have changed your mind and know a homeopathic remedy for fluid trapped in the ears with no other symptoms?

          1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

            Read the article and you’ll see that there are specific homeopathics regarding the sensation you describe.

          2. Desiring wholeness says:

            Im honestly not sure which remedy you may be referring to in the article. Heres your comment i was referring to that you posted about what seems to be my sons diagnosis.
            Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:
            August 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm
            If there’s no infection, pain, swelling, etc. then the swimmer’s ear remedies would not be appropriate. I would think that without an illness, that the water would eventually drain.
            Which remedy in the article would you recommend for this? Last year his ears were clogged for months before we went the ENT tubes route. Now only 1 Clogged ear no pain or any other symptoms
            Thank you so much for your time!

          3. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

            Your comment appeared under the article titled “Did I Hear You Right? A Natural Swimmer’s Ear Remedy?” In it I discuss homeopathics with the symptoms you describe. I cannot prescribe for you but if you read it carefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

  19. Christina says:

    I realize this post was a while back…. thank you for this information! Can you recommend a treatment for draining the fluid in the ears that remains after the infection has subsided? My 4 year old has fluid in both ears after an infection several months ago. No antibiotics were given (just garlic/mullein ear drops). No pain, slight hearing difficulties. Thank you again!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Read each of the remedies I discussed and find the one that most closely fits the symptoms. You might want to go online on a materia medica and read each of them more fully. Its likely one of the medicines I discussed.

  20. Heather says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful knowledge. My husband took my daughter in to our traditional Dr on Monday and has now given her 4 rounds of antibiotics, with 8 rounds left to be given. Is it too late to stop the antibiotics and use the Hepar sulphuris 30 today? Please advise as I wish we would have never given the antibiotics in the first place.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      I can’t advise you, but if you’re asking if homeopathy and conventional drugs, such as antibiotics are contraindicated, they are not.

  21. Ria Panitsoudi says:

    Hi thank you for the information on this ear infection. One question though, my 4 year old son has that infection and I am giving him mercurius dulces and capsicum and I didn’t see those on your remedies, are they correct? Because I am giving them 2 weeks now and the symptoms didn’t stop. Note: my son’s ear don’t ache and he doesn’t have fever, just this yellow smelly discharge, once every 4-5 days.

  22. suki says:

    hi joette.. i would like to know if there is any remedy for swimmers neck pain.. would rhus tox help?
    thank you

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      RT is great for muscle and tendon pain related to overuse.

  23. Janie says:

    Hi Joette, just wanted to let you know that I gave Pulsatilla 30C to a family member with a blocked ear yesterday – the only symptoms were that the ear felt blocked, he was very annoyed with it, and his hearing was reduced on that side. It had been like that for 3 days since getting water in the ear after a shower. Two doses so far, and it is improving. Thank you!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Homeopathy: The answer to self-reliance and a life without drugs.

  24. Amy says:

    My baby has fluid in his ears and red eardrums, worse on the right side. I tried belladonna for about a week twice a day. It seemed the best match from reading this blog. There was more wet wax after I started, but redness might have stayed the same. I stopped because I thought I might be proving it. (We are also seeing a chiropractor who is also doing craniosacrial therapy and he is on a paleo diet.) I know the well chosen remedy or two would nip it. Could this be a chronic issue? It’s hard to pinpoint something from your various blogs on ear issues. I will be taking GGBG here shortly, will that help me out? On a time crunch as the audiologist wants to do more tests and maybe tubes and all soon.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      The time crunch should not be as per the audiologist. It’s based on the intensity of the condition. That is, how sick your baby is and that is YOUR determination. Based on what you’ve relayed, it sounds like there is no suffering, only mild inflammation. In that case, the place you might want to explore is his diet. Dairy commonly causes inflammation in the ears. So can gluten and other food allergens. Get yourself an otoscope so you’re not dependent on someone else. Then remove all dairy and take a peek yourself every few weeks or so.
      GGBG is likely the next step.

  25. Amy says:

    Thank you for your response Joette! He’s been off dairy, gluten, sugar and soy for almost 7 weeks now, with some improvement in one ear, but right one is stil not happy. He also has hearing loss,and they’re worried about this being a crucial time with speach. But he’s not deaf…
    I’m so excited to take the GGBG!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      They’re worried.
      Are you? or are you encouraged that there’s a change in his condition becuase of what you’re put into place? These are questions you want to answer yourself.

      PS Offer them Ignatia 200.

  26. C says:

    Ha ha ha …..”PS offer them Ignatia 200.” I LOVE your sense of humour. You are the best Joette !!!! Thank you for all you do…..teach us, sing to us (miss that), make us laugh and blow us kisses after your Monday night video sessions. You make the world a better place…..in so many ways. Thank you!

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