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Ear problems most commonly come in the form of bacterial or fungal infections, mites, fleas, or foreign objects (foxtails, dirt, etc.) lodged in the ear canal. Some other common problems include hematoma of the earflap and tumors of the inner ear.
Mullein flower, Oregon grape, garlic, marshmallow, ginkgo, and yarrow are especially well suited for treating infections and parasite infestations of the ear. Mullein flower, garlic and Oregon grape are all strong antimicrobials with strong affinities toward inhibition of mites and various pathogens that may cause ear problems.
The slippery oily mucilage of marshmallow root provides soothing relief and a protective, antimicrobial barrier on inflamed tissues of the outer ear. Yarrow is especially useful for treating small hematomas of the earflap. Used externally, the oil helps strengthen exterior capillary walls, while internal doses of yarrow and ginkgo tea or tincture improve capillary circulation and internal tonicity. Witch hazel may also be effective for external treatment of earflap hematomas, as its strong astringency quickly constricts weak or inflamed blood vessels.
Antimicrobial and Antiparasitic Ear Oil Formula
Combine equal amounts of the following oil infusions:
- Mullein flower
- Oregon grape
You can add 1020 drops of vitamin E oil to this mixture to act as a preservative and aid in skin healing. For ear mites or infections of fungal or bacterial origin, 612 drops of the oil can be applied to affected areas of the earflap or ear canal. A soft plastic dropper is best for application into the ear canal, while a piece of soft cotton, gauze, or even clean fingertips will suffice as an external applicator.
Reprinted from Herbs for Pets © 1999. Permission granted by BowTie Press.