What would one use to dilute GSE for ear infection? Any other useful herbs to add to the mix?
mullein flowers, Unfortunately, my book says that FRESH mullein flowers, tinctured in oil is applicable for ear infections... you'd probably have to buy a tincture and mix it in olive oil...
Or you could contribute to the over prescribing of antibiotics and contribute to antibiotic resistant infections and go Lucy's way. Hope that some day she isn't in the hospital and gets a flesh eating bacteria... she might regret all those antibiotic recommendations.
If you don't believe me, Lucy, do some research on vancomycin-resistant enterococci and vancomycin intermediate-resistant staphylococcus. Apparently, Grapefruit seed extract kills enterococcus and staphylococcus. I know that being young helps people feel that they are always right and know everything... but you'll get over it.
There's definitely a problem with overuse of antibiotics for ear infections (especially in children with repeated infections). Sometimes viruses are responsible and won't be affected by antibiotics.
For symptomatic relief, warm compresses on the ear, pain meds and (for a herbal alternative), a few drops of warm garlic oil in the ear may be helpful (the latter might be more of a soothing agent than an antibiotic). Severe symptoms, problems that don't start resolving within a couple of days or persistent hearing loss are among the situations where seeing a doctor is a good idea.
Grapefruit seed extract has been overhyped as an antibiotic. There are a small number of published reports dealing with effects in cell cultures but not people. And even the test-tube studies appear flawed. From wikipedia.org:
"Recent studies have identified synthetic preservatives in commercial grapefruit seed extracts. When preservatives were not present in some of the extracts, laboratory tests found the natural extracts to have little or no natural antimicrobial attributes of their own."
I agree on the overuse of antibiotics totally. I just returned from a trip to India & their method of bathing is a spigot about 2 ft. up from the floor & a 5 gal. bucket. I leaned over to wash my hair (bad mistake), then used the water to bathe with, with a cup. I felt the water go WAY up into my ear & thought, oh dear. So here I am with a BAD (as the dr. put it) outer ear infection due, she said, to bacteria in the water. PAINFUL. I was given antibiotic drops but not crazy about using them more than 3 days. Kinda want to make up something else...natural.