If you want to use essential oils for ear infections, remember this: They are intended only for the outside of the ears. Never put essential oils directly into your ears.

Antiseptic Oils

For an ear infection, use antiseptic essential oils that help relieve inflammation, such as lavender, tea tree,and Roman chamomile. A study titled “Effective Treatment of Experimental Acute Otitis Media by Application of Volatile Fluids into the Ear Canal” also found basil essential oil to be effective for ear infections.

How to Use

You can massage the essential oil around the outside of your ear, or place one drop of essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in your outer ear.

Essential Oil Formula

For adults, Aromatherapy for Dummies recommends blending eight drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oils with one-half ounce of olive oil and massaging it around the outside of the ear and down the neck. For children, cut the amount of essential oil used in half. For infants and toddlers, use only two drops of each essential oil in the olive oil.


For maximal effect, treat both ears even if you have pain on only one side. Continue the treatment for several days after the pain is gone to make sure the infection doesn’t return.


Essential oils are most likely to be effective for infections of the external ear canal. Ear infections can be serious, so consult a doctor if in doubt to avoid possible damage to the eardrum.