Garlic cloves in the ears to relieve ear infections and headaches: a real “grandmother’s remedy”?

Garlic cloves in the ears to relieve ear infections and headaches: a real “grandmother’s remedy”?
Garlic cloves in the ears to relieve ear infections and headaches: a real “grandmother’s remedy”?

On Instagram, a post claims that inserting a clove of garlic into the ear helps relieve pain related to an ear infection or headaches.

It would be a “grandmother’s remedy” that would have proven effective.

TF1info contacted the president of the French ENT society. He warns against this practice, which is not only useless, but also potentially dangerous.

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The information scrutinized

A “explosive trick”A “grandmother’s remedy revisited”. Here’s how an Instagram post showcases a supposed technique “soothe ear pain” such as ear infections or “headaches”. How to proceed ? No need for medication, if we are to believe this message, which has more than 10,000 likes. It would thus be sufficient to place a “cleaned garlic clove” in his ear, in order to “feel relief”.

This publication has accumulated more than 10,000 likes in one week on the social network Instagram. – Instagram screen capture

“It can only lead to disasters”

Is it really advisable to use garlic to relieve ear infections and headaches? To find out, TF1info contacted Professor Vincent Darrouzet, president of the French ENT Society. “Garlic seems to be in fashion”he says at first glance, explaining that he recently read fanciful assertions according to which “Boiled garlic peels help reduce wrinkles”. These are techniques that the specialist judges “folkloric, baroque”. In case of ear pain, “There’s probably something going on inside.”, he continues. Therefore, it is not recommended to venture into a form of self-medication that avoids the diagnosis of a health professional.

The practitioner emphasizes that ear pain can be linked to multiple causes. Some, generally quite benign like ear infections, “can be easily identified and treated by general practitioners”but others are less common and sometimes more serious. “Jaw arthritis” Or “growth of wisdom teeth” are likely to cause pain, as are “tonsil cancers”.

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Garlic, in this context, presents no virtue. Vincent Darrouzet considers it, with humor, very useful “in the leg of lamb or in the roast beef”but emphasizes that research has never demonstrated its benefits in the treatment of problems or headaches. “Access to a doctor is not always easy”recognizes the president of the French ENT Society, who understands that “we want to turn to grandmother’s remedies”. However, inserting garlic into your ear canal runs the risk of aggravating inflammation, especially if a small piece becomes lodged deeply and remains stuck.

The specialist points out that the skin of the ear canal is very particular: “it is the only one in the human body that is directly on the bone”. She “does not secrete anything” and reveals itself “very sensitive, fragile”. It is therefore appropriate to “advise against any introduction of elements into the ear that are not controllable and catchable from the outside”, like headphones for example. In general, the doctor affirms that it is quite rare that we recommend putting a product in the ear, except on rare occasions and to treat very specific pathologies, following a precise diagnosis.

Surprised to see garlic recommended today to relieve an ear infection, Vincent Darrouzet remembers others “grandmother’s remedies”, once widely practiced. At a time when there were fewer ENT specialists and families did not systematically consult a family doctor, “it was suggested to pour hot oil into the ear”, remembers the expert. A solution “just as folkloric” than garlic for the treatment of an ear infection. This type of reflexes? “We forget them”he summarizes, encouraging anyone with ear pain to contact a general practitioner or an ENT specialist.

Do you want to ask us questions or submit information that you do not believe is reliable? Do not hesitate to write to us at [email protected]. Also find us on Twitter: our team is present there behind the account @verif_TF1LCI.


Thomas DESZPOT

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