The other day a friend of mine woke up suffering with a terrible ear ache. After managing to get an appointment with his GP she mentioned antibiotics, my friend not a fan of antibiotics, asked for an alternative. He went to the pharmacy with his prescription in hand and duly waited for the parmacist to bag up his ear drops. Thing was when he got home and read the packaging he realised his GP had completely ignored his request and had indeed given him antibiotic drops. By this point he was not only still in lots of pain but also rather annoyed, so he contacted me!
My first thought was garlic infused in olive oil, so straight away we crushed a couple of garlic cloves and covered them in oil to infuse. But my friend knew he needed more, he had to be certain the ear ache would clear in a week as he has a looming business trip which is going to involve several flights. He had studied sacred plant medicine with me before and so knew any medicine made would be stronger if he let the plants guide him and then made it himself. So I just watched as he came in from my garden with a handful each of lavender, rosemary, calendula and horsetail. He cut it all up and mixed it in with the garlic and olive oil. At the last minute he knew it needed something more and seeing the coconut butter on my shelf added a spoonful. Coconut butter like olive oil is antibacterial, it is also strongly antifungal.
Combination of plants ready the only decision left was how to speed up the infusion process. I usually let my herbal oils infuse slowly, over the course of 3 weeks, shaking every day whilst invoking the spirit of the plant; deepening my connection to the medicine and to the plant, allowing nature time for its transformational magic to happen. Still, time was a luxury we didn’t have. There are two quick ways to make an infused oil. The first is a bain marie, that is having a large pot with some water in, stick a smaller pot, containing the oil and herbs into the larger pot and gently heat over a number of hours, making sure the water does not run dry in the outer pot during the process. I do not have two well fitting pots to make an efficient bain marie, I was also concerned that it would need a lot of looking over to make sure the oil didn’t warm too much and begin to simmer, or of course the water bath run dry.
The other method is to warm the oil gently in an oven on a very low temperature and leave for several hours, or over night. My oven is huge but luckily I also have a dehydrator which is much smaller and cheaper to heat. So I just put the oil in with a lid covering it and left it warming gently over the next 6 hours or so.
Once the herbs had infused in the oil we removed them carefully before bottling up the oil and labeling with the contents. Each time my friend used the drops he simply put the whole dropper bottle in a mug of hot water first so the oil would be warm when it hit his ear. He used the drops for the first time Wednesday afternoon, dropping up to three times a day. By Saturday morning his symptoms had entirely gone and he stopped using the drops, less time than the prescribed pharmacy drops and no chemicals necessary!
This really was medicine you can eat, his ears smell divine! Listen to your heart, listen to the plants. Learn how to use plants as remedies and be confident in asking for their help 🙂