An Ancient Herbal Medicine with Modern Medical Applications

Herbal Help for Ear Infections

Ear drops made with guggul oil may relieve symptoms of ear infections.

Results of lab studies suggest that guggul may have possible beneficial effects in ear infections. the of the ear such as otitis media. Caused by an infection in the middle ear cavity, otitis media is an often painful inflammatory condition. The inflammation is produced by enzymes that are part of the body’s natural immune response to the infection.15

To assess the effect of guggul, cultured human middle ear epithelial cells were treated with guggulsterone and then exposed to the bacteria known to cause ear infections. A control group of cells, not treated with guggulsterone, was also infected with the bacteria. Tests were then conducted for indicators of inflammatory reactions in both groups of infected cells. Guggulsterone, the steroid-like component in guggul, significantly inhibited production of inflammatory proteins in a dose-dependent manner compared to the untreated control group of infected cells.15

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, guggul-infused oil is used as a medicated topical ear drop to treat ear infections. 10 Although these laboratory tests are only the first step in testing guggul’s effectiveness according to conventional scientific standards, these results provide some evidence supporting this traditional ear infection treatment. 15

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