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HOW TO: keep your child's gut healthy during antibiotic treatment

Last week, my daughter was complaining of a sore ear (again). In the last few months we have been surprised that she has suddenly developed a regular ear ache: neither of my kids have ever had ear trouble in the past, so it was confusing to me that now, while we are achieving so much healing, my daughter should develop a health issue.

I just want to run through how we have managed this, so that I might be able to pass some tools on to you for when you find yourselves in a similar situation: from the symptom management of having to treat a burst ear drum with the dreaded antibiotics (abx) without destroying your child's gut health, to the root cause analysis of working towards eliminating this issue altogether.

The first thing I did, when my daughter complained of a sore ear, was to use my tried and tested home-remedy to ease the earache.

I mix 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with 5 or 6 drops of Oregano Oil and put it into a sterilised dropper bottle (you can get these on eBay, I ordered 12 and always fill them up with my potions and lotions! For more medicinal information, see my Pinterest Board: GAPS medicine cabinet)

The Oregano oil is a powerful natural antibacterial agent, but it must be mixed with a carrier oil, because it is so strong and it would burn on it's own. I lay my daughter's head on my lap and drop a few drops in her ear. I also tug gently on the lobe to remove any air bubbles. I then put a drop on her skin where the jaw and ear meet, and gently rub downwards, to ease the pressure and to drain the lymph gland.

This seemed to be working as usual, and the earache went away. But a couple of days later, we went swimming on a REALLY hot day, and by that night, the earache had returned. I applied the Oil mix again before bedtime, but she was up through the night, complaining and unable to sleep. I gave her some food and ibuprofen to ease the pain. The next morning, she was off her food, and while driving my son to school, she started to scream. I pulled over and shone my phone torch in her ear, and sure enough, there was the yellow puss, close to the exit. But the pain seemed to be gone. I phoned my medical mum, and she confirmed that this sounded like an inner ear infection that had caused her eardrum to burst.

So off we went to the doctors.

As I expected, the GP prescribed antibiotics. She explained that this wasn't really an optional prescription, even though there was no fever, and I had to agree with her logic. When an eardrum bursts, it is advisable to take antibiotics, because if the open wound becomes infected, there is a clear pathway to the inner ear, and the childs hearing is at risk.