If it feels like>> AN EAR INFECTION
Use mullein and garlic eardrops “Mullein flower is anti-inflammatory and garlic is antibacterial,” says Wilson. Drop garlic in the ear, as it’s sensitive to stomach acid. BEST BUY Herb Pharm Mullein/ Garlic Compound (Ear Drops) ($12; herb-pharm.com)
Take quercetin “Like vitamin C, quercetin relieves the histamineinduced swelling that jams fluid [a breeding ground for bacteria] in the ears, but unlike C, higher doses of quercetin won’t cause loose stool,” Wilson says. BEST BUY Natrol Quercetin ($10; natrol.com)
Chew xylitol gum “This sugar alcohol is antibacterial specifi cally against the pathogens that cause ear infections,” says Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., author of 2009’s Prescription Alternatives. BEST BUY Spry Green Tea Gum ($9; xlear.com) or Jarrow Formulas XyliPure Xylitol powder ($10 and up; jarrow.com).
Pop a protease “Taken on an empty stomach, the same enzymes that digest protein can break down mucus and slow its production, helping clear the ears of bacteria,” says Crain. Bromelain, in particular, has promising antibacterial and antiviral properties. BEST BUY Enzymedica Repair Gold ($50; enzymedica.com)