Fact Check: Can putting a garlic clove in your ear reduce pain, infection and headache?

Quick Take

Multiple social media users have claimed that putting a garlic clove in your ear can reduce pain, infection and headache. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Half True.

The Claim

“Garlic helps remove pain in ears, ear infections, and headaches quickly and effectively. Simply put a cleaned garlic clove in your ear – it fits perfectly in your ear, as an earplug until you feel relief!”. The post can be seen here.

Fact Check

Can you put garlic clove in the ear to reduce pain and infection?

No. There is no study that suggests putting a garlic clove in your ear can reduce pain, infection and headache. Moreover, it possesses a greater risk to the ear canal if garlic clove is placed deep inside the ear.

Some people might not be able to take the garlic clove out from the ear that can damage the eardrum and cause infection with the symptoms of rashes and irritation.

Can eating garlic reduce pain, infection and headache?

Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties and is called “poor person’s antibiotic” because it is easily available and can treat a variety of infections including ears. The study has shown that garlic has Diallyl disulfide which is an important organosulfur compound and contributes to reduce pain and headache among people.

Dr. Priyajeet Panigrahi

ENT specialist, Dr. Priyajeet Panigrahi, explains, “Today, antibiotic resistance has evolved into a fatal health issue. The infections that were curable earlier do not respond to the same medicines now. Therefore, it is essential to research alternative therapies to antibiotics. As a result, garlic has been studied widely by researchers because garlic derivatives such as allicin and s-allyl cysteine (SAC) can cure ear infections. Moreover, garlic can reduce ear infections to some extent, but garlic cloves do not have a direct effect on the reduction of pain. More or less, if the infection is treated eventually, the pain linked to it will also heal.”

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