Otitis Externa

About the Disorder

The term Otitis externa refers to an inflammation of the ear canal situated between the external membrane of the eardrum and the earcup, a problem that is fairly common at all ages. The ear canal protects the eardrum, the first vibratory organ responsible for transmitting sounds, from access by foreign bodies and onset of infections.

This particular function, besides being performed through the anatomical conformation of the duct and earcup, is carried out by the presence of wax, a viscous substance that traps microbial agents and foreign bodies, forcing them out by means of the vibritile cilia. At the same time, wax hinders maceration of the subtle epidermis covering the ear canal, as it prevents contact with water, thanks to its water-repellant, lipidic composition.  

 The protective function of the external ear can be temporarily missing, triggering the onset of Otitis. This typically occurs during the summer due to frequent bathing in swimming pools or in the sea (for this reason, Otitis externa is often referred to as “Swimmer’s ear”). In fact, exposure to humidity and to water dissolves the hydrosoluble parts of wax, spoiling the protective film that it forms on the epithelium of the ear canal, causing maceration, inflammation and swelling. The onset of Otitis externa is almost always characterized by an often intolerable itching feeling.

Should the inflammation extend to the dermis, where a rich network of nervous plexues is located, itching turns into a distinct painful feeling. In cases where inflammation is followed by bacterial, viral or fungal infection, Otitis evolves into the production of purulent discharges. In case of acute inflammation and swelling, there is swelling of the ear canal, involving hearing loss.

Cleansing the ear canal with ear buds is another cause of external otitis. Mechanical removal of wax can, in fact, cause unintentional micro-lesions, depriving the subtle epidermis of the ear canal of its natural protection. Otitis externa is a pathology heavily depending on weather conditions, particularly on the rise of heat and humidity. Bacterial flora inhabiting the ear canal includes fungi of the Aspergillus genus, Candida and bacteria such as Staphylococcus albus, living together as saprophytes, i.e. they are naturally present. Under particular conditions (heat, humidity, mechanical traumas, us of local or systemic antibiotics), these species (fungi in particular) are urged to proliferate: by doing this, they deprive the epithelium of liquids, inducing desquamation and itching.

In case of fungal proliferation, the most noteworthy symptom is the formation of greyish-white inflorescences along the ear canal walls; instead, in case of bacterial suprainfection, symptoms evolve in otorrhea and reduced hearing ability.

Treatment of external otitis with conventional medicine

To treat external otitis, conventional medicine once again frequently resorts to antibiotics for both local and systemic use. This implies an alteration of local bacterial flora and a weakening of the subject’s immune system, exposing it to the risk of fungal suprainfections and to relapses. At this point, due to the above consideration, a really valid and effective approach aimed at solving the problem of external otitis without weakening the subject’s immune system nor triggering suprainfections, must provide for the following:

  • It must act directly on the mucosa of the ear canal and on the external eardrum membrane, with a natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity with proven efficacy against the main etiological agents generating the infection;
  • It must moroever act systemically (via oral administration), with natural remedies capable of countering microbial proliferation, be it of bacterial, viral or fungal origin, while simultaneously reinforcing the organism’s natural defensive system.

 Nature can help you in case of external otitis

Our Approach

A natural and effective approach

Otitis externa is an inflammation of the ear canal located between the external eardrum membrane and the earcup, characterized by symptoms such as itching, pain, reduced hearing ability and presence of discharge, depending on the nature of pathogenic agents involved.

Solving infections of the external ear without resorting to synthetic medicines is possible, as well as desirable, thereby avoiding complications and relapses, thanks to the extraordinary, broad spectrum antimicrobial properties of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), proving to be effective whatever the etiological agent causing otitis – be it bacterial, fungal or viral.

GSE and external otitis

Efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract as a broad spectrum antimicrobial has been proven by Laboratories and Institutes worldwide: in fact, GSE is active against over 800 bacterial strains (both Gram+ and Gram-), on several viruses and over 100 strains of yeasts and moulds. There is ample evidence, by now, confirming GSE’s validity,  its efficacy and speed of action, making it unequalled in nature. In this specific case, as regarding microorganisms that typically attack the external ear canal, countless publications prove that GSE is active against bacterial species, such as Staphylococcus albus as well as species of fungi, particularly those belonging to the Aspergillus and Candida genuses, which most commonly and frequently cause external otitis.

Moreover, given its characteristic of being a selective antimicrobial, it does not have a significant impact on the physiological flora of skin and mucosae, preserving their essential, defensive functionality. Its efficacy and speed of action, together with the unique characteristic thanks to which it does not significantly affect the intestinal microbial flora, as confirmed by a study published in the “Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine”  n°  5 of  1990, make it a really extraordinary remedy to control proliferation of pathogenic and/or opportunistic pathogens. The importance of having a healthy and balanced intestinal microflora to ensure balance and efficiency of the immune system has already been pointed out, if an adequate defensive system of the organism from any form of microbial infection is to be safeguarded. GSE therefore represents an extremely valid aid against external otitis, whatever their origin. Its use is absolutely safe, even in the absence of a certain diagnosis, because its broad spectrum action is accompanied by the rare quality of its selectivity: in fact, GSE is active against pathogens while not significantly affecting microbial flora of the mucosae, therefore preserving the natural defenses of the ear. Use of GSE, moreover, does not lead to the development of bacterial resistance.

Due to the above considerations, GSE therefore represents the cornerstone of an extraordinarily effective approach in case of external otitis, whatever their origin. Its association with specific plant extracts, with marked health properties, enables the following:

  1. Direct action on the mucosa of the ear canal and on the external eardrum membrane, with broadsprectrum, antimicrobial, anti oedomatose and anti-inflammatory action.
  2. Systemic action with a product capable of countering microbial profileration, whether of bacterial, viral or fungal origin, while simultaneously reinforcing the organism’s natural defences.

This approach, combined with a healthy lifestyle (in terms of diet, but not only), includes the use of natural remedies that are well known in folk tradition and the efficacy of which in providing a definitive solution has been confirmed by recent studies.

  1. For direct action on the mucosa of the ear canal and on the external eardrum membrane, with a broadsprectrum, antimicrobial, anti oedomatose and anti-inflammatory action…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained regarding the antimicrobial efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), together with its harmlessness, once again confirm GSE as the ideal remedy to handle problems affecting the external ear canal, as well. Its use is absolutely safe because its broad spectrum action is accompanied by the rare quality of its selectivity. In fact, while GSE is active against pathogens, it does not significantly affect the microbial flora of the mucosae, preserving the external ear canal’s natural defenses. This recognized and scientifically proven property makes Grapefruit Seed Extract an extraordinary “natural” cleaner.

Horse Chestnut: thanks to the presence of escin in its phytocomplex, Horse Chestnut exerts and anti oedomatose action at local level, thanks to the release of glucocortisoids and prostaglandins. The reduction of oedemas is moreover due to the surfactant effect exerted by the substance and to the normalized exchange, between body areas, of extra-intracellular liquids.

Black currant: constituents responsible for its soothing and anti-inflammatory efficacy are anthocyanosides (Prodelphinidin), which have proven capable of countering inflammation thanks to the inhibiting action of COX-2. The extract moreover contains numerous flavonoids with well-recognised, cortisone-like action.

Plant glycerine: it favours the dissolution of compacted earwax material located inside the ear, facilitating its physiological, natural expulsion from the body. Its presence, combined with Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), is ideal to ensure correct, non aggressive cleansing, while fully respecting the external ear canal’s mucosal physiology.

The ideal means to convey these elements is a preservative-free solution in ear-drops.

  1. For systemic action with a product capable of countering microbial profileration, whether of bacterial, viral or fungal origin and simultaneously reinforcing the organism’s natural defences…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: results obtained regarding the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against over 800 bacterial strains, numerous viruses and over 100 strains of yeasts, including species most frequently responsible for external otitis, confirm GSE as a valuable aid not only for local but also for systemic use, to directly counter ongoing infections as well as to improve the general efficienty of the organism’s defensive system against any microbial attack.

In fact, as highlighted by a study published in the “Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine”, n°3 Vol. 5 of 1990, GSE acts as an extraordinary “selective cleanser”: in other words, it is effective against pathogens, while not significantly affecting the microbial flora of the mucosae; instead, it promotes reconstruction of beneficial flora, representing the first line of defense or our organism against any external aggression, thereby ensuring protection against infections.

Echinacea purpurea: it belongs to the family of Asteraceae, native to to the central regions of the US. By slowing down the spread of pathogenic germs, it triggers a defense mechanism against germs, while activating a regenerative process of the tissues at the same time. For this reason, preparations based on Echinacea are considered effective in the treatment of septic conditions and in situations of infectious pathologies in general.

Rhodiola: typically found in cold climates of the northern hemisphere, it has the ability to increase resistance of the organism to toxins; it increases the level of enzymes, of RNA and of proteins and is therefore capable of reducing recovery times resulting from fatigue or prolonged illnesses.

Uncaria: native to South America, the bark is used and it shows powerful efficacy as a regulator of the immune system. Its use encourages increased resistance of the organism against infections and it improves the body’s response in case of illness.

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia): an Australian plant with amply proven and recognised antiviral properties, it is also effective against bacteria and fungi, as well as being a powerful stimulator of the immune system.

The ideal form for intake of such plant active constituents is in swallowable tablets. For children, the drinkable version is to be preferred, containing the same ingredients.

As an alternative to these two solutions, for both adults and children it is possible to resort to an innovative formulation in effervescent tablets, based on GSE at high concentrations and Uncaria; the exclusively natural composition, the high concentration of plant active constituents and the advantages of having an effervescent formulation (offering rapid dissolution and increased bioavailability) ensure harmlessness, efficacy and speed of action.

The association of the above-described ingredients, which are essential to provide a definitive solution in case of external otitis, can be further supported by specific remedies indicated for:

– A rebalancing action of the intestinal flora and simultaneous reinforcement of the organism’s natural defences: for adults, single use vials with measuring cap based on probiotics (B. bifidum, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus), fructo-oligosaccharides, GSE, Uncaria and Morinda citrifolia (Noni); for children, single use vials with patented cap, based on probiotics (B. infantis, B. longum, L. Rhamnosus), fructo-oligosaccharides, GSE, Astragalus and Uncaria tomentosa.