These printable instructions are meant to be used in conjunction with the video Onion ear compress in the video group at video.sophiamr.com.
Indication: Ear pain
Contraindications: none, though large amounts of broken skin on the external ear may need to be protected with cotton or gauze before applying the compress.
1) One half large or one whole medium sized onion (yellow onion preferred)
2) Thin cotton cloth or handkerchief 10” x 10” approximately
3) 2 safety pins
4) hot water bottle
5) cutting board
7) scarf or beanie with ear tags
8) teapot for boiling water
1) Boil water
2) Add cup of boiled water into hot water bottle (water bottle should be ¼ – one quarter – full)
3) Make sure that you remove air from the hot water bottle, folding works well
4) Dice onion into pieces
5) Placed diced onion onto cloth
6) Fold cloth and secure with safety pins at the ends. Note there should only be one layer of cloth between the person’s skin and the onion.
7) Place the onion compress on the hot water bottle then fold the hot water bottle and leave for 10 seconds to warm compress.
8) Place onion compress over the painful ear and secure with a hat or scarf.
9) Keep on for four hours or until you no longer smell the onion. Optionally, the patient can go to sleep with the compress on as long as they sleep on the side of the earache (the side with the compress).
Ear pain may require additional treatments and care should be supervised by a trained healthcare provider.
Do not overheat the water, or overfill the bottle. Use small hot water bottles, eg infant size or child size, for smaller body size if you are applying the hot water bottle directly to the person’s body.
Compresses are to be done by an adult with full focus on the activity at hand.