Our bodies are normally populated with friendly, helpful bacteria. These bacteria do all sorts of things from aiding in digestion, to keeping the unhealthy, unfriendly bacteria in check. Thus taking antibiotics orally and wiping out all bacteria, good and bad, can be harmful to everyday health. Now, I'm not on any mission against antibiotics- they are necessary at times, but they are highly overused in our society. When they are necessary, I always try to accompany them with probiotics (acidophilus being one) to help repopulate the colonies of good bacteria. I have a real problem with pumping my children's tiny bodies with antibiotics because they have an ear infection that causes pain, but will probably go away on it's own. There comes the catch- no one, especially me, wants to see their baby in pain. This is my rescue. You have to catch the infection pretty early. If the infection gets deep into the inner ear, you'll probably have to resort to other measures.
Take a fresh, peeled garlic clove and cut the outside and ends off to create a small plug (you want it juicy on all sides). Place the plug in the middle of a tissue or square of toilet paper, wrap it up and twist the end. cut off the excess tissue. Take a little olive oil on your finger and rub the ouside of the tissue in a light coating of the oil. This acts as a conductor. Have the child (or adult- it works on us too) lie down or recline with the infected ear up. Place the wrapped and oiled plug in the ear opening. Don't push it in, just set it there and let it sit for 10-20 minutes if possible. Usually pain relief occurs within 15 minutes and the infection will be gone within 24 hours. If symptoms return or persist, try it again. If syptoms worsen or persist beyond 48 hours after 2 treatments, call the doc and do what you have to.
This has proved to be a major source of relief for my kids (and me) and has saved us plenty of doctor visits.