Investigation of the effectiveness of Syzygium aromaticum, Lavandula angustifolia and Geranium robertianum essential oils in the treatment of acute external otitis: a comparative trial with ciprofloxacin

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2014 Jun;47(3):211-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jmii.2012.10.002. Epub 2012 Dec 27.


Background: Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents are the mainstay of acute external otitis (AEO) treatment. The present study investigated the effectiveness of a combination herbal drop (Lamigex) composed of essential oils from Syzygium aromaticum, Lavandula angustifolia, and Geranium robertianum in the alleviation of AEO symptoms and compared its effects to those of ciprofloxacin 0.3% drop.

Methods: Seventy patients were randomly assigned to receive ciprofloxacin 0.3% (n = 35) or Lamigex (n = 35) drop. Each group was administered with three drops every 12 hours for a week. Patients were examined for AEO symptoms and ear discharge cultures at baseline as well as at the end of trial. Pain severity was also recorded using a visual analogue scale at baseline, the 3(rd) day, and the 7(th) day of the trial.

Results: All assessed symptoms (tenderness, itching, erythema, edema and discharge) were equally improved in the ciprofloxacin and Lamigex groups by the end of trial (p > 0.05). There were remarkable reductions in the visual analogue scale score by the end of trial in both groups (p < 0.001). However, the rate of pain improvement was not found to be significantly different between the groups, either at the 3(rd) or 7(th) day of trial (p > 0.05). The numbers of positive cultures for all tested microorganisms were clearly reduced by the end of the trial in both groups but were not significantly different between the groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: The herbal combination drop that was investigated in the present study exhibited good efficacy in reducing the burden of infection as well as AEO symptoms.

Keywords: Acute external otitis; Ciprofloxacin; Clinical trial; Geranium robertianum; Infection; Inflammation; Lavandula angustifolia; Pain; Syzygium aromaticum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacology
  • Ciprofloxacin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Otitis Externa / drug therapy*
  • Otitis Externa / microbiology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ciprofloxacin