Ear candles are exactly what you’d imagine them to be, you light the candles up and put them in your ear canal, with the wacky devices claiming to naturally draw out the wax from ears in a safe manner. It sounds bizarre, but some swear by the unconventional method.
Candling your ears sounds like it could be quite painful, but the process is over quickly and is completely pain free. It just feels a bit odd if you’re not used to it.
What are ear candles and what does it do?
Also known as ear coning, candling is the practice of placing a lit, cone-shaped candle into the ear.
It’s a method of wax-removal that’s been popular for thousands of years, with people using ear candles to remove wax, improve hearing, and treat ear infections.
However, there isn’t any valid scientific evidence on the benefits of ear candling. In fact, doctors don’t recommend this practice because it’s considered dangerous and ineffective. It can also do more harm than good.
What exactly is an ear candle?
An ear candle is a small tube made from cotton soaked in either beeswax, paraffin, or a mix of the two. The wax tends to have ingredients such as rosemary, sage, chamomile or honey.
How do you use an ear candle?
The practice of coning is usually done by a professional, for example a beautician or a herbalist. But many do try the method at home, which isn’t recommended.
It’s usually inserted through foil or a hole in a paper plate, which are used to catch the hot wax.
If done by a professional, they’ll first have you lie on your side with one ear facing up. The pointed end of the candle is placed in your ear and then lit.
As the candle burns, it will be trimmed and still kept open, making sure no wax actually drips on or in the ear, wit the whole process lasting about 15 minutes per ear.
Do ear candles really work?
The procedure is done through the warmth of the candle flame creating a vacuum to draw out earwax through the suction.
These can range from burns on the face or ear canal, ears being plugged by wax and a punctured eardrum to bleeding or even accidental fires.
Is it safe?
The FDA reports that ear candles are associated with dangerous side effects.
To avoid any accidents it’s always best to go to a licensed practitioner who has experience with candling.