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What Are Ear Candles?

Updated on November 29, 2011

What Are Ear Candles?

What are ear candles and what are they good for?


Ear candles are 8-12 inch cones of rolled up waxy paper material that are used to remove soft earwax. They come under the heading of alternative medicine practice which claims to improve general health and well-being.

Other terms used are: ear candling, ear coning, or thermal auricular therapy. These candles must be used with caution.

How they are used:

To use them you would lie on your side and place the narrow end of the candle in your ear canal and then light (yes light) the opposite end. As the candle burns slowly, it creates a vacuum that can draw wax out of the ear. A session can last from 15 - 45 minutes. Most people prefer to have someone help them.

For at least 90 percent of the population, earwax will come out of your ear naturally. This procedure is most useful for people who have very small or especially curvy ear canals and need help in clearing their ears.

The concern about ear wax:

Too much wax in the ear can affect hearing and/or trap moisture in the ear which can lead to infection. Hard wax cannot be removed with ear candles; that would be done in a doctor’s office using a special tool.

A bit of history:

It is claimed that ear candles are an ancient and natural therapy handed down by many civilizations and was used as far back as ancient Egypt. It is said they were used by the Chinese, Sumerians, and Tibetan monks. Credit seems to be given to the Hopi people but online research indicates that the Hopi people have nothing to do with ear candles. There is some debate about this.

A warning:

Ear candles are widely available in the US, but selling them or importing them with medical claims is illegal.

If you decide to try them:

If you decide to use ear candles use them no more than once quarterly. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package. When done safely there appears to be no risk. You can buy ear candles at health food stores or on the internet.

For teenagers, it may not be ear wax creating a problem with hearing loss, but other issues. See the link below:


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    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      If you try them GreenThumbLady - I hope you will write a hub and let us know what you think. Thanks so much for commenting! Great to meet you by the way!

    • GreenThumbLady profile image

      GreenThumbLady 7 years ago from The Beautiful Earth

      What?! I have never heard of such a thing! Oh my! I'm going to have to look for these...I need to see them in real life! lol

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Really good tip galew. Thanks so much for your input. It is always best to get a personal recommendation. And because you used them many times, it shows satisfaction.

      I'm glad you wrote!

    • profile image

      galew 7 years ago

      I have used ear candles many times in the past. the only scary part is when the earwax jumps from the ear into the candle, you thinks at wax from the candle has dropped into the ear. The recommended method is to take a paper plate and put a hole in it to pass the ear candle through, that way if anything does drop from the candle it is caught in the paper plate and does not fall on your hair.

    • profile image

      DOUBLE K 7 years ago

      Does that mean you have to clean your ears with cottonbuds?

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Q-tips were very popular here in the US for quite awhile but we caused so much damage to our ears that we've been encouraged to stop it.

      So far I'm okay. Don't know if I would try the ear candles - unless maybe if a bunch of us got together and had a party - then that might be fun.

    • einron profile image

      einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Very interesting. Thanks. After every bath, I use q-tips to clean the ears.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hi Sufidreamer - it's always good to have personal recommendations - and you didn't say it was scary - so it's okay to try. I remember my mother putting oil in my ears.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Good hub, Bk - I have used these. I would recommend olive oil drops for at least three weeks before trying the candles.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hi justmesuzanne!

      I remember hearing so much about ear candling - then they disappeared - and I suppose what's old is always new again.

      Glad you stopped by!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Interesting! I have seen these in health food stores, but I have never tried them.