Does Ear Candling Really Work?

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Does ear candling really work?Ear candling is one of those New Age pseudo-holistic ways of cleaning out your ears. It’s got just enough believability to make you wonder could it really work? It sounds plasable enough, you create a vacuum with smoke and it sucks all the gunk out of your ears, resulting in better balance and well-being.

Alternative medicine is always coming up with unique and interesting ways to deal with common problems. It also has a tendency to create problems where none exist, as long as it makes sense on some level. In this case they’ve gone after the ears as a cesspool for dirt and other toxins that leads to all sorts of other problems.

The beauty of this procedure is that it doesn’t require any use of chemicals or other unnatural products. The thought is that by introducing some pressure into the ear created by the candle that it would dislodge the build up and allow it to rise up out of the ear. It sounds unlikely, but to those that believed it would work, it made sense on some level.

The Claim
Your ears are havens for germs and built up wax and toxins, and by using ear coning you’ll be able to release all of this toxic build up and have a newfound sense of balance and well-being.

The Hype
The hype for ear candling comes from the world of alternative medicine in general. There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding most of the practices and many of the claims that are made. Each of them represents a mini battle between modern medicine and alternative medicine on a grander scale, and it pits the believers of alternative methods against scientists and medical doctors.

It’s likely that even with substantial proof to the ineffectiveness of ear candling, there will still be some die hard believers that will continue to take part in it, believing that it’s working and that they have less toxins in them than before they started.

The Cost
The costs involved in the procedure will vary by the person performing it. Since it is very low tech, and there isn’t a lot of materials required, just the candle. The cost is almost entirely the labor or service fee for performing the task. With so much discrediting having been done, it may be a challenge finding someone that will do it for you, but if you do, don’t let them charge you an arm and a leg.

The Commitment
No special commitment is required outside of finding a “qualified” practitioner that will perform the procedure on your ears.

Even when you first hear about how or why it works there’s a part in the back of your mind that says it’s quackery. It just doesn’t make sense to begin with, and when you get the explanation on how it could possibly work, it only makes a smidgen of sense.

Does Does Ear Candling Really Work?

No. There’s no hard evidence that the process would actually work the way practitioners say that it does. There’s not a lot of medical evidence showing that it actually removes anything from the ear.

It’s been disproved quite effectively by letting the candle burn by itself and not inserting into an ear. The same residue is left over which pretty definitively proves that it’s not pulling anything from the ear, and if you’re not careful might actually cause some of the debris to enter the ear.

Also, there is a chance that you might experience burns or other fire hazards if the process goes wrong. Seeing how there’s potentially bad things that could happen to you, and very next to no good things that can come from this, it’s not recommended to even try it.

Our Recommendation
Avoid ear candling as a way to clean out your ears. There are better ways to go about the process if you feel that there is too much earwax and other dirt and debris in your ears. If you’re concerned about ear gunk build-up just ask your doctor at your next check up and see what they have to say. Most likely they’ll say you’re fine, but if they notice an excess of wax they may suggest a solution to soften it up for easier removal.

What do you think? Does Ear Candling really work?

18 Customer Reviews on “Does Ear Candling Really Work?

  1. Well I just did a comparison as well. I burnt one candle without being in the ear. Much to my surprise, the color of the wax was the same, yet the amount was way less. I believe they are working.

  2. I was introduced to this about 20 years ago and laughed at the idea of a “vortex” pulling wax out of my ear. My buddy said try it but first showed me his candle after he did his own. With a razor we opened the narrow end of the candle, it had a lot of nasty looking “wax” in there. To which I said, “Ok, that’s candle wax.” He said just try it and I’ll show you.
    We did just that and heat melted the wax in my ear and was loud and impressive. I still didn’t believe it could pull it out of my ear. We finished, cut my candle and sure enough, lots of nasty looking “wax”. I again stated, that’s just wax from the candle just like yours. He said ok, then if we do your ear again, melt the exact same kind of candle and stop at the same place on the candle, then it too will have that same “wax” stuff in it and roughly the same amount right? I agreed and knew I’d be right.
    We finished the second candle and I started to worry as I didn’t hear nearly the same amount of crackling in the second candle. Hmmm… was that because there was less wax? We compared the two candles and they were burned nearly identically down to the same size. We cut the second one open and it had roughly 10% of the “wax” the first candle had. I couldn’t believe it, but there it was.
    By the way, I felt great after and would do it again for sure. We did for a few years and my buddy passed on, it’s been 20 years, but today I bought some of my own as my daughter has issues with liquid in her ear and the doctors rack up bills with little to no results. Lets see what a $3 candle does.

  3. I have tried it on numerous occasions & I am now totally convinced it does not & could not create enough of a suction to remove wax from the ear. What you see is residue from the candle, not ear wax…. really I challenge anyone to get it tested! I developed a very unpleasant & painful ear infection when wax from the candle deposited on my eardrum. I promise you this does not work ….

  4. Kristina,

    I have narrow ear canals too, and something I’ve found enormously helpful in recent years is an ear pear. It’s exactly like a pear for blowing out air to clean camera lenses and such like, but you can get it at a chemist’s. If I start to feel discomfort or infection in an ear, then I use this to squeeze water into the ear and sometimes the amount of grunge that comes out is quite shocking. You obviously need to be careful with the pointed end not to touch the sensitive tympanum!

    Anyway, just an idea for your son.

  5. Given the way this article is written, it seems pretty clear that the writer has never actually tried using these candles, and the same goes for some of the reviews. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, then it’s poor journalism and words in the air.

    Another term for these candles is Hopi candles, so named after the Hopi Indian tribe in North America. If you think they sat about using these candles because they’d run out of tobacco or couldn’t think of anything better to do, then think again.

    I’ve used these candles on a number of occasions because I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in water, and have developed very narrow ear conduits. The amount of wax accumulated at the base of the candles after a session is startling, as anyone who has actually used a pair of these candles will tell you. If the candles are well made, the suction effect is very noticeable, though I did buy a couple of pairs from a chemist once that had no effect whatsoever. This has only happened to me once, though, as we normally order them from someone local who makes them by hand.

    A word of caution however. My wife and I agree that it’s best to space out treatments, say once every three or six months. Doing it too often doesn’t seem to work as well and you can get some temporary discomfort or minor pain in the ear region if sessions are too close together. As a live flame is involved, it’s also best to have someone in the family help you and keep an eye on you while you’re doing it.

    But please please don’t make comments about something like this if you haven’t tried it yourself!

  6. Ok for those of you who are being harsh critics, first off do you even know what these things look like? The comment from alex tells me no. It is a hollow cone made of a wax type material (not just a candle stick with a hole in it) you light the larger end of the cone (its not even a wick it is the wax material itself ) put the smaller end of the cone in the ear canal. you let it burn down and use scissors to cut the already burnt(ash if you even wanna call it that?) part off until it burns so far down. You can feel the smoke in your canal. and when people say they get different colors when they cut it open to see do you really think bugs and dirt and God only knows what else dont stick to earwax without you realizing? All i can say is dont knock it til you try it but it is alot easier when you have someone who knows what they are doing.

  7. It works fantastically! You should try it.

    Ps – I burned a candle by itself to see if same residue desired and it wasVERY different.

  8. I was curious if same residue would be present if I just burned the candle. Boy was I convinced after I saw the difference.

    Your probably the same kind of doubtful soul that doesn’t believevin something as logical as massage either.

    Ear candling has definitely helped me in many ways including getting in touch with reality about the human body

    We can and do need to help it out sometimes


  9. Here is a test you can do at home!:

    Take a candle.
    Drill/cut a hole in the side of the candle
    Dip the base of the candle into a cup/bowl of water.
    Wait to see if water starts coming out of the whole.

    If water does come out, then there must be suction of some sort occuring.
    If water does not come out, then there isn’t any, and the claim is a hoax.

    Try this with a lit or non-lit candle. I’m sure the results will be the same.
    Heck, try it with a bowl of earwax and the hole in the candle low to the base. I doubt any wax will make it to the base.

  10. Seriously, guys. Come one. 1) The base of the candle isn’t affected at all by the fire at the top of the candle. If it were that would be a pretty malfunctioning candle. 2) There’s no vacuum or air pressure on the bottom of a candle, even when lit. So how could it possibly pull anything up from the ear? 3) Wax is non-porous. If you make a bowl out of wax, water isn’t going to slowly leak out of the bowl. So how would a denser, near solid, substance like ear wax get into the candle?

    Ambcion: Every scam artist for holistic remedies claims that it works for them and hates on “Western Medicine” as a whole. I’ve got no reason to believe you.
    Plaidhair: maybe you just had ridiculously huge, sticky wax in your ear? if you pressed anything into/on your ear, with enough earwax, SOME of it is going to come up. You could just use a que-tip and get the same amount.
    Jennifer H.: Holistic medicine professionals are always saying that it’s from Native Americans to gain some sort of credibility, you should doubt when suckers tell you that stuff. Can you name a Native American tribe that new how to cultivate petroleum and even create candles?
    Kristina: All kids have narrow ear canals, all of their ears are tiny! And everyone’s ear canals are twisted, that’s how they’re made. You have messed up candles if they have multi-colored gunk in them, cuz earwax comes in pretty much just the brown color. You’re probably just creating a plungering effect that could be damaging his eardrum.

  11. My son has narrow and twisted ear canals. We have spent hours at the doctor trying to get his ears flushed we leave with hardly no results and him in pain and tears. We have done the candles for years now and they actually help. I don’t believe the residue in the candles is from the candles because I always cut them open and they all have different amounts of stuff and different colors so if it was from the candle wouldn’t it be a uniform deposite in each candle? either way he says they help and he can hear again after we use them.

  12. The first time I heard about ear candling was years ago when I worked at a preschool, aka haven of germs. 🙂 As you may know, ear infections are only too common in toddlers. Anyway, one of the other teachers there used to catch these ear infections from the kids, and she swore by ear candling to clear them up. She went to some kind of a professional – maybe an alternative medicine practitioner or something, I’m not sure. I think I remember her saying that ear candling is an old American Indian practice, but I’m not positive. Anyway, I kind of think might be worth a try.

  13. It has worked on my family and me. I don’t know about toxins but it has has pulled out clumps of wax. If you don’t have any wax built up, then you won’t have anything in the candle. It must be done right.

  14. Ear Candling does work. I have not use western medicine to heal an ear infection in 5 years. I was first forced to use ear candling thanks to the high cost of western medicine. I am very pleased it worked because my ear infection was really bad and I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. The people I recommended to are very please of their results as well.

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