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What is the science behind ear candling?

ANSWER

It sounds like a peaceful way to get healthy, but the idea of a maze of connected pathways in your head is a myth. There are solid barriers there, like the eardrum, that stop this from happening.

Other claims don’t hold up either. Earwax, especially if it’s hard and firmly pressed together, is sticky. You would need strong suction to pull it out. But one study found there was no suction force whatsoever during a candling procedure. The temperatures produced by the candle were below body temperature, far too low to melt the wax.

The debris inside burned candles is supposed to be the impurities removed from your ear, but it shows up in the candles even if they haven’t been near an ear canal. When studied, it was revealed that the contents were a blend of burned candle wax and fabric.

From: What Is Ear Candling? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Rafferty, J. , December 2007. Canadian Family Physician

Health Canada: “Ear Candling.”

Seely, D.R. , October 1996. Laryngoscope

Drugstore.com.

FDA: “Don’t Get Burned: Stay Away from Ear Candles.”

American Academy of Audiology: “Ear Candles and Candling: Ineffective and Dangerous.”

Harvard Health Review: “Got an Ear Full? Here’s some advice.”

Ernst, E. , published online, March 2006. Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 14, 2018

SOURCES:

Rafferty, J. , December 2007. Canadian Family Physician

Health Canada: “Ear Candling.”

Seely, D.R. , October 1996. Laryngoscope

Drugstore.com.

FDA: “Don’t Get Burned: Stay Away from Ear Candles.”

American Academy of Audiology: “Ear Candles and Candling: Ineffective and Dangerous.”

Harvard Health Review: “Got an Ear Full? Here’s some advice.”

Ernst, E. , published online, March 2006. Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 14, 2018

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What is a more effective way to remove wax from your ear?

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