Monday, November 02, 2009

Could Ear Candling be 2000 Years Old?

Wikipedia says this about ear candling:
Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is an alternative medicine practice claimed to improve general health and well-being by lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal.

One end of a cylinder or cone of waxed cloth is lit, and the other placed into the subject's ear. Its proponents claim that the flame creates negative pressure, drawing wax and debris out of the ear canal, which appears as a dark residue.

Although Biosun, a manufacturer of ear candles, refers to them as "Hopi" ear candles, there is no such treatment within traditional Hopi healing practices. Vanessa Charles, public relations officer for the Hopi Tribal Council, has stated that ear candling "is not and has never been a practice conducted by the Hopi tribe or the Hopi people."The Hopi tribe has repeatedly asked Biosun, the manufacturer of 'Hopi Ear Candles' to stop using the Hopi name. Biosun has not complied with this request and continues to claim that ear candles originated within the Hopi tribe.

Well, if it the idea didn't come from the Hopi tribe, maybe it came from here:

‘Abodah Zarah 28b

Or else, the ear should be filled with oil, then seven wicks should be made out of green blades of wheat-stalks at the one end of which dry garlic ends and some white thread should be set alight while the other end is placed within the ear, the ear should be exposed to the light but care should be taken that no spark falls on it, each wick [when done with] should be replaced by another. Another version is: One should prepare seven wicks of white thread and dip them in oil of balsam-wood setting light to the one end and placing the other end in the ear, each one, when done with, should be replaced by another, care being taken to avoid any sparks.

This is from the Talmud which records the teachings and practices of the Jewish people from over two thousand years ago. It's still widely read today. I'm guessing this is where Biosun got its idea from but of course I can't be sure.

Oh, by the way, the ear candling doesn't work and is dangerous. Wikipedia says:

The Spokane Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic conducted a research study in 1996 which concluded that ear candling does not produce negative pressure and was ineffective in removing wax from the ear canal. Several studies have shown that ear candles produce the same residue when burnt without ear insertion and that the residue is simply candle wax and soot.

In a report, Health Canada states "There is no scientific proof to support claims that ear candling provides medical benefits. ... However, there is plenty of proof that ear candling is dangerous."

A 2007 paper in American Family Physician said: Primary care physicians may see complications from ear candling including candle wax occlusion, local burns, and tympanic membrane perforation."

So please don't try it.

The Talmud quote comes from


Alexia said...


You are right on the fact that there is now negative pressure.

What many people fail to understand is that the candle wax and soot blankets the ear canal, which then dries and irrates the skin. This causes the body to produce more oil which then pushes the dried hardened wax away from the canal walls. Therefore naturally excreting excess wax out with in a few days after ear candling.

Samuel said...

I really enjoy the process of ear coning or ear candling. It is very relaxing and soothing. I really just wish people could understand the true facts about it. Most of the info people get is all common miss conception and untrue facts. I have done a fair amount of research and found a couple of great places that provide excellent information.