Ear Candles

Are ear candles for real? I recently received a treatment. After about ten minutes, most of the candle had burned away, and an amazing quantity of (apparently) my ear wax was inside the stub. Is there some trick involved. For example, could that stuff that looks like ear wax have come from the candle, rather than from my ear?

Cecil addresses this in a couple of columns.
www.straightdope.com/columns/950310.html www.straightdope.com/columns/950421.html

give me a good 'ol Q-Tip any day.


I had a patient in the ICU once who was admitted because he lost consciousness while using an ear candle. I’m not sure if this was just a coincidence, but some ear candles do contain some funky herbs. At any rate, he couldn’t wait to get back home and do the other ear.

I don’t know if it is still valid (seem everything I learned in school is wrong nowadays) but I recall the ABO system as just one type of bood system.

They also had an H K L system or something like that. I also recall reading that only in emergencies do they not match you up exactly with your blood type as there are more factors than the ABO ± involved that can cause trouble.

Q-tips aren’t supposed to be inserted into the ear, it says on the box but everyone does.

Few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear causes the wax to foam up & easy to get it out then with the q-tip you aren’t supposed to put in the ear canal.

The one time I tried an ear candle I didn’t think much of the result, except for a neat whooshing sound. I would like to caution that, if you decide to try this, DO NOT DO IT ALONE. The information packaged with the candles usually tells you this, but, please, a foot long flaming wax cone in your ear while you lie on your side invites problems. Have someone help you.

The ‘Ear Candle’ (a tube of rolled, wax coated paper approximately 8 to 12 inches long, approx. 1/4 inch in diameter at the base and 3/4 at the top) works through suction. When you light one end, the larger and poke the smaller into your ear (the UNLIT END), the burning flame creates a vacuum and sucks the soft ear wax out and into the tube.

It is NOT advisable to burn the thing more than 3/4 of the way down least you get burned by sparks or burn your ear.

It has been around for a couple of centuries, as far as I have been able to trace it back. Loading it up with herbs in the wax is just a ploy to raise the price because since it works by suction, herbs never get into the ear. Unless they add some stuff for aroma therapy, but all in all, that would only be a way to gouge you for more money.

People, people, people, this is a HOAX. Please read the 2nd link provided above to one of Cecil’s columns on this subject.

And here’s what Dr. Dean Edell at HealthCentral.net has to say about it:

There are quite a few articles disputing the claims that ear candling works at HealthCentral.net. here’s one, and here’s another one.

As the disclaimers always say, please don’t try this at home, folks!

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” - Anne Frank

hun, they don’t work - I saw an entire documentary on psuedo-science and all that new age crap, and they showed ear candles, and showed how they didn’t work…go to the link that Mr. Thin Skin posted - u’ve come to the rite place.

I’m not weird, I’m just Gifted…okay, so I’m weird too…
~I’m 15, people, but don’t doubt my intelligence~
*fLoWeR cHiLd, 2nd generation…
“Im not opinionated, Im just always right.” ©Me

Ear candles work through suction… the suction of your money into the pockets of those that produce and sell the things.

That seems to be their only function, given that several reliable sources have reported that a) they don’t have any objectively measurable effect and b) you get the same yellow waxy gunk whether you put it in someone’s ear or just burn it by itself.

Homeopathic medicine is one of those ideas that’s just crazy enough to be… well… crazy, and ear candles are yet another in a long and distinguished line of quackery.

I’m havng a flashback to the old AOL SDMB. Don’t get ChiroPB over here.

(Hi Michelle)

Nobody has mentioned the danger of ear candling. There have been cases of people getting hot wax dripped into their ear, damaging the ear drum and affecting hearing.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of the stuff that was found at the end of the candle was really ear wax but alas it is a big scam. Maybe it works, a little, a real little, but my sister and I did it and we did one on each of our ears and then burned one without sticking it into an ear and YOU KNOW WHAT?! Same thing every time! The white powdery substance is proabaly just burned candle wax! We were really annoyed and there is no company name to complain to, no number nothing. Just ear candles in a jar at the healthfood store. Next time try a Q-tip.