How ear candles work

Ear candles, also known as ear candles or Hopi candles, are said to have been traditionally used by Indian peoples to purify the ears of a - presumably invented - legend. Ear candles are used for relaxation, against earwax as well as in case of problems with the ear, for example also with ear noises. Since 1990, ear candles are also sold in Germany. According to the manufacturers, ear candles can have their effect on colds, headaches, insomnia, hyperactivity, earache and tinnitus.

What are ear candles good for?

More and more service providers from the wellness area offer an ear candle treatment to reduce stress. By burning the ear candle light vibrations are generated, which should stimulate the ear structure and various reflex points.

Ear candles are known but especially for allegedly to remove the earwax and so to clean the ears.

What ear candles exist

An ear candle consists of a 20 cm long, hollow tube, which is shaped like a funnel. Ear candles are traditionally made of flax, but today cotton is used as a substitute. The cotton fabric is soaked in beeswax and equipped with individual mixtures of herbs and essential oils.

At the bottom of the ear candles is often a filter or drip protection attached so that the wax can not get into the ear.

Application of ear candles

When using ear candles you lie on the side. The ear candle is first guided with a careful rotational movement perpendicular to the ear, so that the ear canal is hermetically sealed.

Then the ear candle is lit, so that warm smoke gets into the inside of the ears.

For safety reasons, it is recommended that the ear candle should never be inserted by itself, but always by a second person in the ear. Basically, this second person should always adabibe to prevent accidents and injuries.

Effect of ear candles

The possible positive effect of the ear candles should come about through the so-called fireplace effect. For by lighting the ear candle in the ear creates a draft down, which in turn generates a slight overpressure. After half of the ear candle has burned off, the draft will rise, causing a pressure release.

A possible effect of ear candles can be divided into three phases:

  1. After lighting the ear candle, this may affect the external auditory canal. The warmed herbs and flavors that are outside the ear candle should lead to an intensification of the possibly positive effect.
  2. Pressure conditions alternate. This is to promote blood circulation in the ear and stimulate the lymphatic flow. In addition, the negative pressure to pull the earwax out of the ear canal.
  3. Now a pressure equalization takes place. This should have a relaxing effect on the breathing and the heart and lead to a complete relaxation of the whole body.

Ear candles medically controversial

However, a possible positive effect of the ear candles is not proven from a medical point of view. Also, the cleaning effect can not be confirmed, because the resulting negative pressure is not strong enough to pull the earwax from the ears - at the very most, this can be somewhat relaxed.

ENT experts even point out that treatment with ear candles can also cause injuries to the ear and face. Because the hot, dripping wax of the Ohrenkerze may possibly also lead to the outer ear canal of the ear is clogged. In addition, the burning ear candle can cause burns to the outer ear, the middle ear or about the face.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that the ear candle has safety features such as a burn-off mark and a safety filter or collecting tray. In addition, you should never perform the treatment alone. After lighting the ear candle, it can only be extinguished with the help of water, so when using ear candles, a glass filled with water should be within your reach as a precautionary measure.

Furthermore, allergic reactions to the ingredients of the ear candles, such as the essential oils or herbs, can be triggered.

When should you not use ear candles?

Ear candles should not be used in the following health conditions:

  • in purulent inflammation in the ear
  • in fungal infections in the ear
  • in case of eardrum injuries
  • in acute earache

It is advisable in these cases to consult an ENT doctor directly. Anyone who decides to treat with ear candles should seek advice from a doctor about the treatment itself and about all possible risks when using ear candles.

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