An ear candle is a narrow,
hollow cone that has been soaked in beeswax or paraffin and
allowed to harden. During ear candling, the recipient of
this so-called "therapy" lies on his or her side while
someone else inserts the point of the cone inside the ear.
The top of the cone is then set on fire and left to burn
for a few minutes. The health claim most often made for ear
candling is that the flame creates warmth and suction,
which draws ear wax out of the ear canal. Some promoters
also say that ear candling can cure a wide range of medical
problems, including ear aches, sinus infections, sinus pain
and pressure, and vertigo.
The art of ear coning dates
back for centuries, to the ancient Egyptian, Chinese,
Tibetan, Aztec, Mayan and American Indian cultures.
Cherokee, Mexican Indian and European healers interested in
reviving the lost traditions still practice coning. German
medical students are taught coning as a part of their
medical practice. It is said that the Amish use ear cones
As the cone burns, smoke
moves the debris out of the ear. Osmosis (diffusion through
a semi-permeable membrane - e.g. skin) plays an important
role as the smoke soothes the sinus and nasal cavities.
Excess earwax is moved through the ear canal into the cone.
This is a very gentle and non-invasive process. Frequently
participants appear to have just awakened or have a sweetly