Also known simply as ear candles, ear wax candles are sections of linen that are wound into the shape of a cone, then soaked in wax. The purpose of these candles is to treat ear discomforts that are caused by blockages caused by ear wax or other debris. Many people have claimed to gain relief from the use of these candles, although the evidence remains anecdotal rather than scientific in nature.
One of the key features in the design of ear wax candles is the creation of a central opening that runs from the top to the bottom of the candle body. This central opening or hole is formed as the linen or cotton is wound into an oblong cone shape. It is this open core that is said to provide the means of initiating the process of ear wax removal and bringing relief.
In order to use candling for the wax removal, the ear wax candle is fitted through a thin plate with hole in the center. The end of the candle is inserted into the ear canal, allowing the outside of the ear to rest comfortably on the plate. With the ear wax removal candle in position, the opposite end is lit.
As ear wax candles burn, they are said to create a vacuum that will softly dislodge impacted wax and draw it from the middle ear. There are also claims that candling helps to clear the inner ear and nasal passages during the process. Still others believe that ear wax candles function as a means of conducting smoke into the ear canal, which helps to dry the interior, which stimulates the body’s ability to excrete excess wax and any other matter that is causing the blockage. While there are a number of people who attest to the effectiveness of this method of removing ear wax, no concrete proof that the practice is actually effective exists.
In general, it is not recommended to attempt candling alone. A second party should be present to oversee the process, including the lighting of the candle. The individual receiving the candling should be in a comfortable position that allows the end of the candle to be inserted gently into the ear, using the plate to prevent the body of the candle from going too deep into the ear canal. The assistant can watch the process closely and extinguish the candle before the burning portion reaches the plate.
Ear wax candles can often be purchased at health food shops, vitamin stores, and herbal shops. Kits containing the candles and plates are also offered online, and include instructions in how to use the candles to best advantage. Some alternative medical practitioners make use of the candles along with other treatments to alleviate ear pain and blockage.