Fans of ear candling often wonder how to make an ear candle at home. Ear candles can be tricky to make for the home candle maker, since there are many dangers involved in their use.
About Ear Candles
Ear candles are tapered, hollow candles. They are made from wound ribbons of muslin, linen, or cotton, which are soaked in beeswax, or a wax blend that contains beeswax and soy wax. The pointed end of the candle is placed in the ear, while the wider end is lit. The subject of the ear candling can lie on one side, and then switch sides to candle the other ear. Alternatively, the subject can lie on his or her back, with the candle lying sideways and propped up by a bowl of water, which also serves to collect the hot wax drippings as the candle burns.
Ear candling is also known as ear coning or auricular candling. The shape of the candle itself is meant to create a vacuum at the base, drawing the smoke into the ear and then back out. This vacuum is said to remove earwax, toxins, and fungus from within the ear canal.
Candling enthusiasts and practitioners claim that this procedure helps with:
- Removal of excess earwax
- Reducing sinus pressure and pain
- Reducing tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Curing ear infections
- Improving hearing
- Curing earaches and popping in the ears due to colds or sinusitis
- Eliminating vertigo
Ear candles are extinguished and removed from the ear when they have burned down to about four inches from the head. At this point, the remainder of the candle is sliced open and the contents revealed.
Ear Candling Controversy and Risks
Many doctors and health practitioners believe that ear candling is ineffective and dangerous. Tests conducted on the remains left inside an ear candle after the procedure documented that the waxy residue and ashy powder found in most used ear candles is actually residue and remains from the candle itself, not anything that has been drawn out of the ear.
Several people who have tried ear candling have experienced severe pain and burning from hot wax dripping down inside the candle and lodging in the eardrum. This can cause permanent damage to the ear canal and the eardrum.
At-home ear candling kits can be dangerous as well. Often the wax will drip onto the skin, onto furniture or other flammable objects. The flame of the candle can also get quite high. It is recommended that, if you do decide to use ear candles, you have a friend or relative assist you.
Learning How to Make an Ear Candle
If you're still thinking of learning how to make an ear candle, it's best to ask a professional candle maker familiar with the practice of ear coning for help. Since ear candling can be dangerous, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake during the candle-making process and increase the risk.
Some websites will tell you that you can make these candles simply by dipping strips of cloth in melted beeswax and then forming them into a cone shape. This method is extremely dangerous, as the wax on the inside of the candle will melt and run down the inside of the tunnel, landing directly in your ear. The inside of the candle should be completely dry and soft to the touch, to allow the residue to adhere to the cloth.
Learn More About Ear Candles
If you're interested in learning more about ear candles and how they work, there are some excellent resources available online. Here are just a few:
- Ear Candling - EarCandling.com explains the procedure with photos and an FAQ
- Ear Candling at WebMD - Reasons why ear candling can be dangerous, from a medical perspective
- The Straight Dope - A reporter tries ear candles with the help of a doctor