Ear Wax, Yeast & Mold, Oh My! All About Ear Candling with Photos

I have been candling ears since 2005. With each session I grow more fond of the modality. It has been used effectively to relieve symptoms of allergies, high wax production, itching, hearing impairment, colds & flus. Ear candling has a fascinating history which you can read here.

Ear candling or coning is the process of using a special hollow candle to pull ear wax and debris out of the ear canal and beyond.


Yes. Stay with me as I walk you through the process.

I use only beeswax dipped muslin ear candles that are one inch in diameter. I choose these because they are safer than the more narrow paraffin dipped candles which burn too hot and can easily cause injury to the ear and skin. Additionally, breathing the smoke created by burning beeswax is much safer for the respiratory system than smoke generated by burning toxic paraffin, a petrol-chemical.

Beeswax Muslin Ear Candle

Beeswax Muslin Ear Candle

Never EVER attempt to candle your own ears. This is how people burn themselves. Ear candling is a very soothing, noninvasive modality and recipients tend to fall asleep or become very relaxed. Getting sleepy while managing fire is a recipe for disaster.

Attempting to ear candle oneself with paraffin candles has given ear candling in general a very bad reputation. Don’t do it!

The wide end of the hollow candle is lit, the tapered end is gently inserted into the outer opening of the ear. The candle is not inserted deeply or painfully, just firmly enough to create a seal all the way around to keep smoke from leaking out of the ear.

Ear Candling

Ear Candling

The flame at one end of the candle creates smoke which travels through the tapered end into the ear canal. The closed fire-smoke system also creates vacuum loop sending the smoke back up the candle toward the flame.

As the candle rests in the ear, smoke warms the ear canal causing the pores lining the canal to “sweat” whereby drawing out wax and debris that has not yet entered the ear canal. This is the non-invasive magic of ear candling. Not only can the canal be cleansed, but “beyond the canal” can be cleansed also.

Tiny drops of melted ear wax, particles of yeast and mold will float on the smoke from the ear canal and beyond to the inside of the candle where it cools and collects.

The candles I use are designed to offer two burns per ear (see blue & red lines in the first photo). I burn the first half for one ear to the blue line, snuff the flame, empty the candle and light again. I do this until both ears have had two burns.

I empty the contents of the candle onto a paper plate in between burns so that my clients can inspect the debris. What we see are: candle wax, candle ash, ear wax, yeast, and mold growing on the yeast.

The colors and consistency of the candle beeswax and ear wax are completely different. Beeswax is lighter in color and ear wax in stickier.

In the photo below, the rusty brown pieces are collected, cooled bits of ear wax. The yellow powder is mostly candle ash with some cream colored yeast.

Ear Candling Debris

Ear Candling Debris

A common argument against ear candling that everything on the plate is a product of the candle itself. I use identical candles in both ears and make two burns for the same amount of time & candle length, therefore if all the debris were from the candle itself, all four piles of debris should be identical.

But they are not as you can clearly see below.

Ear Candling Debris

Ear Candling Debris

I highly recommend ear candling to relieve symptoms of discomfort within the ear and sinuses. Those who should not be ear candled are people who have injured or ruptured ear drums.

One session may or may not relieve your symptoms so multiple sessions may be necessary and those who suffer seasonal allergies will want to get candled regularly before pollen counts climb. It’s also a great idea to have your ears candled before flying in an airplane to relieve potential ear pressure.

If you are in or near the Hilton Head Island, SC area, contact me for an ear candling session.

Carla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based vegan diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose. Join Carla in person at a Palmetto Plant Eaters Club meeting!

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