Instructions on Ear Candling

Ear candling poster
Ear candling poster

If you have recently had a cold or flu and you still feel stuffy, ear candling may help you remove excess residue from your body. According to natural healer Cheryl Ashby, author of "A Brief History of Ear Candling," ear candling was referenced by Ancient Egyptians over 2500 years ago and probably emerged with the domestication of the honeybee. To this day beeswax is used in many ear candles, though some are also made with food-grade paraffin.

Ear Candling Basics

When a friend or partner lights the top of the ear candle on fire, the flame creates a light suction through a process called convection. As the fire heats up, warm air is drawn upward through the candle, gently pulling softer ear wax and debris out of the ear canal and into the tip of the candle.

Before Candling

You will need an assistant for this process. Place a paper plate wrapped with aluminum foil around the ear candle---cut a small hole in the center of the plate so that the tip of the ear candle fits through snugly. Wrap a heavy towel or something fire-resistant around your shoulders and other areas close to the plate, in case pieces of the flaming ear candle fall on you.

Lie down on a flat surface such as a couch or bed and lay your head on its side on a pillow. The ear that you want to candle first should face upward, parallel to the ground. Place the narrow tip of the ear candle in the ear without lighting it. Have your assistant cut the tip of the candle with scissors so that it fits snugly. This will ensure a good suction effect.

During Candling

Have your assistant light the wide top of the candle, and hold the candle in place during ear candling. Make sure to keep your ear as parallel to the ground as possible to prevent flaming pieces of the candle from dropping on the floor or away from the plate. You may feel a slight suction or hear popping and crackling sounds as the ear candle works. However, this shouldn't be uncomfortable and it's important to keep your head still.

Your assistant should cut the top of the candle down a bit if it appears that the ash is curling into the candle, as this can block the suction effect. The ear candle flame may be from 2 to 6 inches high according to Wholistic Health Solutions. The ear candle should be snuffed out once it has burned down to 4 inches in length. Put the flame out by placing it in a bowl of water.

After Candling

To look at the debris that was drawn out of your ear, cut the remains of the ear candle vertically. Repeat the candling process a total of four times (two for each ear) during this session. Swab you ears with glycerin following ear candling to remove any residue. Wear cotton in the ears to protect them from wind and dirt for 24 hours or so until the inner ear coats itself with new wax. According to, you should repeat the process at least twice per year, or whenever you feel symptoms of an oncoming cold or flu.

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