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How We’re Dealing with Allergies

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

Ever since we moved from Michigan a little over a year ago, my allergies have been different. Spring and fall used to be the times that my symptoms flared up and I could expect that every year. The first year living in South Carolina has been tough because the seasonal stuffy nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes challenge me for the better part of every month. It’s the worst right now while ragweed is in full bloom. Actually it drives me almost insane. I guess what did I expect since the ragweed in our backyard is taller than I am?

I want to share with you the natural methods that I’ve been using to deal with all the pollen that’s been making me nuts. I’m not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body’s natural functions to ease discomfort. My allergy symptoms are not 100% gone by any means, but I’ve noticed a difference in the way my kids and I have been feeling.

Local Raw Honey

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

We’ve heard farmers and beekeepers who have lived in our area for years say that eating a teaspoon to a tablespoon of local raw honey can help our bodies fight allergy symptoms caused by pollen. If you’re curious, this article supports this theory. I’ve been more than willing to try it so I take a teaspoon of local raw honey per day. I have also heard that it can take up to a year to feel a difference, but at the very least honey coats and soothes my itchy throat and eases my cough. It’s delicious in tea!

We have hives in our yard and the bees have been all over the ragweed. Hopefully ragweed pollen will transfer to the honey so we can eat it and build an immunity over time.

Neti Pot

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

About a year ago I wrote an in-depth post about my neti pot. If you’ve never used a neti pot before, my post will help you get started if you’d like to try it. I promise it’s not scary!

By using a neti pot daily I’m rinsing my nasal passages with a sterile saline solution that aids in flushing out irritants like pollen and dust. It’s also very healing for irritated nasal membranes. The neti pot particularly helps me at bedtime because rinsing the irritants out helps me sleep better (i.e., sneeze less.) I also use it when I have a cold because it helps to break up the nasal congestion and reduce sinus pressure.

I use a ceramic neti pot because it’s very easy to sterilize and it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that can be present in plastic types.

Essential Oils

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

My favorite way to use essential oils is by diffusing them into the air. My entire family, including my two little ones, can receive benefits from the oils this way. The calming scents of our favorite oils help us to relax which is beneficial when we’re all driven crazy by constant sneezing and itching. Lavender, lemon and peppermint together are my favorite oils to diffuse for all of us during allergy season because their properties help our bodies maintain proper nasal function and overall wellness.

I use pure, unadulterated essential oils that were manufactured for therapeutic use. They were produced from plants that were grown without the use pesticides or herbicides. Read more about them here.

In addition to eating right, exercising, reducing stress and getting enough rest whenever possible, these natural remedies have helped us promote wellness during our allergy season. They may not be your miracle solution, but I’ll say that they’re definitely worth a try!

Homemade Natural & Calming Anti-Itch Cream

If you are a magnet for mosquitos and end up with itchy inflamed bites, this homemade calming anti-itch cream is for you! It also works well to relieve other common summertime skin ailments such as a mild poison ivy rash. Get the recipe at DailyPea.com.

If you are a magnet for mosquitoes and end up with itchy inflamed bites, this homemade calming anti-itch cream is for you! It also works well to relieve other common summertime skin ailments such as a mild poison ivy rash.

My Daughter’s Severe Reaction to Mosquito Bites

My 4 year old daughter is a magnet for mosquitoes, and even after all prevention measures are taken, they find her and she ends up with multiple bites. Her mosquito bites swell to golf-ball-size within 24 hours and become very hot and itchy. Sometimes she’ll even develop a mild fever. She loses sleep because her bites itch and she scratches through the night. I watch her very closely so that she doesn’t itch so much that the skin breaks, making the bites prone to infection.

My daughter’s allergic reaction to mosquito bites is truly miserable for her and it seems to get worse every year. It makes me cry to see her suffer like that, and it’s difficult because of course we can’t keep her inside when she loves to be outdoors. When mosquitoes sneak through our prevention efforts (long sleeved light colored clothing and a good natural insect repellent), I need to have an effective remedy that will comfort her. Trust me, I’ve tried everything, and I don’t want to give her over-the-counter remedies with harsh chemicals that can irritate her sensitive skin even more.

Natural Relief for Itchy, Sore Bites and Rashes

This homemade calming anti-itch cream has finally given my daughter relief from her mosquito bites. When we apply it to her bites a few times a day, the itching and soreness is calmed and the swelling diminishes. The other day I rubbed up against a pricker vine while working in the yard and ended up with a sore, itchy rash on my ankle. This cream worked wonders to soothe it. It’s so easy to whip up as long as you have the ingredients on hand. The amount that this recipe yields is perfect for a bout of itchy bites or a poison ivy rash, but will keep for a couple of weeks in a sealed jar.

The ingredients in this calming anti-itch cream are natural, soothing, and disinfecting:

  • Baking soda soothes the skin to reduce irritation.
  • Bentonite clay draws bacteria/toxins out of the body and reduces inflammation.
  • Sea salt helps reduce inflammation and soothes itchiness.
  • Fractionated coconut oil makes the cream silky smooth, and it also moisturizes irritated skin as it’s easily absorbed.
  • Lemon essential oil helps reduce heat and inflammation.
  • Peppermint essential oil cools, soothes, and calms itching, especially when mixed with lavender.
  • Lavender essential oil has disinfectant properties to help prevent infection, and helps the skin heal without scarring.
  • When you’re bitten by a mosquito, your body reacts to its saliva in the wound by producing histamine that causes the swelling and itching. Lemon, peppermint and lavender essential oils together create a natural antihistamine which helps reduce inflammation that results from the body’s response to the bite.

Make it!

If you are a magnet for mosquitos and end up with itchy inflamed bites, this homemade calming anti-itch cream is for you! It also works well to relieve other common summertime skin ailments such as a mild poison ivy rash. Get the recipe at DailyPea.com.

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon high quality sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
  • 3 drops therapeutic grade lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops therapeutic grade lemon essential oil
  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small glass bowl. Do not use a metal spoon or container for the bentonite clay because the clay can absorb metals and become less effective.
  2. Add the oils and stir well until lumps are gone and the cream is smooth and silky.

These ingredients can be found online or at your local natural health food store.

How to Use it

To use this cream, apply it liberally to the bites or rash whenever relief is needed. Once you feel the soothing relief, gently wipe the dried cream off with a soft clean cloth. I put it on my daughter’s bites a few times a day until they subside. When I put it on her at bedtime, she doesn’t wake up scratching.

Note: In rare cases, allergic reactions to peppermint essential oil, including respiratory distress, can occur in children. Because of this, peppermint essential oil is not recommended to be used for children under 5, or it must be used with caution. I use peppermint essential oil in this anti-itch cream for my daughter because it is extremely diluted, and she has never shown an adverse reaction to it. 

Do mosquitoes bite you no matter what you do? Have you found a natural remedy that works?

Preventing Disease Through Organic Whole Food Choices

This is a guest post written by David Novak, Contributing Editor at Healthline. The subject of his article personally hits home for me because I started to incorporate organic whole foods into my diet 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with acute diverticulitis. Eating whole, non-processed foods that are high in dietary fiber as much as possible, along with staying hydrated and exercising are the main ways that I manage my diverticulosis naturally. I also used to suffer from chronic migraines, which diminished after I cut out foods that contain chemical additives. My family and I incorporate organic foods into our diet as often as possible by growing our own veggies in our garden, shopping at farmer’s markets, and using the EWG’s Dirty Dozen List while shopping at the grocery store. We’re on a budget and can’t always afford to buy all organic produce 100% of the time, so the Dirty Dozen List helps us prioritize.

Preventing Disease Through Organic Whole Food Choices

You make food choices every day… what you eat, how much of it you eat, and when you eat it.  These choices determine more than just satisfying your schedule and your appetite.  They affect your health, your immune system, your organs and joints in your body, your blood glucose levels, your energy level and most importantly, the odds of whether or not you’ll contract diseases such as cancer, hypertension, dementia, alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and the list goes on.  It also determines whether or not you will experience optimal health, glowing skin, a youthful appearance, decreased inflammation in the body, improved cognitive ability, body function… and that list goes on as well.

Your diet is key to making a difference in literally every body part and every body function imaginable. And practicing good nutrition habits, particularly paying attention to natural and organic foods, can improve your health, not to mention reduce the risk of short-term and long-term illness and disease. What goes in the body is almost more important than even exercise!

Any good doctor or dietician familiar with good nutrients will tell you that plant-based foods offer protective effects against a variety of diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as many cancers like liver, esophagus, prostate, endometrium, rectum, ovary, colon, pancreas and stomach.

The Difference Between Conventionally-Produced Foods VS Organic Foods

But what about conventionally produced vegetables and fruits vs. organic ones? Does that really matter, and if so, why? First, let’s go over the differences between the two. Most standard vegetables and fruits are grown in mass quantities, requiring multiple methods for preventing crop diseases, bug infestations, and even fungicides to preserve them during transport. Organic vegetables are different. They are grown in smaller quantities, and are guaranteed free of these chemicals that go hand-in-hand with conventional produce.

Many people shirk these differences off, but studies have shown that these chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, are in fact real and do build up in the body – specifically the fat cells of humans, producing toxicity as these chemicals are known carcinogens, many of which have been banned in the European Union.

Organic produce is grown with more consideration to the land, and in turn, they affect your body more gently in a wholesome way, as mother nature intended. Granted, some organic fruits and veggies do cost more, but not by much these days. They were certainly more costly in the past, when they were newer to the food market, and there were less organic farms.  But today most are competitively priced due to their popularity and demand.

This is great news, because these fruits and vegetables are grown in smaller quantities, even on smaller plots of land, where soil is preserved, which means more nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals in your food. Conventionally grown fruits and veggies are grown on the same soils year after year, and the crops are not usually rotated, a method which would allow the soil to replenish lost nutrients from repeated use if implemented.

There are some veggies that do not require a lot of chemicals, and they are considered ‘clean’ — such as avocados, bananas, asparagus — whereas there are many that do require them — such as berries, peaches and spinach – and those are best purchased if an organic and/or pesticide free label is visible. Some labels will also say sustainably harvested ‘wild’, and these are wild grown foods, such as wild arugula. These are harvested without depleting the food supply or otherwise harming the environment.  Rather, the food was grown in the biosphere surrounding it, such as butterflies, bees or birds.

Medical professionals suggest that a person suffering from diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer should focus on healthy organic foods that are high in protein and calories to provide energy.  During disease treatment, it is vital to maintain energy and a healthy immune system to fight against the disease. The chances of success may increase if disease fighting foods are included in the diet, and organic foods provide the best and most nutrient-enriched option.

Immune Boosting Foods

A healthy lifestyle is your first line of defense for good health and a strong immune system. Your body simply functions better when protected from environmental assaults and invasion of disease.  It’s ultimately bolstered by healthy-living strategies.  Make sure you’re eating a diet high in organic fruits, organic whole grains and organic vegetables; exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight; cutting back on smoking and drinking; getting adequate sleep and controlling your blood pressure. These steps make a significant difference, and can really help as you age.

While some people age healthy, studies compared the elderly with younger people, and found that the elderly are far more likely to contract infectious diseases because of a lower immune system. Respiratory infections, pneumonia and influenza are leading causes of death for those over 65.  Eating healthy organic foods increases the production of T-cells, which help fight off infection and helps the body’s ability to mount a more vigorous immune response.

Organically Grown Whole Foods  Promote Good Glucose and Insulin Function

Diabetics need to understand the importance of various foods’ affect on blood glucose.  Having diabetes means that your body has trouble controlling blood glucose levels. When blood glucose stays too high for too long, serious health problems can develop. However, by controlling your blood glucose through medication, exercise and most importantly, an organic diet, you can delay or prevent problematic conditions associated with diabetes, such as kidney malfunctions, eye problems, heart disease and other complications.  According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), following a diabetes meal plan, which consists of organic foods, can help you keep your blood glucose levels on track.

Glucose is regulated by the insulin in your body. Insulin helps glucose move from the blood into your muscle cells, where it can be used for energy. Some oral diabetes medications help you produce more insulin or help your insulin work more efficiently, so your medications and food plan have to work together. If you take insulin shots, you need to be especially careful to match the amount of carbohydrates you eat with your insulin dose.

Eating an excessive amount of carbs without adjusting your insulin dose might cause your blood glucose to spike. If you consume too few carbohydrates, your blood glucose might bottom out, or become too low.  The best choice for whatever food choices you make should consist of organic foods such as fruit, vegetables, poultry, beef and pork.  These will regulate your blood sugar, unlike processed food, which can spike or bottom out your insulin levels and cause inflammation, which can eventually lead to rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Your immune response needs regular nourishment through organic foods to stay strong. There is evidence that suggests that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

Various “micronutrient” deficiencies — for example, deficiencies in vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as zinc, copper, iron, folic acid and selenium — alter immune responses. If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs, eating healthy organic food rich in these vitamins and minerals brings health benefits of many types, especially a healthy immune system. Eat organic foods like fruits, vegetables, grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs.  These will provide all the vitamins you need, and then some.

Additionally, a number of herbs and vitamins can influence the immune system in good ways. These include foods like organic spirulina, organic chlorella, sustainably grown and harvested ginseng, aloe vera, echinacea, garlic, licorice root and probiotics. And while science has not proven that these nutrients unequivocally promote good immune function, if you do choose to take these nutrients, it can’t hurt.

High Nutrient, Low-Carb

Carbohydrates are foods that have the biggest effect on your blood glucose levels.  After you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose rises.  Fruits, dairy, sweets and starches all contain carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are important for health, when you eat too many at once, your blood glucose can rise too high. This can also lead to other diseases such as heart attack, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.  Other carbs, such as sweet potatoes and vegetables, are better for you and less risky when considering a glucose spike.  Additionally, avoiding processed and packaged foods and eating more fiber and nutrients is another good strategy.

If you’re overweight, you can eat the same foods as everyone else, but the devil is in the details. A smart meal plan will tells you when, what and how much to eat.  It’s important not to completely deprive yourself of the foods you like, so your diet can include your favorite foods.  Just make sure your meal plan is also covering foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat organic dairy, whole grains, eggs, lean meats and fish.  Other organic disease-fighting foods include:

Tea

Green and black teas are rich in polyphenols (catechins), which are known to reduce inflammation, lower the risk of stroke and prevent cancer cells from dividing. These polyphenols may protect against various types of diseases.  Red wine and olive oil are also rich in polyphenols.

Soy

Soy foods are rich in nutrients, especially in several types of phytoestrogens — weak, non-steroidal estrogens — that can help prevent prostate, stomach, esophageal and breast cancers by blocking and suppressing the cancerous changes.  Soy protein can lead to the lowest mortality rate among cancer patients, along with the lower probability of recurrence.

Allium Vegetables

Ever heard of allium vegetables?  Onions, leeks, garlic and onions are allium-based veggies that can significantly lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and prostate cancer. These vegetables contain immune-enhancing allium compounds (diallyl sulfides) that appear to increase the activity of the immune cells that fight disease. These compounds also help in blocking carcinogens from entering into the cells apart from slowing down the development of tumors.

Fiber

Fiber protects and helps in clearing off the disease causing wastes and toxins from your gastrointestinal tract.  It promotes weight loss by making you feel fuller, longer. Being obese or overweight will put you at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and alzheimer’s disease.

Vegetables

Carrots have falcarinol and beta carotene, which has been shown to reduce a wide range of cancers such as throat, mouth, lung, breast, prostate, bladder, intestine and stomach cancers. Isolated cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to falcarinol and beta carotene. Tomatoes contain Lycopene, an antioxidant known for its anti-cancer properties, specifically preventing cancers in breast, pancreas, colon and prostate regions.

Vegetables like kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli contain disease fighting antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein.  Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol that can combat breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective variety. Broccoli alone has phytochemical called sulforaphane, a product of glucoraphanin, which is believed to aid in preventing rectum and colon cancers, as well as prevent cardiovascular disease.

Fruit

Grapes contain bioflavonoids, the powerful antioxidants that work as disease preventives. Grapes are also rich sources of resveratrol, a natural phenol, which inhibits the enzymes that can stimulate cancer-cell growth and suppress the immune response. Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks the free radicals in the body by blocking the intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply a high level of potassium and are strong sources of beta-carotene. Finally, berries — like blue, red, black and strawberries — are rich in ellagic acid, one of the most powerful antioxidants, which help in preventing the growth of cancer cells and boosts your immune system.

Food choices that includes these specific disease fighting foods can be a huge factor in boosting your immune system, preventing illness, and a big help to those suffering from major illness during their recovery process.  Having a healthy lifestyle, void of smoking and drinking, is vital as well.  Research suggests that around 70-percent of all major diseases can be averted if people exercise, eat organic plant-based foods and minimize bad foods, including chemically treated and altered foods.  Doing so will ensure that your body is healthy, clean and chemically free.

David Novak HealthlineDavid Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist in health and fitness, and he is a regular contributing editor for Healthline. For more information, visit http://www.healthline.com/.

Does the Neti Pot Bring Relief?

Does a Neti Pot Bring Relief?

Are you reading this post through burning watery eyes, desperate for relief? I feel for you. I’m sitting here writing this during the time of year that I’m usually tormented by fall-blooming plants like ragweed. Burning eyes, itchy throat and ears, sneezing a hundred times a day, asthma flare-ups, sinus pressure and headaches. I wake up sneezing and coughing at random times during the night. Sometimes it has been downright debilitating.

In years past, I’ve taken allergy and asthma medication to help or prevent my symptoms. Sure, it masked them, but I didn’t like the side effects that came along with it or the monthly expense. When I started making healthy lifestyle changes 6 years ago, I began to look for natural remedies. Incorporating clean, organic, non-processed foods into my diet was a good start and definitely has made a big difference in my overall health including my allergies and asthma. I have tried natural nose sprays and herbal teas to target the allergies. I always love my herbal teas and they definitely make me feel better, but don’t totally kick the allergy symptoms, so to speak. The nose sprays haven’t been effective at all for me and they’re expensive.

I was 3 months pregnant with my first baby a few years ago when my fall allergies hit and they were especially extreme. I was over at my mom’s house for dinner one night and she pulled out a neti pot. I had never heard of one before. I read the insert in the package which explained that neti pots have been used for centuries in India and are associated with yoga practices. I had been practicing yoga for years, so honestly, that sold me more on trying it. I was freaked out by the idea of it at first. I was afraid of the drowning feeling I thought I’d have when pouring water up my nose. I made my mom demonstrate first.

After finally trying the neti pot for the first time, my experience with it was not bad like I had feared. Yes, water went back into my throat on the first few tries and I coughed a little, but I didn’t feel like I was drowning. It did feel good to rinse out my irritated nasal passages. Here’s a quick rundown if you haven’t seen how a neti pot works. You fill a sterilized neti pot (here’s mine) with the recommended amount of pure non-iodized neti pot salt (like this) and distilled water to make a saline solution. (Having the water luke warm or room temperature always feels the most comfortable for me.) You then lean over a sink and tilt your head so it’s almost perpendicular to the sink. While breathing through your mouth (that’s important!) put the spout in your top nostril and pour the saline solution so it flows through your bottom nostril. Pour half of the solution through one nostril and then switch to the other nostril to pour the other half. (There are very detailed instructions included with the neti pot when you purchase one.) When you’re done, you can gently blow your nose and see all the fun stuff that comes out!

Rinsing the nasal passages with sterile saline solution helps to flush out irritants like pollen, dust, etc. and is very healing to the delicate nasal membranes. Have you tried gargling with saline solution? It’s soothing like that.

It took a few days of using the neti pot 3 to 4 times daily before I really noticed a reduction in my miserable allergy symptoms. Since then I’ve been a regular neti pot user and I LOVE it. I haven’t used allergy medication a single time since, or cold medication for that matter! I use the neti pot every day during my peak allergy times. When I use it before bedtime it helps me sleep without waking up sneezing…or less anyway. It really makes a difference to soothe my nose and rinse out the irritants. I use it whenever I have a cold or any other kind of nasal congestion. It breaks up the congestion and reduces sinus pressure.

If you’re suffering from nasal congestion and irritation from allergies or a cold or flu, I’d definitely recommend the neti pot. I promise you won’t feel like you’re drowning…after a little practice at least! I am not making any medical claims in this blog post; I am sharing my personal experience with this natural home remedy. It is important to check with your healthcare provider and read about the contraindications in the instruction manual included in the package before you use a neti pot, especially if you have a sinus condition or have had sinus surgery. It is imperative to follow the directions included with your neti pot very carefully. If the saline solution isn’t sterile it can cause infection.

Do you have a natural remedy that you swear by for allergies and colds? Please share your helpful tips below!

I choose to use this ceramic neti pot over a plastic one because of the toxins present in many kinds of plastic. The ceramic pot can be heated to sterilize it without toxins leaching out.

Does Ear Candling Really Work?

Does Ear Candling Really Work? @DailyPea.com

It seems sort of strange to sit down and write about excessive ear wax, but it’s a discomfort that many people deal with. A normal amount of it is obviously beneficial, as it’s the body’s way of naturally cleansing our ears. There’s no need to remove it unless it’s an issue, but you definitely know if it becomes impacted due to excessive buildup. I’ve been dealing with it ever since I was a young kid and have had discomforts ranging from minor hearing loss to constant itching and painful earaches.

Throughout the years I’ve tried just about every known home remedy for excessive ear wax, and have also had it removed at the doctor’s office. Having it removed by the doctor was the most painful for me. It involved water being forcefully squirted into my ears for an hour, followed by a pointy tool digging the wax out. My ears are really sensitive so it drove me nuts. The other worst experience I had was when I was pregnant and my ears were plugged up and aching because of buildup. My doctor recommended that I try natural ear wax relief drops at home. I did, and I walked around for 3 days with both ears so plugged up I could barely hear. I got desperate because I didn’t want to have the wax dug out again. I bent over the sink and irrigated my ears on my own with a bulb aspirator (probably not the safest thing to do on my own.) I did it periodically for 2 days. Big fail and more frustration. I next tried the hydrogen peroxide method. No success. 5 days had gone by and I was so fed up that I finally warmed up some coconut oil and dropped it into my ears. It worked after 2 hours of doing this along with more water irrigation. I never want to go through that again.

After all of that trial and error, I tried one more home remedy when the wax started to build up again. I felt relief. Now I do this every couple of months as a preventative measure.

Ear Candling

There is a lot of contradictory information online about whether ear candling is beneficial. My opinions in this blog post are my own based on my experiences with it; I am not a trained medical processional and am not making medical claims. Before you try ear candling, it is best to first consult your healthcare professional. Ear candling is a home remedy and it is not a cure for any disease or ailment. It shouldn’t be used to treat an existing medical condition or serious ear condition.

Ear candling is a relaxing, therapeutic technique similar to acupuncture or aromatherapy. It’s used to soften built-up and impacted ear wax to aid the body in naturally expelling the excess wax and cleansing the ears. This cleansing technique has been around for thousands of years.

An ear candle isn’t actually a candle; it’s a piece of cotton muslin covered in beeswax and rolled into a hollow cone. You place it in a small hole in the center of a piece of cardboard or a paper plate, then put the tapered end of the candle near the ear canal. It’s best to have someone helping you. Then you light the large end of the candle and let it burn until it reaches about 4 inches from your ear, trimming the candle as it burns every 2″ into a nearby bowl of water. While the candle is burning, you’ll hear gentle sizzling and crackling sounds and feel slight warmth in your ear. Obviously, extreme caution must be used since fire is involved. When you buy ear candles, an instruction sheet is included.

After ear candling, I can feel that the wax in my ears has softened, and pieces make their way out of my ear canals over a course of a few days afterwards. The “plugged” feeling and aching from the impacted wax gradually goes away. Does it really work? For me, yes. It’s a much less invasive treatment than the other methods I’ve tried in the past. The goop that’s left in the candle after the procedure looks very much like ear wax to me, but it’s supposedly just the residue left from the candle itself. The actual ear wax removal is a more gradual process that your body does on its own after the wax is softened.

My husband tried ear candling even though he has never had an issue with excessive built-up wax. The candle smoked a lot and he didn’t hear any sizzling or crackling. It was probably because he didn’t have any excess wax built up in his ears.

If you would like to try ear candling, I would recommend first talking with your healthcare professional and do plenty of research. I buy my ear candles online here. Whether it’s ear candling or another less invasive method of removing impacted ear wax, I wish you luck in feeling relief! I feel your pain.