FDA has received reports of burns, perforated eardrums and blockage of the ear canal which required outpatient surgery from the use of ear candles.Ear candling is the New Age practice of sticking a candle in your ear, lighting it, and expecting the burning taper to draw "toxins" out of your head. Or at least clear your ear canal of wax.
Hippies have made a business out of ear candling by falsely claiming that it's an ancient healing practice developed by the Hopi Indians. Ear candling is a $1.2 million business in some years.
All this turns out to be complete nonsense. Vanessa Charles, the public relations officer of the Hopi Tribal Council in Kykotsmovi, Arizona, says ear candling:
... is not and has never been a practice conducted by the Hopi tribe or the Hopi people.More importantly, ear candling can be dangerous. Hot wax can drip onto your skin and burn your face or ears. If it enters your ear canal, it can make you deaf. And it has zero effect on ear wax or any other aspect of your health. This has been widely accepted since 2004, following the publication of a study in the Journal of Laryngology and Otology in 2004 with the title:
Ear candles: a triumph of ignorance over science.It was also condemned a long time ago by Ben Goldacre, author of the respected Bad Science column in The Guardian. Even WebMD is against it.
So, thank you, FDA, for finally making official what everyone else has known for years. Except for the hippies.