What Are Ear Seeds and Do They Work?

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What if the secret to curing all of your ailments and jumpstarting weight loss was hiding in…your ears? That’s the general idea behind ear seeds, a wellness treatment we’ve been hearing a lot about lately (sorry, had to). Here’s the deal.

OK, what are ear seeds? According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), different areas of our ears correspond to different organs and systems within the body. Stimulating these parts can treat ailments in those various organs and systems. That’s the gist of auriculotherapy, a form of TCM that’s practiced via acupuncture or ear seeds, which are tiny seeds of the vaccaria plant that are stuck onto key points on the ear using adhesive tape. Ear seeds can be left on for up to five days (you can shower and sleep as usual), but they may fall off sooner, depending on where they’ve been placed. 

So why do people use them? Proponents believe that ear seeds can reduce headaches and back pain, as well as treat addiction and prevent cravings (it’s sometimes used as a weight-loss tool, too).

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