What are Ear Seeds?

Forget about earrings because ear seeds are here — and they’re here to stay. Not only are they a cute and trendy accessory for 2020, but they actually have benefits too! They’ve also been generating a buzz since their release, making rounds among wellness gurus and influencers on Instagram. Here, we discuss everything there is to know about these fashionable seeds, as well as the benefits they can bring into our lives. 

To keep it simple, ear seeds are small metal studs that are used to stimulate pressure points in your ear. They’re a type of  acupressure but is focused on your ear. According to Chinese wellness specialist, Tsao-Lin E. Moy, the term “seed” is used to describe the seeds that come from the Vaccaria plant which are used in place of acupuncture needles. These seeds are small, hard, round objects that can be applied to different acupressure points in the ear, which you can then press to stimulate acupressure points. 


This practice stems from an idea in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), where it is believed that our body possesses several areas with mapping systems — with the ear being the most important, as it reflects the whole body and organs. Moy explains that “the ear is similar to the hands and feet in reflexology, and is a way to tap into the nervous system to promote self-healing.” As a result, ear seeds can maximize the effects of acupuncture on specific points and can be used either as support for treatment or as a stand-alone treatment. 

Why Use Ear Seeds? 

Ear seeds can help with many conditions such as stress, unrestful sleep and much more. Using ear seeds enables us to achieve the parasympathetic state (also known as the processing state), which allows the body to function properly. As a result, we can think more clearly, respond to our environment better, and even sleep better. 

What Are They Used For? 

Many have claimed that ear seeds help with a variety of concerns such as:


  • Sleep Issues
  • Discomfort associated with PMS
  • Stress
  • Tension

Some people opt to use ear seeds on their own while others request to use them between their professional acupuncture appointments. But if you prefer to use them at home or when you're on the move, read below for instructions on how to do so. 

 

How Can I Use Them? 

Ear seeds traditionally come from the Vaccaria flowering herb, but you can also get your own online in the form of ceramic or metal beads. Here is a step-by-step guide in how you can try using them yourself: 


  1. Start by cleaning and drying the outside of your ear. Keep in mind that ear seeds aren't meant to go inside your ear canal, so always place them on the outside of your ear. 
  2. Search for the correct points by looking over charts that show the specific points — some ear seed kits come with this. Alternatively, an wellness professional can also help locate the best points for you. 
  3. Ear seeds will come attached with adhesive tape, so try not to touch the sticky side. Use tweezers to place the ear seed to the right point on your ear and press it gently to make sure it sticks. 
  4. Now you can massage the ear seeds gently, doing so two to three times a day to receive benefit. You can also apply pressure by rubbing the seeds in a circular motion that lasts one to three minutes. 
  5. Ear seeds usually fall off on their own after three to five days, so change them regularly. Remember that even if they're still in place, it's not recommended to leave them on for more than five days. 
  6. When it's time to remove them, you can use tweezers or your nails. Tilt your head and face the ground before taking them off to make sure that the seeds don't fall into your ear canal. If a seed falls, see if you can take it out by tilting your head sideways, and if it doesn't come out, contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

Tips: 

  • It's always a good idea to give your skin some rest before using another set of ear seeds. Wait a day or at least eight hours before applying new ear seeds. 
  • Check your ears every day for signs of irritation while using ear seeds. These can be in the form of swelling, redness, tenderness, or soreness. If any of these symptoms occur, remove the seeds right away. 

How Safe Are They to Use? 

In general, ear seeds are safe to use and provide a great at-home alternative. They are non-invasive and don't need to use needles. While ear seeds are safe to use for most people, some individuals may experience side effects while using ear seeds, such as: 

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 

These side effects are quite rare, but should you experience any of them after massaging your ear seeds, it is best to avoid driving until you are feeling better. It's also wise to check with your healthcare provider if you continue to experience any side effects. Don't try ear seeds if you're pregnant. Make it a point to talk to your doctor first to ensure it is a good fit for you and your baby.


Ultimately, ear seeds are a cost-effective treatment related to the traditional Chinese medicine practices of acupressure. For those who prefer non-invasive methods, this is a perfect alternative.