Ear seeds are the ultimate fashion-meet-function wellness bling. But what are they exactly, and where do they come from? And more importantly, what do they do? WTHN Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Dr. Hyojin Kim, DACM, LAC breaks down the history of ear seeds for us below.
Ear seeds are a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which dates back thousands of years. Initially, ear seeds were actual seeds of the Vaccaria plant (native to Eurasia and commonly known as the “prairie carnation”) that were used in conjunction with acupuncture to help support mind + body wellness. In Chinese Medicine, the ear is a microsystem of the whole body and has dozens of acupressure points that help to empower physical + mental healing. But how exactly do they work?
According to the meridian system in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the ear is connected directly or indirectly to the main meridians, aka invisible pathways of energy, and are found throughout the body. In addition to the connection with the meridian system, most ear treatments (whether auricular, or ear, acupuncture vs ear acupressure with ear seeds) use acupoints that support the healthy functioning of our organs + endocrine system. Based on the TCM theory, stimulating certain ear acupoints will help with the flow of body energy, helping restore the balance.
And how do they work exactly? And more importantly, do ear seeds work? Ear seeds apply pressure on specific pressure points, or acu-points, on the ear, the same way that acupuncture needles stimulate healing at acu-points (where blood, nerve, lymph and connective tissue meet) on the body. Stimulating an acupoint, whether via acupuncture or acupressure with ear seeds, sends a message to the brain that alters brain chemistry, and tells the body to react to achieve a desired result.
And ear seeds can treat a myriad of conditions! From stress/anxiety, chronic pain, digestion issues, insomnia, substance abuse, sleep problems, weight loss + more, ear seeds are an amazingly easy + effective DIY health hack you can do from the comfort of your own home!