When it comes to relieving stress, you might have tried all different kinds of techniques. From ’Bare Minimum Mondays’ and stress balls to ashwagandha supplements and eating comfort food, sometimes it can feel like nothing is cutting it.
But have you ever tried ear seeds? Yes, literal small seeds you place on areas of your ear to stimulate not just stress reduction, but a whole host of health benefits, too.
What do ear seeds do?
The Chinese Traditional Medicine therapy sees people placing little ‘seeds’ — usually made from a herb called vaccaria, but can also be made from metal or ceramic beads — on different points on the ear to activate healthy outcomes.
Dr Dawn Garrison explains how it all works in a video she shared on the topic. “The ear seeds stimulate all the different points of the ear. Just like the reflexology chart of the foot, we have the same type of reflexology charts for the ear,” she explains.
“The base of the ear represents the head. You have the spine up here,’ she says, pointing to the outside cartilage running from the lobe to where your ear attaches to your head, “and all the internal organs, just in here,” she says, pointing to the folds inside the ear (but not the ear canal).
“What you do is you take the ear seed and you apply it to the ear and it treats the corresponding part of the bond. So you leave these in from anywhere from 24 hours to up to seven days, and what I do is I alternate from one ear to the other ear and vice versa,” she adds.
What does the science say?
Like with most homoeopathic and natural remedies, there aren’t many studies out there. But according to one, the researchers found that ear seeds made people more tolerant to pain, so their use could prove handy in combating chronic fatigue, alongside other traditional treatments.
One TikTokker shared an experience a customer had had trying ear seeds for stress. “I was looking to try ear seeds to help with my current stress levels. I was becoming very overwhelmed and having full-on panic attacks due to my situation,” she said.
“Scrambling to find anything that might help I remembered how acupressure had helped me when recovering from a broken foot and that’s what led me to discovering the magic of ear seeds. 10 minutes into wearing them, I felt like I was floating. It’s as though a calming wave of tranquillity had been blanketed over me. I felt so chilled,” she shared.
But some are naturally sceptical. After all, how much can some dots in your ear really help?
“*Laughs in chemical imbalance* she cute tho,” commented one person on a video talking about ear seeds.
“They do nothing but they’re cute so go off hahaha,” said someone else.
Whether or not they’re a placebo effect or really have scientific benefits, it might be worth trying in your efforts to beat stress - especially if you feel like you’ve tried everything else.
And if you see me walking around with lots of gold dots in my ear… no you didn’t.