how to apply ear seeds at home
Acupuncture, Health & Wellness

Ear seeds – Auricular Acupuncture

You may have experienced ear seeds during one of your acupuncture appointments. I sometimes apply them at the end of a treatment to continue the effects of a treatment.

What are Ear Seeds?

There are a number of different types of ear seeds. Originally they were literally seeds – from the vaccaria plant. Now they can be tiny pellets made of gold, silver, surgical steel or even Swarovski crystals. They are held on the ear with clear or opaque patches of adhesive. They sit on the skin rather than puncturing it as needles do.

How Auriculotherapy can help

Ear seeds, one type of auriculotherapy, can be a great treatment alternative for people who are scared of needles. They can also be a good way of extending your acupuncture treatment. The pellets are placed on acupuncture points on the auricle (the outer flap of the ear) and can be pressed to activate the point. Ear seeds are often used to help manage chronic or difficult to treat conditions such as stress, migraines, stopping smoking, weight loss, and pain.

How to Apply the Seeds

Often the seeds will be applied in the office by your therapist. However, in some cases you may have been sent home with extra seeds to apply at home. You will need a few basic supplies:

  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton swabs or some facial tissue
  • tweezers
  • a mirror
  • instructions or a guide on where to place the seeds

Here is some information on how to apply the ear seeds at home.

Steps for Application

  1. wipe ear with rubbing alcohol (on cotton swab or facial tissue) and let skin dry.
  2. use tweezers to remove a seed patch from the plastic backing tray.
  3. apply seeds to the points marked on the instruction guide.
  4. stimulate the seeds with a gentle press for 5-10 seconds each; repeat 4-5 times per day or as needed.
  5. leave seeds in place for a maximum of 4 days.
  6. to keep the seeds on during a shower ensure the adhesive is well stuck before the shower and avoid direct exposure of ear to the spray.
  7. if the pellets irritate the skin (redness, itching, pain) remove them and clean the ear.


For more information about types of ear seeds: