Research Studies on Ear Seeds

Yes, There's Science Behind Ear Seeds!

Ear Seeds Reduced Stress in Nursing Professionals

A 2011 study of 75 nursing professionals measured the effects of traditional ear acupuncture (with needles) and ear seeds on stress levels. The nursing staff was divided into three groups: control group (no needles or ear seeds), acupuncture group (with needles), and ear seeds group.

For the acupuncture and ear seeds groups, the therapies targeted the Shen Men, kidney and brainstem points. Participants’ stress levels were measured at the baseline, fourth and eighth sessions, and on the 15-day follow-up session. Sessions were weekly, with each session lasting 5-10 minutes. Participants were asked to manually stimulate their seeds three times daily by pressing on them with moderate pressure.

Study Results: The acupuncture group was more effective in reducing stress than the ear seeds group, but the seeds group did show a reduction in stress levels, particularly among highly stressed individuals. To no surprise, the ear seeds were more tolerable than acupuncture, which may suggest they’re more likely to be used (and the good news is that they can be applied independently once an individual learns the optimal points to apply them).

Ear Seeds Decreased Post-C-Section Shoulder Pain

Study Results: Participants in the intervention group, with the ear seeds placed on the shoulder and muscle relaxation points, reported significantly less shoulder pain 24 hours after surgery. Although there was no significant difference in self-reported pain between the groups one and six hours after surgery, the variance between the groups’ pain levels after 24 hours led the researchers to conclude that ear seeds are an effective treatment in helping to reduce pain after a c-section. These findings, combined with the fact that ear seeds are easy to apply, cheap, and generally safe, suggest that women who are having c-sections should make ear seeds part of their hospital kit.

In a 2020 study, researchers wanted to explore the effects of using ear seeds to mitigate shoulder pain in women undergoing c-sections. Ninety candidates were identified. They were separated into two groups of 45 each: a control group where ear seeds were placed on placebo points, and an intervention group where ear seeds were placed on shoulder and muscle relaxation points. The seeds were placed 2 hours prior to the c-section through 24 hours after it. Participants self reported their pain levels one hour, six hours, and 24 hours post surgery.

Point Difference in Shoulder Pain Prevalence Between Groups

Ear Seeds Combined with a Low Calorie Diet Reduced Leptin & Body Fat Mass

A 2012 study split 86 obese and overweight people in Iran into two groups to see if a low-calorie diet combined with auricular acupressure (via ear seeds) would be more effective at reducing leptin levels than a low-calorie diet with no acupressure. The treatment group had ear seeds applied on six points throughout a 6-week period: Shen Men, stomach, hunger point, mouth, ear center, and Sanjiao. The control group had ear seeds applied on placebo points. Ear seeds were to be kept on each ear for 3 days after each treatment, and the participants were asked to press on the seeds before eating.

Study Results: Significant differences were found between the treatment and control groups, with the treatment group (the group that used the ear seeds on treatment points) showing decreased body fat mass and plasma levels of leptin.

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