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3 Vegan Foods That Can Help Dislodge Ear Wax

vegan diet earwax removal nutrition health

Earwax buildup can be bothersome and in many cases can cause hearing loss. Q-tips are a common although, not recommended, method to remove earwax buildup. While more research has to be done on earwax, research has hinted at the role that diet plays in it's make up.


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Earwax impaction is a major health problem worldwide affecting about 6% of the general population and is a main cause of primary care consultations. Accumulation of earwax can cause discomfort and even hearing loss. That being said, there’s a way to remove earwax naturally with diet.

What Is Earwax Made Of?

Cerumen, the scientific name for earwax, is a mixture of secretions from specialized sweat glands with fatty materials secreted from sebaceous glands. It can have one of two physical types: a wet yellow-brown wax or a dry white wax. A report out of Harvard Medical School states that “conditions that produce a lot of dry, flaking skin, like eczema, can also result in hard earwax. And with age, the glandular secretions change consistency, so they don't travel as easily through the ear canal.”

Earwax Buildup Impairs Hearing

According to the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence, “Ear wax only becomes a problem if it causes a hearing impairment or other ear-related symptoms. Earwax is more likely to accumulate and cause a hearing impairment when normal extrusion is prevented--for example, by the use of hearing aids, or by the use of cotton buds to clean the ears. Ear wax can visually obscure the ear drum, and may need to be removed for diagnostic purposes.”

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The Ear Is Self-Cleaning

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Doctors make a living removing impacted earwax when ideally, the ear should be self-cleaning -- and the wax moved out through the ear canal with help from the jaw.

There are several reasons why earwax build-up can become impacted in the ear canal, according to Deafness Research UK, since “earwax production depends on age, genetic factors, and diet.”

Diet Impacts Earwax

In an interesting study, scientists at the Monell Center have identified the presence of odor-producing chemical compounds in human earwax. They found that the amounts of these compounds differ between individuals of East Asian origin and Caucasians. Their findings suggest that human earwax, an easily obtained bodily secretion, could be an overlooked source of personal information, such as diet.

“Odors in earwax may be able to tell us what a person has eaten and where they have been,” said George Preti, who headed up the study. "Earwax is a neglected body secretion whose potential as an information source has yet to be explored”

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3 Vegan Foods That Help Remove Earwax Buildup

What you eat affects your secretions (think sweat and mucus), and earwax is no exception. There are three vegan foods that help remove earwax buildup naturally, according to Anthony William, NY Times Best Selling Author of Medical Medium: Life Changing Foods.

According to William, cranberries are a known powerful detoxifier that aid in healing urinary tract infections and the kidneys. Then can also “dislodge earwax buildup and help bring back hearing.” William also insists that pomegranates are powerful enough to “clear out earwax and minimize new production of it.” Another food that helps remove earwax buildup from the ear canal are leafy greens. “Leafy greens help to expel, purge and drain the lymphatic system of toxins”, of which the ears are a part.

You should take great caution when trying to remove earwax buildup using swabs and other instruments. If the problem persists, loading up on more nutritious foods such as cranberries, pomegranates and leafy greens is generally quick and painless, and hearing can be fully restored.