Acupuncture Ear Seeds

 Ear seeds are like time-release acupuncture. Small black seeds from the Vaccaria plant are secured in the ear with a discrete band aid like adhesive over the specific acupuncture points. The seeds stimulate the point by exerting mild pressure and can be pressed for added effect. They may remain in the ear for up to a week.

This modality is especially effective in augmenting traditional treatments for addiction, mood disorders, weight loss, curbing sugar cravings, smoking cessation, pain, anxiety, and allergies.

Ear seeds are used in treating a full range of addictions and addictive behavior. According to a study done in 2004, auricular acupuncture had a one-year success rate of 41.1% with quitting smoking, making it a competitive alternative to conventional withdrawal methods, and is without side effects. It works by balancing the body’s brain chemistry and is useful in assisting with healing the damage caused by smoking.

For addiction in general It produces a calm, yet alert feeling, reduces withdrawal symptoms, and decreases cravings. More than 2,000 drug and alcohol treatment programs in the U.S. and 40 other countries use auricular acupuncture as part of their treatment for addiction (Smith, 2012).

Several studies have shown that when acupuncture is combined with traditional methods of weight loss, patients lose more weight. A 2014 study done on auricular acupuncture for the treatment of obesity concluded that auricular acupuncture was a safe and effective treatment for weight loss, and had no adverse side effects (Schukro, 2014).

Also see NADA Protocol for more information about ear seeds.


Ausfeld-Hafter, B., Smoking cessation with ear acupuncture. Descriptive study on patients after a smoking cessation treatment with ear acupuncture, Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2004 Feb;11(1):8-13.

Schukro, R.P., et al., The effects of auricular electroacupuncture on obesity in female patients--a prospective randomized placebo-controlled pilot study, Complement Ther Med. 2014 Feb;22(1):21-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.10.002. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Smith, Dr. Michael O., The Use of Acupuncture in Addiction Treatment Program, Sep 15, 2012