Although a nuisance for some, ear wax is actually a very useful and natural healthy substance produced by our ears.
It helps to keep our ears clean, well lubricated and prevents them from getting too wet.
But did you know the following weird and wonderful facts?
Ear wax was the first ever lip balm! Back in the 1800s there are reports of explorers recommending its use to prevent their lips from chapping.
BACTERIA KILLING PROPERTIES
Wax contains an enzyme which can break down the cell walls of bacteria. For this reason earwax is thought to be protective to an extent against infections of the ear canal.
CURES COLD SORES
It can apparently help to cure herpes/cold sores! Russian scientists have discovered that the cerumen (earwax) of some mammals does indeed contain antistaphylococcal, antimicrococcal and antiherpes properties.
You can read an abstract from the study on pubmed here, “The anti-infective properties of mammalian earwax”
Wax helps to prevent insects from crawling into ears and can stop the insect from going too far and potentially causing any damage. (Whilst we are here talking about insects in ears…did you know which is the most common insect to crawl into ear canals? Cockroaches! Yes, someone has actually done a study into this!)
So there you have it, 4 weird (and slightly gross…) facts!
Dr Claudia Pastides