Essential oils are highly volatile extracts of potentially beneficial plants distilled in oil. This process of extracting the plants’ chemical compounds and using them for various purposes has been practiced in different cultures for hundreds of years. Nowadays, these oils are highly popular in complementary and alternative medicines. They have proven to be effective and useful in a broad range of applications, from medical practices to cosmetic products and even food preparation.
Uses of Essential Oils
One of the most popular benefits of essential oils is their wellness application. These oils are often used to relieve stress, boost energy, quell nausea, improve the quality of sleep, and so much more. They can even help with congestion relief – this is one benefit that many people do not know, but essential oils like peppermint oil do just that. Depending on the type of oil, they offer a number of medicinal and therapeutic uses. These beneficial compounds are delivered in three ways: oral ingestion, topical application, and inhalation.
Over the years, a number of hard-hitting studies have outlined the dangers associated with candles using paraffin wax. These potential dangers ranged from migraines to asthma to cancer. Scientists have found that paraffin wax leaves ultra-fine soot that contains a mixture of harmful carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, toluene, acetone, benzene, and other heavy metals. Formaldehyde has also been found in popular house candle brands using paraffin wax. As expected, this news started a storm of homemakers looking for safer and healthier alternatives.
And essential oils were the answer.
Benefits of Essential Oils in Candle Making
When added to candles, essential oils can provide a number of positive qualities over other synthetic scents. The oils react well to heat, which makes diffusing the scents is possible. The smell, when passed to the brain, reaches our limbic system and triggers different responses.
Essential oils are all-natural and organic, which means that you do not have to worry about harmful chemicals being released into the air. Instead, you will get to inhale the soothing scents as well as the many benefits that these oils bring. Additionally, burning candles with essential oils releases thousands of oxygenating molecules and ions that can rid the air of mold spores, bacteria, pet dander, and pollen. Lastly, essential oils are highly concentrated, so a few drops of these will give that much-needed scent to your candles.
Choosing Essential Oils for Candle Making
So, how do we go about choosing which essential oil is the best for us? Depending on what you need to improve or work on – whether it is your mood, sleep, or energy – here are some of the best essential oils for your candles.
Lavender has been used in many cultures throughout history, including the ancient Egyptians who used it as a perfume and as part of their mummification process. In recent times, this essential oil is probably the most popular oil used in candle making due to its relaxing and calming properties. The oil works by stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system, which affects our rest and digest state. When we are stressed or anxious, our sympathetic nervous system is hard at work. So, to counter this effect, lighting a candle with lavender scents will effectively calm your mind and help you relax.
Believe it or not, lavender’s benefits extend beyond relaxation and stress relief. It has also been proven to be very effective as a safe alternative to bug repellants, as most insects do not like the smell of lavender. Simply put, a lavender-infused candle around windows and doors to prevent insects from flying in.
When you walk into a room, there is no mistaking the intense and sweet floral fragrance of Ylang Ylang. Some people might describe the aroma as quite intoxicating. You will only need to use around eight to ten drops of the oil to your wax when making your candles. Otherwise, too much of this heady aromatic scent can become overwhelming.
This essential oil is derived from yellow, star-shaped flowers that are native to countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and some parts of Australia. It is another popular oil known for its many wellness benefits. A number of anecdotal evidence have proven that when inhaled, this essential oil can significantly relieve stress, reduce blood pressure rates, and even treat asthma. In many countries around Asia, this flower is used as a folk remedy to reduce sexual anxiety and increase sexual desire.
Jasmine flowers are known for their sweet, romantic fragrance, making them quite popular among some of the world’s best-known perfume brands. For centuries, these flowers have been used for their various health benefits, including stress reduction and skincare.
When added to candles and inhaling the Jasmine oil molecules, the scent effectively stimulates our limbic system. This system is heavily involved in controlling our emotions and our nervous system. Several studies have shown that Jasmine oils can reduce stress, boost mood, improve sleep, and alleviate nausea. It is also said to act as an aphrodisiac.
Another amazing essential oil for candle making is Frankincense. This fragrance may smell like the holiday season to you, but this oil has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. It provides an earthy, slightly sweet and woodsy aroma, which will help you improve focus, concentration, meditation, and reduce distractions, impatience, and irritability. Because of its effects, this scent is used in many spiritual and meditative practices like yoga. It promotes a sense of peace, grounding, and connectedness.
This oil comes from the resin of the Boswellia sacra trees, typically grown in Ethiopia, Somalia, Oman, and Yemen. It can be used on its own, or it can be used in blended form. Frankincense oil mixes well with citrus oils like lime and wild orange. It also has a good base note, making it a good blend for other oils such as Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Rose, and Clary Sage. Adding a few drops of essential oils to your candles can make a huge difference to the benefits we receive from lighting these waxes and inhaling their fragrances. Depending on your need, there are a number of essential oils to choose from. Each oil carries its own advantages. Some oils work best separately, while others work in blended forms. The important thing is to choose a safe and all-natural essential oil for your candles.