Essential Oils in Candles: Aromatherapy and its Benefits
People in ancient civilizations turned to nature to treat diseases and other health problems. Oils are among the most common remedy used in ancient medicine. These oils are extracted from plants abundant in their native area.
For thousands of years, many cultures in different parts of the globe use essential oils to treat abnormalities in their bodies. Scrolls and other written pieces of evidence in ancient China and Egypt provided knowledge on the effectiveness of using such oils.
In modern times, essential oils are still used in the same manner as they were in ancient medicine. Essential oils are still used in alternative medicine to treat health issues. Some of them can be applied directly to the skin while others are incorporated into medicine to lessen symptoms like respiratory congestion.
Technological advancements have made it possible for oils to be used beyond their traditional use. One example is in scented candles. Essential oils are incorporated in these candles so that consumers can take advantage of the health benefit offered by the oil used in the candle.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is one way of using essential oils. It is the art of using extracted oils infused into boiling water. Steam coming from an air diffuser creates an aroma from the essential oils that can help calm the body or open up congested parts of the body. This is especially good for those suffering from respiratory congestion. Aromatherapy can also be applied to baths, infusing the water with essential oils which helps the skin and also creates benefits through the scent of the oils.
The use of essential oils in aromatherapy has been proven effective in addressing several conditions. Karadag and his colleagues found lavender oil improved sleep quality and reduced anxiety among participants in their study. The study involved patients in the coronary intensive care unit (CICU) who were subjected to lavender essential oil through inhalation. After observation, they found that inhalation of lavender oil significantly improved the condition of the respondents.
Another study also found that essential oils are effective in preventing postoperative vomiting and nausea. It pooled more than 600 participants who were divided and exposed to different essential oil through inhalation, with one group receiving a placebo.
The following popular essential oils are the most used in aromatherapy:
Common Essential Oils in Candles
Each essential oil used in a candle offers its own health benefits. This makes candles with essential oils in them a great option to use in aromatherapy.
Some are good at providing the calm and serenity needed by the body to recuperate, while other essential oils are effective in treating or reducing symptoms associated with a health condition. The following are some of the most common essential oils used around the world:
Essential Oils For Candles
Thyme is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. It is common in France, Spain, and Morocco, where the use of this essential oil dates back to ancient civilizations.
The herb is popular in alternative medicine as it is able to produce several chemotypes including Thymus vulgaris thymol, Thymus vulgaris linalool, and Thymus vulgaris phenol. Aside from aromatherapy, thyme is also used in natural products like mouthwash and herbal rinses, hair products, insect repellent, and skin products.
Thyme essential oil produces the following effects:
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It is effective in addressing skin problems like blisters, acne, and cellulitis.
- It decreases the level of anxiety and nervousness.
- It helps stimulate menstrual flow and eases conditions like dysmenorrhea.
- It is an effective agent against bacterial strains.
- It helps relieve stress.
- It can be used to prevent and treat foodborne diseases.
Lavender oil is extracted from an herb that contains camphor, terpinen-4-ol, linalool, linalyl acetate, beta-ocimene, and 1,8-cineole. The essential oil is rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties which make it a great alternative in events that antibiotics do not work.
The linalool and linalyl in this essential oil are what that makes it ideal for use for patients suffering from sleep disturbance, aggression, and anxiety. Additionally, it is mostly used in aromatherapy massages to treat burns, abrasions, headaches, and muscle pain.
There are various application methods for lavender oil that you can use:
- A few drops of this essential oil are used in aromatherapy massages for people wanting to experience calm and be relaxed as they deal with depression, anxiety, restlessness, and stress.
- The essential oil can also be used in air diffusers for individuals who need it administered via inhalation.
Lavender oil used in aromatherapy also offers the following advantages:
- It is an effective treatment to skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles.
- It helps in improving digestion.
- It improves blood circulation.
- It stimulates urine production
The essential oil extracted from a lemon is rich in terpenes, L-limonene, and D-limonene. This essential oil also comes with traces of sesquiterpene, pinene, and phellandrene, which all contributes to the oil’s antiseptic, detoxifying, and astringent properties.
Besides aromatherapy, lemon oil can also be used as a food ingredient, as a gargle to relieve a sore throat and mouth inflammations, and as a fragrance in skin and hair products.
Lemon oil offers a lot of health benefits and its benefits include:
- It is commonly used to boost the immune system.
- It accelerates the production of white corpuscles.
- It counteracts acidity and ulcers by the use of citric acid.
- A study disclosed that lemon oil aromatherapy is effective in reducing, if not relieving, labor pain during its first stage.
- It is a remedy for nausea and vomiting.
Eucalyptus is a long evergreen plant belonging to the Myrtaceae family. Its essential oil is composed of aromadendrene limonene terpinene, cineole, cymene, pinene, and phellandrene. It is known to offer several health benefits to various parts of the body.
Advantages associated with using eucalyptus oil are:
- It regulates and activates the nervous system for headache, neuralgia, and debility.
- It boosts immunity against chickenpox, cold, influenza, and measles.
- It is used to treat leucorrhea and cystitis of the genitourinary system.
- It can alleviate inspections in the respiratory system including asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and sinusitis.
- It is also effective as a treatment for various skin problems including burns, herpes, and wounds.
- It can be used to treat various metabolic and infectious diseases due to its antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiproliferative properties.
There are more than 600 species of mint, but there are only two that are the most beneficial as an essential oil for candles.
Spearmint is a mint variety that comes with a strong aroma but with a sweet and sharp menthol undertone. Oil extracted from spearmint was found to be composed of carvone, carvacrol, limonene, menthol, menthone, and methyl acetate.
Peppermint was proven to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and fungicidal effects. This mint variety is also known to provide the following remedies:
- It helps relieve headaches and migraine.
- It acts as vasoconstrictor.
- It stimulates the nerves.
- It has decongestant properties.
- It is effective in preventing postoperative nausea.
- It is used to treat depression.
- It improves immune function.
- It is effective in uplifting a person’s mood and assist in concentration.
Rosmarinus officinalis, more popularly known as rosemary, is an herb that comes with a strong woody and herbaceous aroma. It contains chemicals like resin, tannic acid, bitter principle, and volatile oil. Bornel acetate, borneol, and other esters and special camphor that are active constituents of this essential oil.
This essential oil is commonly combined with other oils like peppermint, lavender, and frankincense to take advantage of the health benefits it offers.
Rosemary essential oil is popularly used around the world because of these types of benefits:
- It has analgesic properties.
- It is a remedy for fluid retention.
- It regulates blood pressure and relaxes the arteries.
- It helps alleviate rheumatic pain during the winter months.
- It stimulates hair growth and is also effective in dealing with dandruff and greasy hair.
- It can be used to improve cognitive function especially in people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
How to Make Scented Candles
Scented candles can be made in the safety of your home. Materials needed for them can be easily purchased and are widely available.
Essential oils you need to produce your very own candles infused with aromatic scents can easily be purchased online, at your local crafts store, or through an independent essential oil distributor.
Pick a Wax
There are various options for your scented candle when it comes to wax. Beeswax is for those who are looking for a candle that can be used for a long time and comes with a honey-like aroma. This kind of wax is a bit on the expensive side.
People looking for a cheaper but dependable variety should look into soy wax. It is widely available but tends to burn easily. The biggest advantage with opting for the latter kind of wax is that it is able to hold essential oils longer and releases them slowly as the candle burns.
Decide on a Scent
The essential oil to be incorporated into your scented candle should be appropriate for the health benefit you are aiming for. For example, you should pick a lavender essential oil if you want a candle that could help you relax or offers anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon oil is perfect for those who want to be stimulated and uplifted while eucalyptus is ideal for people suffering from issues with their respiratory system.
Research on the Right Amount of Essential Oil
While essential oils offer health benefits, you can only take advantage of what they offer if the right amount is put into your scented candle. Dr. Justin Loden of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center said that , “Dose makes the poison.” He further explained that an incorrect amount of essential oil used can produce adverse impact rather than the health benefit promised by the essential oil.
Given that essential oil will be subjected to heat, timing is crucial when adding the scents. Experts recommend adding it at the right temperature.
They claim that it is best to be infused with the wax when it reaches a temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit. A kitchen thermometer is useful at this stage as it is capable of telling you the temperature of your chosen wax.
Using Essential Oils
Essential oils have proven that they offer a lot of health benefits over the years. their use extends far and wide from alleviating symptoms like headaches, cough, and nasal congestion. They can also be effective as a treatment for more serious conditions like lowering blood pressure, decreasing first stage labor pain, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Their inclusion in candles mimics practices observed from the not so distant past. Aromatherapy has long been practiced by our ancestors to alleviate whatever wrong they are feeling with their bodies. The aroma coming from these essential oils can help maintain a relaxed mind and keep the body functioning in its normal state.
Eucalyptus, lemon, thyme, and rosemary are some of the most popular herbs they use to treat any issues they were experiencing in their bodies. Each of these essential oils offers something unique that helps in repairing health problems and/or maintaining one’s optimum health condition.
Even with all of these benefits, using essential oils in candles still requires you to practice caution. There are several studies conducted showing that overuse of such oil can lead to unwanted consequences that outweigh the benefits it delivers.
Knowing the right dosage to take advantage of what they offer is vital. Research can help you ease into knowing how to properly infuse essential oils extracted from various plants into your candle.
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