10 January 2009

Aromatherapy candles are a small, beautiful light/heat source, and candles can be so wonderfully herbal or floral aromatic as they burn. They add a beautiful, ambient touch to a romantic evening, help add an air of relaxation and calmness at bath time and provide a sense of comfort. Burn aromatherapy candles to alter, enhance, and improve your state of mind while adding a touch of nature's pure perfume to your surroundings.

Candles are used in religious ceremonies, in meditation and in so many other applications where a sense of enlightenment, relaxation or calm is sought.

The chemicals in the essential oils enter your body as you breathe, and travel throughout the body, including the brain, through the bloodstream. You receive subtle benefits as the chemicals interact with your body. Don't expect to receive full healing benefits by lighting a candle, but aromatherapy candles provide the same dual benefits

Most candles are not all natural, even if they are marketed with the word aromatherapy. There are extra worries as they can be made with other dangerous chemicals. Burn synthetic ingredients or even natural ingredients with toxic compounds, and despite how pleasantly fragrant the air is that you breathe, you will still inhale toxins.

Lead free wicks and no animal by-products are all things to look for when you choose scented candles. Scented candles are a lot different than those made from essential oils, the same way that essential aromatherapy oils are different from perfumed oils.

When you're choosing your essential oils, beware of companies that don't give explicit details of where and how these candles are made. This in itself is a problem as there are no current laws requiring labeling for therapy candles.

The Wax Used to Produce the Candles
Candles made with waxes that emit toxins when burned (paraffin) aren't considered aromatherapy grade. Most of us without thinking just buy for the scent, color, and price. Paraffin is a wax commonly used in candle-making and it's a petroleum-based product, therefore it's like industrial oil.

Beeswax, Palm, Soy, other vegetable based waxes and perhaps bayberry are the waxes of choice by those who are environmentally conscious and by those involved in aromatherapy. Check the ingredients to ensure that no other unsafe ingredients were added.

They may cost you more since you'll be using only the best possible ingredients, but it will be well worth the cost. Those wishing to produce natural candles face several challenges because of pros and cons of each wax and the higher cost of each wax. Soy, for instance is a soft wax, the favorite wax used for candle making and is said to be by many, the cleanest burning of all candle waxes. It also retains the aroma longer than others. Aside from small votives and tea lights, larger soy based candles are usually available only as larger container candles. Beeswax is a much firmer wax, but is expensive and has its very distinctive but pleasant honey-like aroma and color.

When you see displays of colorful and highly fragrant candles in department stores, specialty stores and even in health-conscious stores, it's not uncommon to find the word "aromatherapy" used on candles that are fragranced with fragrance oils and/or use paraffin wax.

The Quantity Essential Oil Required to Make Aromatic Candles
It requires a significant amount of essential oil in order for the fragrance of the essential oil to be detectible in the candle. As a result, most candles on the market use synthetic fragrance oils. The same holds true for bar soap manufacture, though there are more aromatherapy grade bar soaps available than candles.

The Candle Wicks
Lead free wicks are now required in many regions of the world because studies have shown how poisonous lead can be. Unfortunately, there are candles manufactured in some countries that still use lead or other metals to strengthen the wicks. You can find candles lovingly made by caring people with wicks of natural fibers such as cotton and hemp. The size of the wick and the insertion method also affect how the candle will burn, another reason to know your retail source.
If you plan to make candles you can find them in a variety of lengths and with the little metal tabs at the bottom already attached. Some wicks are coated in wax to help them burn with more control. As you will see below non-petroleum based waxes are recommended. When metal is used to keep wicks straighter, zinc cores now replace lead.

The Candles Colorants
Several brightly colored herbs and fruit fibers may work successfully when blended with natural waxes and burned.

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