The Many Qualities of Candles

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by Mary Scot

Most typically, we think of lighting candles to brighten a room or to provide a nice scent. They are used to accent the decor or to create a warm atmosphere or as a special centerpiece for an event. Children look forward to the candles on their birthday cake. A basket of candles, along with various holders and flowers, makes a beautiful gift.

Have you considered the soothing affect of aromatherapy candles? Especially after a particularly trying day, candles can be used to help us to calm down. They are an inexpensive and healthy way to lighten our mood and are easily purchased on many sites on the Web or in a gift shop or in just about any department store.

Aromatherapy is a natural healing alternative that uses the oils extracted from flowers, herbs, fruits other plants and even trees. The benefits of burning aromatherapy candles may be experienced when the oils are inhaled. These oils act on the olfactory nerves that lead from the nose to the brain. They contain antibiotic, antiviral, and other therapeutic properties.

Aromatherapy candles are usually a combination of scents to provide relief to a variety of ailments. For example, Cinnamon Clove Mandarin has a very spicy aroma that acts as a stimulant. Perhaps, you don’t want to be stimulated. Then, a mixture of Honeysuckle and Chamomile creates a relaxing atmosphere and rejuvenates the body after a long, hard day.The many qualities of candles

In addition to mood altering scents, there are certain medicinal qualities in aromatherapy. Lavender not only creates a feeling of deep calm, but also soothes the nervous system and stimulates the immune system.

Combining the soothing scents of aromatherapy candles with a hot, relaxing herbal tea bath is a great stress reliever.

Candles are also used as a meditation aid. A popular item, the Zen Candle, helps to create a Zen retreat into a personal serenity zone.

Are you environmentally conscious? Then, candles made of soy are your choice. Soy wax is also a favorite of environmentally conscious consumers. Made from American-grown soybeans, it’s biodegradable, a renewable resource, and from a global point of view, it supports the U.S. economy instead of foreign oil conglomerates. They also burn slower and cooler (helping to better distribute fragrance), are non-toxic, less likely to trigger allergies, clean up with soap and water, and produce very little soot. These factors tend to make them more animal and child-friendly than traditional candles.

Do you know that candles can be used to remove earwax? Using ear candles is called ear candling. Ear candles, sometimes called ear cones, are considered a folk medicine. The practice of ear candling is actually an ancient art from many other countries such as China, Czechoslovakia, Mexico and Italy. Ear candling dates back to at least around 2500 B.C. There is evidence that it was used by the Hopi Indians, Aztecs, Egyptians, and in India, China, and Tibet at that time.

Ear candles are made from a 50/50 blend of beeswax and cheese-grade paraffin (the wax is “safe for human consumption”). The average length is 10 1/2 inches. There are two widths, 1/2″ and 5/8″. When using ear candles, the small end of the cone is put into an ear and the other end is lit. As the candle burns, the smoke travels into the ear canal, warming the earwax and creating a gentle vacuum.

Of course, one must take care in burning candles. Never leave a candle burning unattended or in the reach of a small child. Turning off the lights in a room will immediately call attention to any candles that have been left burning. Finally, purchasing a safe candleholder that will insure that the candle will not fall over is important.

Next time your life seems to be spinning out of control, consider relaxing and enjoying the warmth and soothing qualities of candles before attacking the problem at hand.