Aromatherapy Candles - Do You Know How to Use These 14 Key Essential Oils? by Justine van Zyl
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, largely for medicinal purposes. Although the medical emphasis started to decline about 100 years ago, aromatherapists stayed focussed and have been studying the effect of essential oils on the body and brain for hundreds of years.
Although the cosmetic and perfume industries had become the major users of essential oils as mainstream medical interest declined, the pendulum started to swing back in 1928, when RenÃ©-Maurice CattefossÃ© first used the term aromatherapy. Other pioneers helped foster renewed focus on essential oils, and there is now greater interest than ever in their use for cosmetic, therapeutic and spiritual purposes. Today's aromatherapists can call on at least 90 essential oils, which can be used either singly or combined. Naturally, in this modern age, they are cautious in their recommendations and claims - but they themselves are convinced believers.
Aromatherapy Fragranced Candles
Candle makers have recognised this renewed interest, and provide a wide range of products for those who want to combine a love of candles with an interest in aromatherapy. Obviously, the candles do not give as intense an effect as the direct application of an essential oil, but instead provide a more subtle influence. As they burn the candles release a continuous stream of vaporized essential oils into the air, which you absorb as you breathe. First they stimulate the olfactory nerves that lead from the nose to the brain, and then they enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. And depending on what you want to achieve, there is probably an oil that will do just what you want it to.
The Abbreviated List
A list of 90 different oils is a bit much for a non-expert to absorb, so here is an abbreviated guide to some of the more common oils, and their associated recommendations:
- Bergamot - extracted from a citrus fruit. Used to fight depression, and reduce stress and fatigue.
- Chamomile - calming, refreshing, antiseptic.
- Eucalyptus - stimulant, antiseptic. Recommended for treating coughs and colds. Used as insecticide and germicide.
- Geranium - good for the skin, recommended for depression. Found in window boxes (particularly in Europe), it is a good household insecticide.
- Jasmine - anti-depressant, antiseptic. Used to overcome anxiety and depression.
- Lavender - the world's most common essential oil, used since the Middle Ages. Relaxes, calms, antiseptic.
- Neem - extracted from an Indian tree and is used primarily in health and beauty products. Said to be anti- almost everything - antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antihistamine, among others. One of the major essential oils.
- Neroli - derived from orange blossoms. Said to be calming and good for treating insomnia.
- Orange - another product from the orange tree, this time pressed from the skin of the fruit. Relaxes and calms, and is often mixed with other oils.
- Oregano - another of the majors, with just as many "antis" in its list of properties as Neem oil.
- Rose - pricey, as all who encounter it in skincare products will know. Also an antiseptic and anti-depressant.
- Rosemary - physical and mental stimulant, but also very relaxing at the end of a stressful day.
- Tea Tree - derived from an Australian tree, it has a wide range of uses, and at one stage was even in military first-aid kits. Another of the major essential oils.
- Ylang Ylang - very fragrant, relieves pain, eases anxiety, aphrodisiac.
Even Aromatherapy Soy Candles
These, and many others, are available in a wide range that includes aromatherapy soy candles. Of course, sampling this list might lead to a storage area loaded with a large variety of candles. But when it comes to aromatherapy candles, can you really have too much of a good thing?