Aromatic candles have been used as a source of alternative therapy for many years. The health benefits of essential oils have been well documented. Diffusing these scents into the air can not only make your environment smell more fragrant but can also provide positive benefits.
Candles themselves have long been used as a practical way to light an environment whether this is historically, as the only source of light, or to create pleasant ambient lighting. They are great as decoration in our homes, to disinfect the air and freshen the environment around us.
Candles and aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a natural source of therapy harnessing the power of essential oils and aromatic compounds to enhance, improve, stimulate and alter a persons physical and mental health.
Using the power of these natural sources to scent a room can boost our mood, improve our mental health and stimulate us. Candles are an excellent way to diffuse these scents into the environment and can easily be made at home.
Below is a small list of some of the most popular scents and the properties associated with these oils:
- Apple can relieve tension headaches
- Cedar has a relaxing fragrance. Cedar heightens optimism and is a positive mood enhancer.
- Cinnamon boosts mental stimulation and relieves the symptoms of exhaustion and nervous fatigue.
- Coconut has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties so it can disinfect the air
- Eucalyptus has a powerful scent to cleanse the air and aid mental acuity
- Gardenia has a tranquil and calming scent, This will improve mood and increase serenity.
- Jasmine has a calming and soothing scent. It has a soporific effect.
- Lavender is used to treat stress, anxiety and depression. This is a calming scent.
- Lemon has a therepeutic scent. This citric smell has anti-bacterial qualities and can freshen a room, but also works as an anti-depressant.
- Orange calms the mind and body.
- Rose can aid sleeplessness, restore hormonal balance in women and has a calming effect.
- Thyme is useful for fatigue this scent will also ease nervous anxiety and relieve stress;
- Vanilla has a tranquilising effect and can aid insomnia and is a good mood lifter.
How to make a scented candle
What do I need?
- Candle pellets (paraffin/wax)
- Essential oils. Using the information above, you can choose which oil to mix in with your wax depending upon what effect you wish to achieve.
- A mould (you can choose a mould to suit your home decor)
- A pot for melting the wax (use something you won’t prepare food in)
- A pan to place the pot in
- A clamping bar
- A wick (made from a cotton string, the wick runs through the center of candles so that they can be lit). You can find these in your local craft or hobby shop.
Begin by measuring enough of the candle pellets into your melting pot to fill your chosen mould(s). Place your pan on the stove, half fill it with water and, as it comes to a slow boil, place your pot inside the pan (water bath) and stir the wax with a spatula. Once the wax has melted, take it off the heat and, after a few minutes, you can add a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Don’t add the oil when the wax is too hot or it will evaporate.
Next, prepare your mould and your wick by greasing it with kitchen oil. Tie one end of your wick to the clamping bar and pour your melted wax into your mould ensuring the wick runs through the centre of the candle wax.
You will need to wait approximately five hours for the wax to cool and to set properly at room temperature. Once cooled, you can simply pop the candle out of the mould. If you notice any air bubbles or flaws on the surface then, using some alcohol on a cloth, wipe these until they disappear.
Once you have the hang of this simple process, you can experiment by adding decorative petals, paper and natural foliage. As well as being of positive benefit around your own home they can also make great gifts for friends and family.
Make a candle in an orange peel mould
Using the same method as above, you can make a natural mould using the peel of an orange or other citrus fruit. Carefully cut the fruit into half and scoop out the flesh using a a spoon, avoiding cutting into the peel (see below).
Don’t waste the fruit as you can save this for a snack afterwards.
Following the steps already outlined, just use the orange half as your mould and let the candle set.
Let the wax set