Candles have come a long way since their earliest known times from around the fourth century B.C. At one time, candles were one of the only sources of artificial light. The early Egyptians used rushes soaked in tallow (animal fat) and called them rushlights. During the time of the Roman Empire tallow was melted until it was liquid then poured over fibers of hemp or flax. The Chinese and Japanese made candles by using wax derived from insects and seeds and molded them in paper tubes. In India, taper candles were made from skimming wax off of boiling cinnamon. Beeswax candles came along in the Middle Ages, but quantities were limited, making it too expensive for anyone but the upper class.
Candle making, as we know it, made it`s debut during the thirteenth century when chandlers (candle makers) traveled door to door creating candles with the customer`s tallow or beeswax. In America, Native Americans made their first candles by using oily fish on a forked stick. Early missionaries would get their wax by boiling the bark of the Cerio tree. Early settlers of colonial America discovered that they could boil the berries from the bayberry shrub and create a wonderful smelling, good burning candle. Unfortunately, the process to make this wax was extremely tiresome and tedious. During the 19th century the first patented candle making machines were created. This allowed all homes, no matter what class, to have them.
No longer do we use candles as a primary source of light, but they`re still a very important part of our lives. We use them for many of our ceremonies, as decorations for our homes, to scent our homes, and to create warm glows in our homes during special, or romantic, occasions. What would romance be without candle light?
Source by DNea Smith
Candles have been around for centuries. Their uses in homes and other establishments are endless. They play a vital role in many important events, festivals and occasions – even considered sacred by various religions. A lot of people consider candles a must-have luxury item in homes and establishments. They are magical and beautiful in their own way, effective in creating a special sense of well-being, warmth and calm in any room.
Large companies make candles using modern equipment and technology. However, this can also be done at home using materials found in your very own kitchen. The ingredients for candle making can be purchased at local craft stores. You can create a simple candle out of the very basic ingredients or opt for a fancier type by incorporating fragrances and experimenting with different types of wax.
The wax is one of the most important ingredients in candle making. The wax you use plays an essential role in the kind of candle you will be able to create. In the past people have experimented with different raw materials to create the most unique and special wax for candle making. Coconut wax is one of the most recent discoveries.
What is Coconut Wax?
Coconut wax is made out of its raw product… (Yes, you guessed it right!) the coconut. The process involves gathering the coconut meat and cold pressing its oil. Using the hydrogenation process, coconut oil is transformed into wax. This is the same process used to make another type of candle wax, the soy wax.
More and more candle making enthusiasts now prefer to use coconut wax due to the fact that its burn is a lot cleaner compared to other types of wax. It is also said to burn a lot cooler and perfectly complements with different kinds of essential oils. Coconut is organic, sustainable and eco-friendly – factors that make it even more beneficial as an ingredient for candle making. As such, many people consider coconut wax as the best. You can also experiment with this wax by blending it with other types of candle wax.
Are you a candle making hobbyist? If you haven’t tried using coconut wax in the past, now might be a good time to experiment and discover the numerous benefits it brings to your life and home. Since scented candles also make great gifts, creating candles out of coconut wax might be a good way to impress your friends, family and colleagues.
Source by C M Baker
The reason I love animals so much is that they give off an attitude of happiness, innocence and unconditional love to their people. Our pets are just as happy being a part of our household as we are of having them with us.
But sometimes an animal comes into our life that is a bit “out there!”
For instance, the dog that has an irrational fear of rain and won’t for the life of him go outside to potty during a rain shower. Or the cat who hides for hours when a friend comes over. Or, how about the dog with attachment issues that destroys the house while you’re at work? Any of these sound familiar?
My cat’s, Sammie and Max, love to hang out on our screened-in patio. But whenever the garbage truck comes rolling in, they flee for their lives!
It might sound crazy to us, but whatever your animal’s fears or wacky behaviors may be, they are completely legitimate in their minds.
Using essential oils on your animals can really take the edge off of their anxiety, big time!
Because of an animal’s heightened senses, they respond very well to essential oils. In the wild, animals eat specific plants to heal themselves. In captivity (our homes), the plant kingdom is not readily available. Using essential oils on your pet gives them access to the vast healing properties of nature.
The three best essential oils to calm your pets are:
Peace & Calming® (a blend from Young Living)
These essential oils can be used to support your animal with; fear of rain and thunderstorms, separation anxiety, hyperactivity, trauma/abuse, depression, Illness, trips to the vet’s office, grief/loss of another family pet and any other situation that causes great stress for your animal, such as garbage trucks!
When you apply essential oils to animals, always remember less is more as animals are very sensitive to essential oils.
Also, with animals, it’s best to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as organic olive oil. I recommend one part essential oil to 1 part carrier oil for all animals EXCEPT cats. The dilution ratio for cats is 1 part essential oil to 10 parts carrier oil.
Use caution with cats!
Any of the essential oils listed in this article are safe for dogs and horses, however; cats are a different story! Cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils containing phenols, such as oregano and thyme. Cats can not effectively metabolize phenols because they lack an enzyme in their liver to digest the phenols. Avoid Peace & Calming® essential oil blend on your cat, as it does contain phenols. Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils ARE safe for cats.
How to apply essential oils on dogs, horses and cats:
For calming dogs:
Mix 1 drop Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Peace & Calming® essential oil with 1 drop carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your dogs pads, ears or comb through their fur. Apply any time you sense your dog is stressed.
For calming horses:
Mix 1 drop Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Peace & Calming® essential oil with 1 drop carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your horse’s muzzle, ears or cornet bands. Apply any time your horse is stressed.
For calming cats:
Mix 1 drop Lavender or Roman Chamomile essential oil with 10 drops carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your cat’s pads, ears or comb through their fur. Apply any time your cat is stressed.
By the way, the essential oils in this article are also good for easing your anxieties, too! Dilution is not required on humans. Just apply a drop or two on your wrists, shoulders or behind your ears.
And the next time you’re opening up a bottle of lavender essential oil, share some with your animal friends! They’ll thank you!
© 2008 Christa McCourt
Source by Christa McCourt
There are several natural waxes to choose from for your homemade candle.
While paraffin may be natural in that it’s a petroleum-based wax it has been shown to be not so healthy & doesn’t burn clean so I think we can eliminate this wax.
Healthier natural candle waxes are Palm, Beeswax, and Soy & Ghee.
Let’s check out some pros & cons of each of these waxes.
Palm in made from the wax of the berry of the Palm tree. It’s white, all natural, renewable & clean burning.
Palm wax has a unique crystalline structure that is very attractive.
It can hold a very high scent load. Some palm waxes can hold up to twice as much scent as paraffin or soy wax.
Palm wax comes in granular form, is very easy to work with & it pools evenly when lit. It doesn’t need any additives & it cleans up easily with soap & warm water.
Cons of palm wax; the cost of palm wax is a slightly more than Soy wax.
Turning to Soy candle making, this wax has lots of Pros too. It burns long, cool & clean.
Here is a list of advantages a manufacturer gives about their soy wax:
o Made with pure, 100% natural soybeans
o Longer, cooler and cleaner burning without soot buildup
o Made in the USA with domestically grown crops
o Produced containing NO Genetically Modified Material
o Manufactured meeting FDA and Kosher standards
o Easy to clean up with soap and hot water eliminating solvents
o Renewable sustainable resources requiring plant growth
o Biodegradable and free from pesticides and herbicides
o Very stable allowing for long shelf life
o Not subject to animal testing
Cons of soy candles:
It’s stated by some manufactures that soy candles are produced containing no Genetically Modified Material. For most soy waxes this is only true because after processing there is no DNA in the wax left to assess whether the soy beans used were GMO or not. In the United States in 2002, 98% of the soybean harvest was either genetically modified (GMO) or non-GMO mixed in with GMO soybeans. The only reliable source of non-GMO soybeans are Identity Preserved or Certified Organic, these are very few. This means buying soy wax that is not Identity Preserved or certified organic is supporting the biotech industry. This is a disadvantage of soy wax in my opinion. Also I feel soy candles made from GMO soybeans can’t really be called “natural” as their DNA was humanly modified, the fact that the DNA was later removed doesn’t negate that.
Now lets look at Beeswax which has been used for candles since ancient times.
It burns slow & clean & has its own sweet fragrance.
It gives of more light & heat than other waxes & is virtually drip less.
Beeswax is the only fuel to emit negative ions when burning & this process cleans the air of positive ions such as dust, odors, toxins, pollen, mold, dust mites feces, and viruses.
Lighting a beeswax candle inspires a spiritual feeling; they have traditionally been the candles of choice in many churches.
Using a sheet of beeswax & rolling it up with a wick inside is such a simple way to start making candles, a pair of scissors are the only equipment needed. Beeswax candle making with sheets is child’s play.
Poured beeswax candles are just as easy to make as candles make with other waxes.
One con for beeswax is that the price is significantly more than other waxes but this is balanced by the quality it has of burning slower & lasting longer than other waxes. Beeswax can be added to other waxes to increase their burn time. Beeswax candles have their own natural sweet fragrance with which only some aromas will nicely blend. Beeswax can be bought in either a yellow or white color. Some white beeswax may have been bleached & have chemicals added, best check with the supplier.
Bayberry wax is an aromatic greenish vegetable wax that is removed from the surface of the Bayberry by boiling the berries in water and skimming the wax from the surface. Burning a Bayberry candle to the nub during the holidays is a 300-year tradition supposed to bring good luck in the coming year. Bayberry wax is recommended for making dipped tapers only & may not burn well as votive, tea-light or pillar candles.
Bayberry wax costs about 4 times that of Beeswax. It takes 15 pounds of Bayberries to make one pound of wax. It has a warm, earthy fragrance reminiscent of newly mown hay, and dries to a lovely olive green color. A small amount can be added to other waxes to make them harder & impart its green color. This is a pro as there are no other natural colorants for candles apart from the yellow of the beeswax. All natural candles, that is totally natural candles, are white unless they have beeswax or bayberry wax added.
Ghee lamps have traditionally been used by Sikhs & Hindus for thousands of years as a spiritual practice. Lighting the light dispels darkness & brings comfort, hope & peace. Lighting a light with cow ghee specifically is said to ensure radiance & heavenly bliss, prosperity, health & happiness.
Ghee is made from unsalted clarified butter. It is easy to make for one’s self at home or one can buy it from the grocery store. Organic ghee is available. Once one learns to make a container candle one can make a ghee candle. Securing the wick in the middle of the container without glue is the trick. Traditionally the receptacle of the ghee is earthen mud, silver, gold or brass, never stainless steel. The wick traditionally is laid on the bottom of the container & is propped up on the side of the lamp rather than standing up straight in the middle. I have bought a ghee candle made in a small glass jar with a lid that has a central wick & it works fine. I would be very careful about propping the wick on the side of a glass container. Ghee is very soft at room temperature & a liquid when heated so it needs a container. My ghee candle burns without a ghee smell & gives a very sweet feeling. Now I know how to wick the jar I can keep renewing the candle by adding ghee & wicks or I can make a much bigger one that burns longer for the same price as my little store bought candle.
Whichever material you use for your candle, don’t let having to decide which wax delay you making one! Choose a wax & make a candle, its fun, can save you money & using the candles brings bliss.
Source by Jess Woods
The term “aromatherapy” is a branch of alternative medicine which claims that the specific “aromas” carried by the essential oils have curative effects. The healing art “aromatherapy” traces back to 4,000 B.C. where the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Persians use to burn herbs and flowers for curative and cosmetic purposes. In ancient Egypt, plant oils were widely used for spiritual relaxation, cosmetics and for embalming and mummification of the dead.
The term “aromatherapy candles” is used loosely in Western societies, because, unlike other cultures, we mainly use “aromatherapy candles” for “aesthetic” qualities vs. healing qualities. We want the calming, soothing aromas to aid in meditation, bathing and relaxing activities.
Natural candles are becoming more popular with the development of natural waxes such as soy wax and palm waxes. There is a greater desire by consumers to go “green” with all natural ingredients in candle making. Using all natural soy wax that is a renewable resource, grown right here in the U.S.A. has gained popularity in the few years, since the development of soy wax in 1998. Soy wax is hydrogenated soybean oil that is non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Combining all natural ingredients, including natural scents, to make an “aromatherapy” candle is highly desirable.
A lot of so called “aromatherapy” candles out on the market today contain paraffin wax (which is a byproduct of the crude oil process) and fragrance oils that are chemically derived. Some major manufacturers have paraffin wax, combined with natural scents. Some have natural waxes combined with chemical derived synthetic scents. My idea of a natural “aromatherapy candle” is one that is all natural. So, what are natural scents? They are essential oils.
Essential oils are volatile parts of plants, trees, fruits and roots that are extracted by various methods: steam distillation, cold-press extraction, chemical solvent extraction and the effleurage method. Essential oils that are “pure” will mostly have their botanical name on the jar, and come in dark colored bottles for protection from sunlight. They should be stored in cool, dark places, and out of reach of children and pets. Other essential oils are blended with carrier oils such as jojoba and are considered “diluted”. Some candle manufacturers sell “essential oils”, but they come in clear plastic containers, and are synthetically derived, or are blended with alcohol or other solvents.
Because of their concentrated nature, pure essential oils can be more expensive than fragrance oils and come in small bottles – drams (1/8 oz), 1/6 oz., etc. They either have a closed lid or a dropper to distribute the essential oils. Price can range from anywhere from $5 to $75 for a fraction of an ounce of pure essential oils.
So, how do you use essential oils in candle making? Good question – and there are many answers to that question, depending on who you talk to. When I originally tried to research this topic a year ago, there was very little information out on the Internet, with candle supply companies, or any e-books I purchased. One year later, there is a wide variety of answers published in articles, candle supply websites, and so-called “candle gurus”. Some experts claim that usage per pound of wax is 1 oz – which is similar to using fragrance oils. Now, 1 oz of pure essential oils can be either incredibly strong or incredibly expensive. Others claim that using as little 3-20 drops/pound of wax.
I personally believe that the aromatherapy candles should use much less essential oils than fragrance oils for two reasons:
1 Style & Taste. When using essential oils in aromatherapy candles, I want a milder, less dominant, natural scent aroma from the essential oils. I don’t want an over-powering Cinnamon Spice fragrance oil aroma that’s going to fill my entire house for days. I want a “natural” candle, because I want a soothing, relaxing, mild, fresh, natural aroma that gives just enough scent to soothe my senses for a beautiful bubble bath, meditation, yoga or Pilates exercises. I don’t want the aroma competing with what I’m trying to achieve – relaxation.
2. Cost. Essential oils are expensive, and cost should be considered when buying and using “pure” essential oils in candle making. First of all one dram (1/8 oz) of 100% pure Peppermint oil (made right here in the U.S.A.) on sale was $5/dram plus shipping. Honestly, do you think you it’s cost effective to use $5 of Peppermint oil in one 8-12 oz. soy candle? I don’t think so, besides, it may be too strong. Fragrance oils (mainly synthetics) can be 10 times less expensive when purchased in bulk. I’ve used blends of essential oils with 1/6 oz. and made three 12 oz. soy candles, and they were perfectly scented. So, it’s the cost/benefit rule you have to apply in determining how much you’re willing to pay to achieve your desired outcome.
Another important consideration in how much essential oils to use in candle making, is using the wax manufacturers guide in how much fragrance/essential oils that the wax will absorb in order to make a safe candle. I primarily use 100% soy waxes for my candle making, and the manufacturers recommendation is to use 3-9% of fragrance oil per pound of soy wax. There are additives which can increase those percentages, but I mainly use 1 oz. of fragrance oil/pound of soy wax, which is approximately 6%. When using essential oils, I use much less than 1%/pound of wax. It all depends on how strong or pure the natural oil is and my taste, of course!
So, with those facts explained, using essential oils is a matter of style, taste and cost. If you are selling your candles, you pass along your costs to the consumer, but hopefully, you can market and price your candles effectively to sell them at a profit. If you are making candles for your own enjoyment, then it’s a matter of what you’re happy with – milder/stronger, and whether cost is a factor for you.
Source by Laureen Falco