Candles many no longer be one of the main sources of indoor illumination, however, the candle-making industry appears to be growing stronger by the day. Candles are one of mankind’s oldest inventions and they have witnessed various stages of evolution over millennia; yet, they remain relevant in the present day and age. Asides from the use of candles as a main source of light – particularly in third world and developing countries – scented candles are another reason for the abiding popularity of candles in the world today. Scented candles play a major role in aromatherapy, which practically makes them indispensible.
THE ORIGIN OF THE USAGE OF CANDLES
The exact origins of candles are not known and no one individual has ever been credited for its invention. However, the roots of this invention can be traced all the way to the ancient Romans, several millennia ago. Back then – and up until centuries ago – candles were made from boiled down fat which was gotten from sheep, cows and whales amongst others. At some point in time candles were even made from insects wrapped up in paper. This was done particularly in some parts of Asia.
The main purpose of lighting candles in the old days was illumination. This was because in those times, there were very few options for indoor lighting aside from candles and lamps. However, the invention of light bulbs in the 18th century created a decline in the demand for candles. In order to remain relevant, candles had to undergo a form of evolution which basically involved changes in the kind of need they served.
This process of changing or adapting with the times has never been new to candles as their evolution has been happening long before the creation of light bulbs. This is remarkably apparent in the various changes that have occurred in the type of materials used for making candle wax; from boiled down fat to beeswax and eventually paraffin wax, which is the most common material used for making candles today. And so, when light bulbs became popular, candles found a way to remain relevant and – perhaps – even indispensible. In was during this period that scented candles began to gain popularity because they emitted soothing fragrance which light bulbs cannot produce. And today, the usage of candles in the area of aromatherapy is widespread and undeniable.
WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE USE CANDLES
While the popularity of candles cannot be denied, it is apparent that some people seem have a greater love of them compared to others. Candles have been used for many reasons over the year, particularly for indoor lightning in the old days, before the invention of electricity and the light bulb. And though the world has since advanced, lighting still remains one of the most notable uses of candles in the present day and age.
Candles can also be used to provide warmth by heating up a room. Scientists have discovered that a single lit candle can produce up to 80 W of energy, majority of which is heat. And so, 20 candles can produce about 1600 W of energy which should be enough to produce warmth and heat up a room. However, burning twenty candles in one room seems like a lot, especially when there are other suitable alternatives (such as a home thermostat); not to talk of the fact that it can constitute a fire hazard.
Other uses of candles include setting the mood, as candles have a soothing quality about them that creates a tranquil and romantic atmosphere. Many others use scented candles in aromatherapy, because the fragrance emitted can help in relieving stress and can also help people sleep.
All these uses combine to create a very special niche for candles – particularly scented candles, in the field of aromatherapy – and this niche comprises primarily of very distinct sets of people, which include:
Insomnia is a term used for a situation where an individual has trouble sleeping. It is a medical condition which can be treated with a whole array of approaches. Aromatherapy with the aid of scented candles is one of them.
The soothing fragrance emitted from scented candles can create a tranquil atmosphere for insomniacs who respond well to comforting smells. Candles with scents such as lavender appear to be more effective in this area as they are more popularly used to treat insomnia compared to some other scents. But it all depends on the preference and requirement of each individual.
- People who want to relieve stress
The use of candles – particularly scented candles – to relieve stress falls under the area of aromatherapy and it involves inhaling the soothing fragrance emitted from burning scented candles. It is quite common to hear people talk about lighting a few scented candles while they soak themselves in the bath, after a very long day at work. Even the mere act of staring at the flames of scented candles while allowing the mind to drift has been reported to have a calming effect on many.
Drowsiness is a common resultant effect of using scented candles to relieve stress, which is also, coincidentally, the desired effect of using candles to treat insomnia. And while drowsiness itself isn’t bad, it is the idea of falling asleep with a candle burning indoors that may constitute the risk of a fire outbreak.
- People who want to purify their aura
It may not come as a surprise to many, but candles are a major part of many traditional and religious rites from all over the world. Some of those rites have to do with the cleansing or purifying of auras which can be described as the subconscious and somewhat magical or metaphysical imprints that each soul carries around with them (or leave behind on items and other people that they have interacted with). And so when some people begin to feel down or tired all the time or just not themselves, they may be advised to purify their aura. More often than not, this process may involve lighting candles, particularly scented candles.