Scented lights, tranquil aromas: 5 steps to make aromatherapy candles

Imagine a nice romantic evening bath surrounded by aromatic candles or an aromatic candle-light dinner at the rooftop of your home. Aromatic candles have become a fad now. People just love them due to their relaxing and calming effects. Aromatic candles go one step further and yield a soothing aroma while they burn. Light and aroma make the whole environment magical and romantic. It is a great recipe for any down-in-the-dumps evening or night. What more, candles burn without emitting intense heat like electric lights and that renders a cool air in the room where the candles are placed. This article will explain what aromatherapy candles are and how to make them at home.

Aromatherapy candles – Truths you need to know: What can be more exotic than light scented with an aroma? But not all aromatherapy candles are natural or synthetics-free. Most of the candles, labeled as made with essential oils, have paraffin wax in them. As a petroleum product, paraffin wax is not natural and is not like the natural occurring beeswax, soy wax or vegetable oil wax. Similarly, stores that claim to be selling natural substances may sell aromatic candles that are made using synthetic fragrances. This is because it takes a lot of essential oil to make an aromatherapy candle. Since this may not be affordable for some manufacturers, they tend to use synthetic perfumes to make aromatic candles. When such a candle burns, it may not emit natural aromas, but toxic ones. So, when you shop for aromatherapy candles, look for indications of natural substances that are included in the candle. A manufacturer who does not list the ingredients used may have made the candles using synthetics. Similarly one who claims the oil to be made with essential oils may actually have used chemical fragrances. To avoid falling into chemical, synthetic substances, check if your candle manufacturer has a label like any of these: ‘Made with 100% natural substances’, ‘Contains no synthetic ingredients’, ‘Paraffin Wax Free’ etc.

How to make aromatherapy candles: Making aromatic candles is easy if you know the trick of the trade – candle making. Votive candles are the easiest to make and this recipe is one that guides you in making a votive aromatic candle.

1. Melt your wax and prepare mixture: To start with, get your wax mixture ready. Use a double boiler and melt your wax for about 175 degrees F. When the wax is completely melted, add additives like stearic acid, fragrance essential oil and dye (for coloring). Ensure all these ingredients are natural and have no synthetics in them. Mix all the ingredients well while the wax is in melted form.

2. Pour into molds: Pour the wax into your votive molds. See to it that you do this in a slow and steady manner to avoid spilling. Maybe use a sheet of paper or cardboard under the molds to save your kitchen table from being spoiled. Pour till the lip and save 20% of your wax. You may require the wax a second time.

3. Insert the wicks: Once the wax has congealed a bit, insert the pre-tabbed wicks into the votive molds. Make sure that the wicks are placed at an approximately straight point and see to it that the pre-tabbed end meets the end of the wax mold. Cooling may cause the wicks to go off-center. At such times, bring them back to their center positions with a slight firmness.

4. Re-pour wax: When the wax has cooled for about  3 to 4 hours, you will notice that there are sink holes in the molds. The wax has shrunken a bit and needs to be re-filled with new wax to level the candle. Heat the 20% remaining wax to 190 degrees F and pour into the molds. Pour till the lip, but do not spill.

5. Remove from molds and use: When you notice the votive molds have cooled, you can remove the candles from the molds by placing them in freezer for five minutes. Use the candles in votive containers/holders as these candles melt a lot.

A dose of salts: 3 steps to a healing bath with essential oil bath salts

Healing baths rejuvenate a fatigued self and help you be at home with yourself. Treating yourself to a luxurious spa-like bath once in a while is simple and easy to do. It is also exciting and relaxing. If someone told you that bath salts work, try bath salts with aromatherapy oils. Yes, essential oil bath salts work great and are made of nothing but natural ingredients. Without any use of synthetics, you can make a simple bath salt recipe to soothe your skin and pamper your muscles. This article will help you by giving tips on how to make your one bath salt without trouble.

Bath salts with aromatherapy oils: To make a bath salt, you should do a few things as ground work. Read all the available safety information about essential oils and learn how to use/blend/diffuse them into your bath salt recipe. Bath salts are allergic to some due to the presence of high salt content. Check if you are allergic by taking a sample bath. Also, do not use oils that are irritating or annoying to the skin. You can end up making stuff that will not just spoil your skin, but also make you more tensed and worked up. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make bath salts at home:

1. Get your ingredients ready: As ingredients, you would require 3 cups of Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt or a blend of the two or three of these salts. Sea salts come in several sizes and if you want, for better effect, you can combine salts of different grain sizes. This would be both appealing and different. However, remember that the more the size of the salt, the greater the time it takes to dissolve in your tub. Next, you will need 15 – 25 drops of your essential oil blend or one or two essential oils. Decide on whether you plan to use essential oil blends or pure essential oils. Since pure essentials can be irritating on the skin, it is better to go with blends that have carrier oils mixed in them. You will also need 1 tbsp of fractioned coconut oil or carrier oil for moisturizing purposes.

2. Make the blend: Place all the salts into a bowl and mix them well. If you plan to include vegetable oils in your salt, mix separately (with salt) and then, add the salt with other salt mixtures and essential oils. Use a spoon or fork to do the mixing work and keep the whole thing on a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Closing the container is important in ensuring that the aroma does not escape the container before bathing.

3. Color your salts: The next in line is coloring. Most people want to color their bath salts. Though this is attractive, too much of coloring can discolor your skin, your bath tub and cause skin irritation. Even if you want to color your salts, color  them light. In light pastel colors. Naturally colored salts like Hawaiian Red Sea salt and Black Sea Pink salt can be used for natural coloring. You can mix them with other salts to get a speckled effect. If you insist on coloring, use FD&C grade liquid dye in a tiny amount (say 1/8 of a teaspoon is enough). Ensure that it is a skin-safe colorant that does not cause any kind of disorientation in your body/skin.

How to use: Add ½ cup of the bath salt made to running water or disperse it well in the tub, before bathing. Some essential oils evaporate very fast, especially ones from the Top Notes clan. If you have used any one such oil in your blend, add the salt only a few minutes before you enter. This would avoid evaporation of oil.

Calm your Chakras with essential oils: Aromatherapy for Chakra healing

Chakra healing is becoming a popular kind of alternative therapy in today’s world. People (even doctors and scientists) believe that there are about seven major Chakras and 21 minor Chakras in the body. This Chakra concept is rooted in Hinduism and dates back to 1000 B.C.. It is something akin to the Chinese healing of ‘Qi’ and the Ayurvedic energy called ‘Prana’. Chakra in Sanskrit is known as “wheel” and the Chakras in our body are nothing by energy centers that connect our physical and spiritual selves. Though they are not visible to the naked eye, the existence of Chakras is proven by the success of Chakra healing.

Chakras and Healing: Why should energy centers heal the body? There is reason. Chakras are not just energy centers, they connect us to our deeper selves like emotions, feelings, thoughts and spiritual body too. There are about seven primary Chakras in the body and each Chakra represents a set of feelings, controls organs and monitors what happens in your body. The Chakra wheel is said to spin clockwise and each Chakra is said to spin at different paces. When there is an imbalance in a particular Chakra, the body part associated with that Chakra is out of tune and this results in ill physical or emotional health.

The 7 Chakras of the body are Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra and Sacred Chakra. While the Root Chakra represents our core needs for survival, security and sexual needs, the Sacral Chakra is the seat of creativity. This also controls sexual desires. The Solar Plexus represents our identity and self-worth. The Heart Chakras is the seat of love and impacts our ability to give and receive. If you are lonely or feel that no one loves you, then, maybe there is some blockage in your Heart Chakra. For anything regarding positive communication,  the Throat Chakra should be clear, without any energy blockage. The Third Eye or Brow Chakra is the basis of common sense, wisdom, intelligence, dreams, spirituality and intuition. Memory retention is also associated with this Chakra. The Crown Chakra, the crown of all Chakras is located near the brain and influences our physical and mental atmosphere.

Aromatherapy and Chakras: Essential oils can help cure blockage or congestion in Chakras. Some of the oils that guide in balancing Chakras vary according to different Chakras.

1. Root Chakra oils: Located near the tail bone, the Root Chakra is all about understanding our deeper selves. Angelic Root, Myrrh, Frankincense, Spikenard, Vetiver, Benzoin and others. When applied directly, it influences your sense of security and enhances signs of positive productivity.

2. Sacral Chakra oils: Sacral Chakra is also the seat of sexual desire. Oils you can use for the Chakras are – Bergamot, Cardamom, Neroli, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Rose and others. Sexual problems, emotional dependency and infidelity – all occur due to imbalance in the Sacral Chakra.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra oils: Located above the naval, this Chakra can be healed by Black Pepper, Clove, Cinnamon, Mandarin, Coriander, Cypress, Ginger, Grapefruit, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang and Geranium.

4. Heart Chakra oils:
Seat of love, this Chakra needs to be pampered with Bergamot, Cypress, Lemon, Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Orange, Sandalwood, Tangerine, Melissa, Neroli and others to function in balance.

5. Throat Chakra oils: Basil, Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Spearmint and Peppermint are oils for this Chakra. The oils can improve communication skills and make you a patient listener.

6. Third Eye Chakra oils: Angelica Root, Bay Laurel, Frankincense, Patchouli, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver and Clary Sage are some of the oils used for Third Eye Chakra.

7. Crown Chakra oils: Crown Chakra, the crown of your whole self, can be balanced with Cedarwood, Elemi, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Vetiver and Rose.

Application of oils: Mix your essential oils with carrier oils and apply directly on the Chakra region. For the Root Chakra, you can apply the blend either to your feet or on your lower back. Do not apply on genitals or mucous membranes or cuts/wounds. Application of oils, along with positive orientation or Chakra music can help heal and balance your Chakras in a very effective way.

The sweet scent of natural incense: How to make incense at home

Incense and aromatherapy are inter-related like no other. Since ancient times, people have considered it essential to burn incense to clear out odors, to bring in positive energy and create a refreshing and pleasant atmosphere. Our forefathers used natural herbs, resins and gums as incense during religious or ritualistic events and ceremonies. Though incense burning is more common these days, most of the incense burnt are synthetic stuff, made out of chemical fragrances than natural essential oils or resins. One can make natural incense at home using aromatherapy essential oils. This article will elaborate in detail on how to make incense using plant oils.

Forms of incense available: It is not that only ancients used essential oils for incense making. Even our incense manufacturers use them for better aromas. But the problem is, most of such current day incense sticks contain a lot of synthetic materials. Completely devoid of natural stuff, synthetic incense sticks may emit toxic elements in the atmosphere, and slowly turn detrimental to our health.

Incense sticks: Incense sticks are the most common form of incense. They can be dipped or hand-rolled, depending on the manufacturer and their place of production. Dipped incense sticks consist of thin wooden sticks that have a combustible powder coating of charcoal or wood. These sticks are then dipped aromatic essential oils and dried for use. Hand-rolled incense sticks are popular in countries like India and are more natural compared to the dipped ones.

Incense cones: These are commercially available stuff and contain a lot of synthetics. However, you can use essential oils to make natural incense cones. The basic ingredients include a combination of powdered plant substances, aromatic items like resins, gums etc. and combustible powders.

Other incense items: Smudge sticks used by Native Americans use white sage and make long sticks out of them. Then, they bundle them and burn them together. Most of the smudge sticks are made from plant products like Sweet Grass, Juniper Berries etc. Another incense item of significance is the Japanese ‘Koh’. It is an equivalent of spaghetti in structure and shape and is made of powdered wood, herbs, resins and essential oils. Aromatic natural resins like Frankincense, Myrrh, Opoponax and Dragon’s Blood can be burned alone as incense. Woods like Aloeswood, Sandalwood and Cedarwood can also be burned alone, with chips, woods or resins.

If you note, aromatic oils play a part in all the above forms of incense. Though this is good, when commercially used, these aromatic substances are mixed with synthetics and sold. This can be toxic to people with respiratory problems and others who are allergic to certain chemicals. To avoid such overuse of synthetics, it is better to use natural plant products. Below is a recipe on how to make incense at home:

How to make incense at home: Combine 1 part of Frankincense powder, 1 part of Myrrh powder, 1 part of Sandalwood powder, 3-4 parts of Makko powder and 4-5 drops of essential oil of your choice. This one part can be one tbsp of something. Mix the ingredients with a spoon or fork in a bowl and add water drop by drop. Bring the mixture to a dough like consistency and add essential oils of your liking. You can use Frankincense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver or Orange. They work well when it comes to making incense. Once the mixture is ready for use, make them into cones or roll them using your hands into sticks. Dry the cones/rolled sticks on wax paper for 2 to 3 days and use after that.

Essential oils for men: 4 masculine blends to treat the man in you

Men generally like to express a strong sense of masculinity. They try to implement this in their scents and other personal care substances. When making essential oil blends, you should make it a point to include oils that have a strong scent and an irresistible masculine odor. This article will explain to you how to make essential oil blends for men and illustrate how a slight change in your recipes can make your blend masculine or a man’s favorite.

Aromatherapy for Men: It is said that there are several essential oils which are liked by men. Some of them are Patchouli, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Bay, Cypress, Ginger, Black Pepper, Vanilla, Vetiver and Citrus oils. These favored oils, when added to blends prepared for men, will make the blend more invigorating and exciting for a man’s use. There are several other oils which are said to be liked by men of all ages. They are: Allspice, Davana, Gurjurum Balsam, Basil, Anise, Bergamot, Blue Cypress, Cardamom, Clary Sage, Cinnamon, Coriander, Fennel, Lime, Mandarin, Melissa, Myrtle, Nutmeg,  Oregano, Parsley, Petitgrain, Tangerine, Thyme, Scotch Pine, Tobacco, May Chang, Mullein, Grapefruit, Fir Needle, Hyssop, Manuka, Marjoram, Sweet Orange, Bitter Orange, Neroli etc.

Masculine Blends: There is nothing as masculine blends or feminine blends. Generally, blends that are favored by men or women are called so. It is assumed that men do not favor floral oils. This is not true. There are men who like floral blends too. If you need to add floral oils to an essential oil blend prepared for men, you can add other oils to make the blend masculine in spite of the floral essences. Below are a few tips to make masculine blends that have a strong aroma and are sturdy and confident in nature:

1. To give a blend a masculine note, you can add Black Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg and Coriander or other spice oils. Remember that spice oils can be exceptionally sensitizing to the skin and by their nature, their aroma is favored by men. With a strong aroma, they have the power to attract women toward men.

2. Earthy aromas also make good essential oil blends for men. Oakmoss is a subtle absolute that yields an earthy aroma to any blend. If your masculine blend experiment turns out wrong, don’t worry. Just add this fixative and you will fix everything in the blend. Yes, Oakmoss has the power to transform the blend more masculine and earthy on account of its strong aroma.

3. On a general note, floral essential oils are said to be hackers of masculine blends. So, avoid oils with floral essences of all sorts. If they are crucial to your blend, add fixative or other oils that yield strong masculine aroma to make the blend more balanced and pro-masculine. These subtle changes can uplift an otherwise boring or lifeless blend.

4. Citrus oils, though they have a floral aroma, are good enhancers of masculine blends. They can invigorate a blend’s aroma with energy and life. To uplift your manly spirit, use citrus oils that are sprightly and vivacious.

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena
Latin Name: aloysia triphylla syn. lippia citriodora, verbena triphylla, lippia triphylla

Alternative Name: yerba louisa, cedron, herb louisa, verveine citronelle or odorante, lemon-scented verbena

Forms Available: Leaf, flower Lemon Verbena – aloysia triphylla syn. Lippia citriodora – Lemon Verbena has strongly lemon-scented whorls of three or four leaves along its stems and panicles of tiny, pale summer flowers. The leaves are used to flavor drinks and fruit and sweet dishes, and to make herb tea. The tea is refreshing and mildly sedative. The leaves also yield a green coloring and essential oil. The leaves and flowering tops are used to lower fevers and to relieve gas and indigestion. Lemon Verbena is calming, a sedative for the nerves. Steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes and take one-fourth cup four times a day. Stimulating to the skin, lemon verbena makes a good facial scrub for pimples and blemishes. To make the scrub, grind the dry herb or use the powder and mix in a little natural clay and ground oatmeal, add water to make a paste.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: The leaves and flowering tops are used to lower fevers and to relieve gas and indigestion. Lemon Verbena is calming, a sedative for the nerves. Other Uses: Often sold simply as “Verbena” This full lemon-scented essential oil is wonderful in love blends. Added to other mixtures to increase their strength, and is also used to purify an area or is added to bathwater for protection and purification purposes.

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Latin Name: citrus limon
Alternative Name: citrus medica, citrus limoum, citronnier, neemoo lemoo, limoun, limone
Forms Available: essential oil, peel

Lemon – citrus limus – The fruit, juice, and peel of citrus fruits flavor food and drink and provide vitamin C. Essential oils from the peel scent food, cosmetics and perfume. The seed oils are used in soaps.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Acne; Anemia; Brittle Nails; Boils; Chilblains; Corns; Cuts; Greasy Skin; Herpes; Insect bites; Mouth Ulcers. Key Qualities: Refreshing, Mental Stimulant; Cephalic; Purifying; Reviving; Strengthening; Soothing.

Other Uses: Use in Lunar oils. Wear diluted lemon oil during the Full Moon to attune with its energies. Use in purification and healing oils. Purification; Love. A Lemon may serve as a poppet.

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Latin Name: cymbopogon citratus
Alternative Name: melissa grass, sereh
Forms Available: essential oil, leaf, stem

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Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus – This aromatic grass has clumped, bulbous stems becoming leaf blades and a branched panicle of flowers. The stem and leaf, used widely in Thai cuisine, have a distinct lemon flavor. Leaf tea treats diarrhea, stomachache, headaches, fevers, and flu, and is antiseptic. The essential oil is used in cosmetics, food and aromatherapy.

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Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Acne; Athlete’s Foot; Excessive Perspiration; Open Pores; Pediculosis; Scabies; Tissue Toner; Muscular Pain; Poor Circulation and Muscle Tone. Key Qualities: Refreshing; Active; Stimulating; Soothing.

Other Uses: The essential oil strengthens psychic awareness and is also useful in purification mixtures.

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Latin Name: glycyrrhiza glabra

Forms Available: powder, root powder

Licorice – glycyrrhiza glabra – Licorice is a wonderful tonic herb for winter illnesses and immune, digestive tract, respiratory tract, and adrenal gland support. It is also excellent for children’s health. Sweet-tasting licorice root is an outstanding tonic for the endocrine system and is specific for the reproductive system. It is particularly effective for relieving adrenal exhaustion, which is so prevalent in those who suffer from depression. Licorice will revitalize the adrenals if used over a period of weeks or months. It has constituents that are similar in function to the natural steroids in the human body. Licorice is also highly regarded as a remedy for the respiratory system and it is used as a soothing demulcent and anti-inflammatory remedy for respiratory problems. The effective yet delicious qualities of this herb help make it one of the most important herbal remedies for children. Because of its extremely sweet flavor, licorice is best used with other herbs. For adrenal exhaustion, lethargy and fatigue, drink 2-3 cups of tea made from licorice blended with astragalus, sarsaparilla, burdock root and dandelion or with wild yam, sarsaparilla, burdock root, and sassafras. Caution: There have been studies indicating licorice’s ability to induce water retention and thus raise blood pressure levels, but most of the studies were done on licorice extracts, licorice candy and allopathic medication–not on the whole plant. However, licorice is not recommended for individuals who have high blood pressure due to water retention. And those on heart medication should check with their health care provider before using licorice. Licorice is generally safe for children and the elderly, which usually means it’s safe for everyone in between. Licorice is used in Ayurvedic medicine for inflmmation, abscesses and skin problems. Make a paste and apply to the skin.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Hhighly regarded as a remedy for the respiratory system and it is used as a soothing demulcent and anti-inflammatory remedy for respiratory problems. Revitalizes the adrenals if taken over a period of weeks or months.

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