Lavender aromatherapy candles

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Visit our shop (sale now on!), where you can buy one of our scented candle relaxation or sleep packages. Our candles are made with 100% natural wax (soy and rapeseed) and fragranced with the pure essential oils of lavender, bergamot and geranium. The perfect remedy for tension and stress! Our candle does not contain any paraffin wax or synthetic fragrance. Plus all packages come with a free relaxation or sleep guide!

Lavender is one of the most well-known, popular and versatile essential oils, widely recognised for the natural source of relief it provides to the common physical and psychological ailments that occur throughout our lifetime. It has a clean, herbaceous and refreshing scent that is easily recognisable. The name ‘lavender’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Lavare’ which literally means ‘to wash’ (Fischer-Rizzi, 1990).

Its many benefits have been well-documented over time and it continues to be a reliable choice of candle for those who practice aromatherapy. We will firstly look at the origins of lavender essential oil itself, explore its history and go onto to look in more detail at its ability to help wellbeing, reduce anxiety, improve mood, aid sleep, and finally to reduce pain and headaches.

Origins of lavender
English Lavender is native to Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions where it still grows wild. Its essential oil is often obtained from the plant’s flowers, which have the highest concentration of oil and are said to contain the sweeter and more aromatic oil. A process of steam distillation is normally used to collect the oil.

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Today, lavender flowers are cultivated in different areas of the world for commercial use (cosmetics and aromatherapy), mostly in Western European countries such as France, Germany and England (Cseke et al., 1999).

Lavender oil has a long and rich history and has been used extensively by various cultures in remedies, rituals and perfumes. For example, linen sheets were dipped in lavender oil during the sacred and common Egyptian practice of mummification; the smell was so powerful that ancient tombs still contain traces of its distinctive scent! (Deer, 2011).

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Aromatherapy candles
In order to make an aromatherapy candle, lavender essential oil is combined with the melted wax, and once the candle sets, it can be lit, allowing the fragrant oils to be released. Aromatherapy allows the absorption of essential oils through inhalation. Our sense of smell is thought to be the strongest of our senses and deeply linked to our ability to heal from within (Buckle, 1999).

Discovery of the Medical Benefits of Lavender
In the sixteenth century in France, where lavender was used a fragrance, it was observed that glove makers that used lavender as part of their line of work where immune to cholera. In many other instances, lavender was also observed to significantly reduce the risk of contracting unpleasant diseases (Deer, 2011). Lavender oil was proven to be a useful medical aid as well as a powerful fragrance.

In 1910, French doctor René-Maurice Gattefossé recognised the healing properties of lavender essential oil after accidently submerging his burnt hand into a tub of lavender oil and noticing the soothing effect it had upon his injury. Lavender oil (amongst other essential oils) soon became an integral part of aromatherapy (Rhind, 2012).

Researchers in modern time have continued to uncover further evidence of lavender oil’s healing properties in relation to certain types of bacteria and fungi (Cavanagh and Wilkinson, 2002). Some researchers have suggested that lavender oil may be useful in combatting the infections which have now become resistant to many antibiotics (Nelson, 1997).

Over the years, through research and accounts from practitioners and receivers of lavender aromatherapy, numerous other health benefits have also become known to us and so lavender oil continues to be of high value in today’s world of alternative medicine and therapy. Lavender aromatherapy is said to:

• Improve general wellbeing
• Promote calmness and relaxation
• Induce sleep
• Improve mood/act as an antidepressant
• Reduce anxiety and emotional stress
• Help relieve headaches and migraine symptoms

We will go on to look at each of these areas in more detail:

Enhancing Wellbeing
Lavender oil boasts the ability to alleviate mental stress and promote greater wellbeing in both healthy and clinical populations (Cavanagh and Wilkinson, 2002).

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Calming and Relaxing
Modern life is busy and often we don’t take the time to relax. We need to routinely wind down and lavender can be a very useful part of this process.

Studies have shown that lavender oil physically relaxes the body, some of its constituent (linalool and linalyl) directly acting as a sedative to depress the nervous system (Cavanagh and Wilkinson, 2002).
This calming effect is thought to be a result of both the psychological effect of the lavender aroma as well as the physiological effect of the compound of the oil itself that we inhale.

As lavender has been shown to have calming and relaxing effects, it comes as no surprise that lavender can be effective as a sleep aid and we will go on to explore this next.

For more information about Aromatherapy candles for relaxation click here.

Sleeping problems are common

Sleeping problems are common

Sleep
For most people, insomnia and sleep-related issues are a common complaint at one time or another in their lives (NHS, 2011).

Historical beliefs and remedies for sleep
There is evidence of the ancient use of lavender as a natural sedative; this involved placing lavender-filled linen bags under pillows at night-time to help those struggling to sleep (Lis-Balchin, 2002). It was once thought that insomnia could only be caused by a guilty conscience. This early superstitious attitude towards insomnia and other sleep-related issues meant that research into its causes didn’t begin until the last century.

Modern understanding of sleep
We now know that insomnia can be triggered and maintained by a wide variety of factors, such as poor sleep hygiene, shift work, workplace stress or a of lack time dedicated to relaxation. It is estimated that over one third of the British population has periods of insomnia at some time in their life (NHS, 2015), making it of high interest within science and medicine in recent times. Studies to specifically determine the effectiveness of lavender oil as a sedative and to validate ancient remedies, such as lavender pillows (Lis-Balchin, 2002) have been carried out as part of this on-going research.

Research has found that the inhalation of lavender aroma improved the quality of sleep in healthy students (Hirokawa et al. 2012) and also individuals with insomnia (Chien et al., 2012).

For more information about Aromatherapy candles for sleep click here.

Anxiety-reducing
Anxiety is normal and experienced by all of us at times, although for some it can become debilitating and negatively impact an individual’s life. Inhalation of lavender essential oil has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety.

A study looked at individuals suffering specifically from generalised anxiety disorder and the subsequent effect of orally administered lavender (Kasper, 2013). It was found that a lavender capsule was significantly more effective than a placebo in reducing anxiety symptoms and also helped with related difficulties like sleep problems.

For more information about Aromatherapy candles for anxiety click here.

Mood-improving
Lavender is often credited with antidepressant qualities, and anecdotally individuals have reported improved mood after exposure to lavender aromas. In support of this, research has found that the inhalation of lavender oil can cause individuals to have an improved mood and feel more relaxed.

Pain reduction
Pain can be caused by lots of factors and may be temporary or longer term. Koulivand et al. (2013) discuss different studies which have found lavender to be helpful in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Lavender oil has also been shown to reduce stress levels in specific situations; it has been used in midwifery as a natural remedy to soothe the pain of childbirth (Cavanagh and Wilkinson, 2002).

Headaches/Migraines
Lavender oil’s use in reducing chronic pain is a significant breakthrough in herbal medicine for those who suffer from this type of ailment. Headaches and migraines affect 15% of the British population (NHS, 2015) and can require continuous usage medication that can result in unwanted side-effects.

Sasannejad et al. (2012) found that inhalation of lavender essential oil for 15 minutes resulted in a significant reduction in migraine headache severity.

Key points
• Lavender essential oil has been used for thousands of years in remedies, rituals and perfumes.
• A growing body of evidence supports lavender essential oil’s use as an effective aid for those who suffer from sleep difficulties, low mood, anxiety, pain and migraine headaches, or for those who simply want to promote a state of calmness and relaxation.
• We can all experience the benefits of lavender essential oils through lighting an aromatherapy candle, a very natural way to relax, creating an oasis of peace and tranquility in our hectic lives.

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Visit our shop (sale now on!), where you can buy one of our scented candle relaxation or sleep packages. Our candles are made with 100% natural wax (soy and rapeseed) and fragranced with the pure essential oils of lavender, bergamot and geranium. The perfect remedy for tension and stress! Our candle does not contain any paraffin wax or synthetic fragrance. Plus all packages come with a free relaxation or sleep guide!

You may also be interested in:

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Natural Aromatherapy Candles

Aromatherapy Candles: What do they do? Do they work?

Further Reading:

Koulivand, P. Ghadiri, M & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the Nervous System. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

© 2015 Zuna Naturals Ltd.

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