For at least the past 5,000 years, man has been growing the soybean and using the oft named “miracle crop” for a variety of different products and uses. Aromatherapy soy candles are often used as alternative to candles made from paraffin wax by those who are conscious of the environment, as well as those interested in the healing benefits the practice of aromatherapy has to offer. And, since soy is a renewable resource and completely biodegradable, environmentalists have long preferred this type of candle over any other.
Today, millions of crops of soybeans are grown in various countries all over the world, with the United States being one of the top leading growers. Aromatherapy soy candles are made from glycine max, which is the technical and scientific name for the soybean, a type of legume that’s related to peas, alfalfa, and clover. Soy candles can be found in a wide array of aromas and pleasing fragrances and are used for a variety of therapeutic purposes.
Besides candles, soy can be found in foods, drinks, and many other types of products, all safe for the environment. Many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that soy based candles are usually less expensive than their paraffin or wax counterparts. Because they also burn slower than other types of candles, they are also more cost effective, sometimes burning twice as long made from beeswax or paraffin.
The Benefits of Using Aromatherapy Soy Candles
One of the most positive benefits of using soy candles for aromatherapy is that they emit very little soot as compared to those made from paraffin wax. Also, soy candles emit absolutely no petro-carbon soot the way petroleum-based candles do, which has been likened to second-hand cigarette smoke in that it is just as harmful to the lungs and the cells of the body.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S., the soot and fumes from paraffin wax are actually byproducts of petroleum and when burned, emit more than 10 toxins that may be harmful to our health. Considering that the fragrances and scents are meant to be inhaled in close quarters, toxins and man-made substances in other types of candles negate the positive effects and health benefits that we look to aromatherapy for in the first place.
Aromatherapy soy candles are also safe for to be used near children and pets since they are non-toxic, although caution should always be used with any type of lit candle.
For the purpose of aromatherapy, soy candles are rather beneficial as they last considerably longer than candles made from other substances such as beeswax, and they also tend to last as much as 50% longer than paraffin candles. Since soy is water soluble, the wax from these type of candles allows for quick clean-up with simple soap and water.
The very best aromatherapy soy candles also contain no artificial dyes or colorants, using only natural ingredient to achieve the various colors. Unlike regular candles made from waxes such as paraffin, soy candles don’t contain metal cores and will feature wicks made from 100% cotton, making them environmentally friendly as well as safe to use in your home as they will not discolor the walls or furniture the way other fumes from other candles often do.
Some of the common types of aromatherapy soy candles include: Pillars, Tapers, Tarts, Travel tins, Votives
Aromatherapy soy candles are often used by trained aromatherapy practitioners, herbalists, vegans, massage therapists, and, of course, the avid candle enthusiast. When buying these types of candles, remember that the word “soy” doesn’t necessarily mean the candle is made from all-natural ingredients. Unless it contains pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, it may have a pleasant aromatic scent, but not be completely natural.
In keeping with the holistic and naturalistic theme, many companies choose to forgo adding any dyes or coloring agents to their candles so as not to take away from the appearance of the soy. If you are still interested in having color, try putting natural soy candles in colored glass jars instead.
Caring for Aromatherapy Soy Candles
To keep your aromatherapy soy candles looking their best, polish them with either a soft cloth, or a stocking made from fine mesh, and to prevent them from fading, keep all candles out of direct sunlight as well as heat. For longevity purposes, keep the wicks of aromatherapy soy candles trimmed to 1/8″ long, and never attempt to cut a wick while it is burning. All candles will burn best if they are stored in a cool, dry place, and always allow candles to burn until the melted wax, or soy in this case, reaches the outer edges of the candle.
Don’t burn soy candles in a draft or near an open window as this will cause the candle to burn unevenly, or need relit more often, putting extra wear and tear on the wick. Also, after each burn, make sure the wick is properly centered while the soy is still soft and pliable. Using a candle snuffer helps to safely extinguish candles without causing the soy or wax to splatter, and always make certain you are using a heatproof container, plate, or holder when burning aromatherapy soy candles.
Some of the accessories that can be used along with aromatherapy include candle snuffers with swiveled heads, which are the safest ways to extinguish any type of candle and are made to reach down into many different types of candle holders. A bobeche is another useful item to have when using soy candles for aromatherapy. Besides being a decorative candle holder, a bobeche features a round disk with a hole in the center for the candle to slide into, neatly eliminating any wax drippings.