Beeswax has been used for many purposes throughout history. But one of the most notable, and probably most popular, has been in candle making. Beeswax candles have been around for centuries, and they are still frequently used. Here are some facts about beeswax candles that you might not be aware of.
History of Beeswax Candles
Beeswax was not the first material used to make candles. That distinction goes to boiled animal fat, also known as tallow, which was used to make candles prior to the Middle Ages. These candles served their purpose, but they had some definite drawbacks. They gave off lots of smoke, their flame was inconsistent, and their odor was unpleasant.
In the Middle Ages, candle makers started experimenting with beeswax. They were pleased to find that beeswax candles created very little smoke, and their scent was light and pleasing. However, beeswax was hard to come by at the time due to the fact that there were no beekeepers in those days. So beeswax candles were used primarily by nobility.
The Catholic Church later began to use beeswax candles. It was eventually written into canon law that the candles burned in any cathedral must contain at least 60 percent beeswax. This law is still in effect today. Fortunately, beeswax is much easier to obtain now.
Benefits of Beeswax Candles
The benefits of beeswax candles over those made of tallow are pretty obvious. But even today, with all of the improvements that have been made in the candle making process and new materials being used, beeswax still has numerous advantages. These include:
* The smoke produced by beeswax candles is not harmful to the environment or our health. This cannot be said for most candles, which are made of paraffin.
* Burning beeswax candles can actually be beneficial for allergy sufferers. It can help alleviate asthma and sensitivities to cigarette smoke, carbon dioxide and other pollutants. This is because they emit negative ions when burned, which help to clean the air.
* The scent of beeswax candles has a natural calming effect. Those who suffer from insomnia often sleep better when they burn beeswax candles before going to bed at night.
* Beeswax candles are more expensive than paraffin candles, but they also last much longer. A beeswax candle will burn about five times as long as a paraffin candle of the same size, so it is much more cost-effective.
Beeswax candles have been in existence for centuries, and they are still favorites of many candle lovers. They might be a little bit pricier than most candles, but considering the many benefits they offer, their numerous fans agree that they’re worth every penny paid.