My love for scented candles and essential oils formed when using essential oils to aid my recovery following a stroke in 2016. It was this personal journey that led me to create Elsie and Tom – Luxury essential oil scented aromatherapy candles brand.
In this article I wanted to explore essential oils in more detail and the benefits of aromatherapy candles – it’s through my own personal experience of using essential oils that lead me to create home fragrance blends that I hoped others could come to enjoy.
So firstly, let’s look at what essential oils are?
Essential oils are made from plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits), and essentially their essence (the cells that offer the smell) is extracted to make essential oils. This can be done through steam distillation, expression, or supercritical CO2 extraction. All three methods produce different concentrations and products.
Not all plants can produce essential oils and not all essential oils smell great either but blending essential oils together can create some long-lasting benefits. It is also important to note at this stage that blending essential oils is highly regulated due to the potential health hazards that can occur if done incorrectly. At Elsie and Tom all of our unique home fragrance blends are certified by IFRA. This certification process ensures are blends are safe to use and we know exactly what percentage of our blended oils we can use in our candles and other products.
So now we know what an Essential Oil is, let’s look at how they work to improve our wellbeing naturally.
Essential oils activate your smell receptors which send messages to your brain activating your limbic system. The limbic system is made up of six structures, these include the Amygdala, the Cingulate Gyrus, the Hypothalamus, the Thalamus (I had a stoke to the left Thalamus) the Basal Ganglia, the Hippocampus.
The Thalamus is located near the centre of the brain. While the Thalamus is classically known for its roles as a visual, auditory, and sensory relay to the rest of the brain, it also has significant roles in motor activity, emotion, memory, arousal, and other nerve associated functions.
I found following my stroke that all these sensory functions where significantly changed in varying degrees. In the early days following my stroke some of these functions were heavily impacted. I could not walk without a stick or support; I could not see and needed an eye patch for several months just to try and focus and my speech recall, whilst hilarious at times, was also very frustrating as I had lost the ability to easily find the right words.
I couldn’t regulate my temperature or walk in a straight line. I also slept for 20 hours a day for months.
Today I struggle with memory recall and emotion. I find that the essential oil blends I created helped me to relax when overly anxious or stressed or helped me to energise when my stroke fatigue got too much to handle. They didn’t cure my ailments, but they helped me to cope and still do.
Its focus is your emotional response to things that happen, therefore happiness, sadness, and other emotions. It is also where your reward system is located.
The Cingulate Gyrus:
Its focus is linked to smell, and sight with pleasant memories. This is where your link to pain and aggressive behaviour comes from. It plays an important part in helping us predict the impact of negative situations. It helps steer us away from pain and negative stimuli.
Controls your hormone system, so it helps to regulate such things as temperature, weight, and emotions.
The Basal Ganglia:
This part of the brain controls your motor behaviour, motor learning and when someone has problems with this part of the brain it results in someone being unable to control speech, movement, and their posture.
Used to form new memories about past experiences. It also plays a major role in our ability to learn.
So now we know a bit about what an essential oil is and what the limbic system does in basic terms, we can now look at how these brain structures are affected by essential oils and aromatherapy?
The essential oils fire up the limbic system. When we inhale essential oils, the limbic system produces chemicals like Serotonin which is known to boost happiness, regulate sleep patterns, appetite, and aid digestion.
Therefore, if you feel like you’re lacking in happiness, are in desperate need of a good night’s sleep and/or need to improve your gut health then essentials oils may help.
I’ve selected three of our essential oil scented candles that will help boost your wellness.
For improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety and relaxing the mind:
This candle is one of my all-time bedtime favs. My blend of Lavender, Geranium, Bergamot and Patchouli essential oils releases a fragrance that helps relax the mind and encourage a good night’s sleep.
I light this half an hour before going to bed and allow the fragrance to fill the room whilst reading. I use the metal lid to snuff out the candle to ensure my bedroom smells of the essential oil blend. The fragrance helps me drift off to sleep. I also use this candle to meditate with – Try some deep breathing exercises for the ultimate relaxing bedtime routine.
Other relaxing essential oil scented candles include Time to Unwind (Sandalwood and Bergamot), Oriental Orange, Patchouli and Wood and Festive Calm.
For Improving fatigue, boosting productivity and focus your mind
Lime provides a citrus hit that helps uplift your mood and energy especially during the afternoon when energy levels can seriously slump. Blended with Basil and Mandarin this candle will spice up and elevate your mood.
Lemon and Orange bring a zing and zest to your mood. I have added Bergamot to this home fragrance blend so it will not only refresh and renew your mood but will help relieve stress and anxiety.
Lavender is well renowned for its relaxing properties, so this blend not only has the power to relax but also cleanses the room and focusses the mind due to the mint.
A sweet and citrus aroma with anxiety and stress busting properties.
I hope like me that you benefit from using aromatherapy – even if you don’t have any major ailments improving our mental and physical wellbeing is especially important as we recover from the pandemic.
I hope you can embark on this wellbeing journey with us at Elsie and Tom.
Elsie and Tom have created a home fragrance range to help boost your wellness naturally. All of our scented aromatherapy candles are made in small batches from our studio in Suffolk, England. They are hand made and we only use the finest quality essential oils and 100% natural soya wax which are vegan friendly and cruelty free. We like to look after the planet and you.