What is it about a scented candle that helps us recover from a long day? In this Camille Styles article, Mindpath Health’s Kiana Shelton, LCSW, explains how scents awaken our limbic system and connect us to memories and emotions.
Camille’s ideal night includes a hot bath, a cup of tea, a relaxing playlist, and one of the best aromatherapy candles burning next to her. This bath ritual has been her tried-and-true method for switching from “busy day mode” to “chill night mode,” and her days just aren’t the same without it. She recently got back from vacation and while she tried to mimic this routine in the hotel, something just wasn’t the same. She couldn’t put her finger on why it wasn’t as peaceful until she got home and lit the candle next to her bath. Turns out, the aromatherapy aspect of my wind-down routine plays a huge role in her relaxation.
With this discovery in mind, Camille set out to learn more about this phenomenon and search for the best aromatherapy candles for all of her needs. She reached out to Kiana Shelton, LCSW with Mindpath Health to learn about the benefits of aromatherapy, the optimal scents for different results, and, of course, her recommendations for the best aromatherapy candles. Read on to see just how scented candles can affect the mind.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy activates one of our five senses, smell. By activating the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that stores many of our memories and emotions, aromatherapy can be a beneficial way of tapping into various emotions.
What should we look for in aromatherapy candles?
When picking an aromatherapy candle, there is no one-scent-fits-all. This is an opportunity for you to tailor to any needs or desired results you may have. It’s also important to read the labels of your candles, as many candles today are made with a combination of carcinogenic ingredients hidden in addition to natural ones, so it can be tricky. It’s best to seek out coconut, soy or beeswax-based candles.
Which scents are optimal for aromatherapy?
- Improve relaxation: Chamomile, lavender, rose, vetiver and ylang ylang
- Revitalize energy: Citrus, clary sage, ginger, lemon, orange, peppermint, and sandalwood
- Decrease stress: Bergamot, lavender, rose and eucalyptus
Read the full Camille Styles article with sources.