I believe it goes without saying that most people nowadays realize that there are many health benefits related to honey. It's delicious to eat, good for your skin, and the healing properties are endless. But, did you know that the benefits of burning beeswax candles are both helpful to your respiratory system as well as clear the air of junk that you don't want in your lungs? Indeed. I would like to preface this by saying that I am not a physician, nor do I play one on TV, but what I do bring to the table is a lifetime with Asthma, and experience with doing the wrong things and then educating myself in ways to remedy this problem holistically. I'm going to begin with the bad stuff, then cover a brief chemistry lesson because let's be honest here, as I've said before, I am a word vessel for you guys, not a chemist and I want to keep it simple. Lastly, I'd like to cover the beneficial health aspects to beeswax, and what it has done for me. When most of you go into stores in search of something to make your house smell amazing, you will see many different brands and types of candles available. Some are soy-based while others claim to emit low amounts of soot. When you touch them you will even notice that some are more greasy while others are incredibly solid and dry. These are factors that mean literally nada as far as the safety of burning them in your home. Soy candles tend to be softer and more greasy, as are the higher end candles that you pay oodles for. No matter the texture, the scent, or the cost, you are releasing toxic chemicals, including carcinogens into your immediate atmosphere. The sad truth is that you are paying for them twice, once with your money and again with your long-term health. The word soy tends to make people have the warm and fuzzies when they are picking out candles. The best that soy candles have to offer is that in most cases, they emit less soot. Don't let that be a selling point because it makes no difference. The paraffin alone is the enemy here and even the soy candles that claim to be 100% soy, must be processed with some degree of paraffin and let's not forget that 99% of soy is genetically modified for your pleasure. There is also the issue with all of the dyes and fragrances that are in them and while some are natural, the fact remains that most of them are not good for you. Now let's have a little lesson on paraffin which covers pretty much the spectrum of everyday candles that people pick up in most any department store or big box retailer. Paraffin candles are made from paraffin wax which we know is a by-product of petroleum refining. What does this mean? It means that paraffin wax begins its life at the bottom of a crude oil barrel. This substance stands about as good a chance of being something good in life as a drug dealing pimp and has the same characteristics of being highly toxic and environmentally unfriendly. If it is any indicator of the toxicity of paraffin, wrap your brain around the fact that asphalt is extracted before paraffin in the refining process. Ever drive over new asphalt that isn't 100% dry yet. The smell is horrible and you curse the asphalt that flies up under your vehicle thinking that it could be stuck there forever. Same thing with the toxic chemicals and carcinogens released when burning paraffin filled candles, except it does stick to your lungs. I encourage you to educate yourself on how paraffin is made and do so in great detail. There is a process of bleaching and treatment that happens using the harmful carcinogens benzene and/or toluene, among others that go into the making of paraffin, and it's just too lengthy a process to cover in one post, and not to mention the fact that it's Monday and people are "half past give a shit" by the end of the day. I don't want to be too overwhelming for the casual reader. Feel free to research this in-depth at your leisure. To test some of what I am telling you, if you are an avid candle user, I would suggest you take a cloth dampened with water and vinegar and wash just one wall in your home, preferably the one closest to the candle you are burning. The soot that you wipe from the walls, is that same soot that is resting in your lungs causing respiratory irritation. I have personally been paraffin candle free in my home for 5 years, and to this day when I enter anyone's home where candles are used on a regular basis (Sorry mom) I cough and hack and clear my throat the entire time. Same goes for those lovely wax melts. Now it's time to cover the benefits of one of my favorite things on the planet and the reason this post landed in the "Life Loves" section of my website. Beeswax candles are one the most pleasant things I use in my home on a regular basis, and I'm going to give you a run-down of how and why these candles are amazing. Beeswax candles actually clean the air while they burn. These magical candles release negative ions when they burn, and while dust, pollen, and other air contaminants release positive ions, they are quickly and effectively neutralized. Sounds like something from a Star Wars movie right? Think of an air purifier that you would buy in a store and run all day long. That is exactly how beeswax works except you can factor in ambiance and the sweet subtle smell of beeswax instead of the constant hum of an air purifier. I'm telling you that from my own personal experience, I can light a beeswax candle in my room and let it burn for a couple of hours before bedtime, and I will wake in the morning free of Asthma symptoms. The same has been said for those that suffer from allergies. Luckily, I don't suffer from environmental allergy issues, but I have read testimonials from people that suffer from pet dander issues as well as environmental allergies that have experienced great relief from burning beeswax inside their homes. Now, before you rush out and search for beeswax candles, let me tell you that you must be careful because in the U.S. the term "pure" can be used very freely on a label and can mean that as little as 51% of the ingredients are actually pure. For the record and for another post, this also goes for the food industry. Scary huh? What you want to look for is the phrase "100% Pure Beeswax". Of course along with anything that is beneficial for your health can sometimes come a hefty price tag. I luckily stumbled upon a couple of shops on Etsy and both provide 100% Pure Beeswax candles that are meticulously handcrafted and are literally one of the most divine things I have in my home, and the best part is that it's affordable and has that amazing pure beeswax scent. Lauren is the creator of Natural Craft Candles, and she is a master of her art, and the real deal you guys. The art of hand dipping and creating beeswax candles isn't a menial task and is a craft that is always a process of perfection. You have to consider the type of beeswax, pollen content, wax season, etc., as well as the temperature. A shift of even a few degrees can make a huge difference in how the candles pour. Every morning I sit at my table to work and have coffee, and beeswax candles are my "go to" item before I ever take a seat in front of my laptop. It literally sets the tone for my day and is something we also do at the start of every homeschool day and during breakfast. We sit, light our candles to signify that it is time to begin, and when we are finished with breakfast we extinguish them. Do we as people always do everything 100% right 100% of the time? Of course not, but I like to think that when we know better, we do better. I'm not in anyway suggesting that this is a foolproof way to help you achieve a better you, but I am saying that I have experienced the benefits first-hand and feel as though the research I have done is consistent with what I have shared with you all in this post. As I said before, I urge you to do your own research and try things for yourself. I'd love to hear from you regarding your experiences with the benefits of beeswax, so feel free to email me or subscribe so that we can stay connected. Live, Learn, and Grow Roots.