Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beeswax Candles Recommended for Asthma, Allergies

Do Beeswax Candles Clean the Air?
By Valerie Reiss,, 3/23/2009

There's something so soothing about a nice flickering candle--in the tub, at dinner, before bed, or on your altar if you have one. But for years now I've been careful to avoid burning anything but soy wax and beeswax because of the polluting nature of regular paraffin candles--both in the larger environmental sense and the home/body toxin sense.

According to an article in the M.D.-written "Nutrition and Healing" newsletter, "paraffin is made from the sludge at the bottom of barrels of crude oil, which is then treated and bleached with benzene and other chemical solvents to 'clean it up' for use in candles" and "the soot, smoke, and chemical residue from 'regular' candles can stick to walls, ceilings, and ventilation ducts and gets re-circulated whenever the heating/cooling system is in action, exposing you to these pollutants even when the paraffin candles aren't burning." Eww.

Not the greenest. But what I learned this weekend when I went to the awesome store Candlestock in Woodstock, New York, is that beeswax candles not only don't pollute, they may actually clean the air by emitting negative ions. I hit the Googlebrary when I got home and found some info to back this up. One article on says, "Beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that actually produces negative ions, which not only helps remove pollution from the air but increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, the ideal and necessary scenario for clean air." In laywoman's terms, this means they cause charged gunk (dust, pollen, odors, toxins, etc.) to fall from the air onto the floor via static electricity.

Another site that sells beeswax candles (so take with a grain of wax), says, "a pure beeswax candle burns the dust and toxic fumes from the air as they are convected through the halo'd flame, much like a catalytic converter. The dustier your house, the more 'black debris' will be deposited in the wax around the wick." So interesting! Now I must test for soot on my sweet little beeswax votives.

Beeswax candles also don't drip, don't smoke, and because of their high melting point, burn a whole lot slower. They also smell nice, naturally. The "Nutrition and Healing" article even says that "people with allergies, sinus problems, and asthma have reported significant improvement in their symptoms, breathing better and sleeping better after burning the 100 percent beeswax candles in their bedrooms for three to four hours before bedtime. One person who burned a beeswax candle all day when she was home reported that her asthma gradually went away completely."…


Ross said...

I have been hearing about bees wax producing negative ions for some time but have yet to come across any research that proves this is actually true and not just a sales gimmick. Does anyone know of such research or how one can verify the validity of such claims?

John Leary Smith said...

I have seen pictures (in support of the ionizer I use, of a glass bowl filled with cigarette smoke and the ionizer inside. When the ionizer is switched on, the smoke more or less instantly settles. A control bowl full of smoke continues to have the smoke in suspension.

Someone with a science degree could run a simple experiment thus: Have two glass bowls or jars over a cardboard base, with holes suitable for 1 cigarette and one candle per bowl. Light two cigarettes to provide the smoke in both bowls and once adequate smoke is present, insert a lit beeswax candle in one and a lit parafin based candle in the other.

Further controls could be added, i.e. one bowl full of smoke with no candles, another with Soya Wax candles, etc.

For sure the EAR CANDLES made with pure beeswax exert some kind of pressure on the deritus and wax in the ear canal, as this muck litterally climbs out of the ear and is deposited on the linen tube of the candle wall (

Coconut Scented Candles said...

This is great article! Really helps...this is my first can hear about beeswax candles can recommend for asthma and allergies.

Jane/Smallbones said...

I am a beeswax chandler (candle-maker) & have searched for scientific tests that prove the 'negative ion' theory. There does not appear to be any proof. I'm a member of the Canadian Beeswax Chandlers Guild & I hope that the Guild can commission research to prove or disprove. Some candle companies really push this theory for which there is no proof. However, it is certainly true that beeswax candles are non-toxic and as far as I know, non-allergenic. They're also just plain wonderful! (

Sarah said...

Wow this sounds wonderful, but it's just too bad for me because I think that I'm allergic to beeswax.:(

Does anyone know about being allergic to beeswax, or if you could still burn candles like this anyway without being affected?

Anonymous said...

If you want proof, just ask anyone who smokes to use PURE beeswax candles whenever they have a cigarette or whatever. You will find that burning the candle will eliminate the odour of the smoke & the toxins with which the air has been polluted.
My daughter is severly asthmatic & only burns beeswax candles. It alleviates the toxins that were causing her attacks whenever she burned other types--especially parafin-based candles.
One question, if anyone knows: My Husband & I were at a Christmas Party this past weekend. A woman there said she was allergic to beeswax. Has anyone ever heard of this type of allergy? I tried everywhere & everyone that I knew to find anyone/anything that was written but could find nothing:(
Any answers to my query would be greatly appreciated.
Dodie, Single Oak Farm

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure I am allergic to beeswax or something in beeswax; I am just getting over a pretty severe reaction that I ascribe to my own beeswax/ghee salve. Since I make it myself, I know exactly what is in it and the source of both ingredients. I have had less severe but noticeable reactions to other commercial but organic products for at least 30 years. My internet research indicates that people can be allergic to the pollen or propolis that is in beeswax. For Dodie who said she could not find anything written: I used google as a search engine and the search terms "beeswax" and "allergy" to get this information.

hyperhydrosis said...

It is a good news that Beeswax Candles Recommended for Asthma, Allergies. An Allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy.