Practical uses of candles.If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien
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Practical Uses of Candles

MEASUREMENTS

Time

With the fairly consistent and measurable burning of a candle, a common use in days gone by was to tell the time, though the accuracy is debatable. Some candles have these measurements, usually in hours, marked along the wax.

Candlepower

The intensity of electric lights is commonly given in candlepower, meaning so many times the intensity of a standard candle. This method of measurement began many years ago. However, an ordinary candle is not a sufficiently accurate standard and the unit of intensity was defined in various ways. It was originally defined as the luminous intensity in a horizontal direction of a candle of specified size burning at a specified rate. Candlepower, or Candela as it is called today, measures how much light the bulb produces, measured at the bulb, rather than how much falls upon the object you want to light up.

Foot Candle

A Foot Candle is a unit of illumination, equivalent to the illumination produced by a source of one candle at a distance of one foot and equal to one lumen incident per square foot. Get a birthday cake candle and a ruler. Stick the candle on one end of the ruler. Light the candle and turn out the lights. One foot-candle of light is the amount of light that the birthday cake candle generates one foot away. Now, if you have a lamp and you are told it produces 100 foot candles of light, it means at one foot from the lamp, you will receive 100 foot candles of light.

Practical Uses of Candles

HOUSEHOLD EMERGENCY

Many lists of basis survival items include a supply of candles. If you burn candles, use proper candle holders and make sure you keep them away from flammable materials and places where children and/or pets can knock them over. Never leave the candles unattended. However, it is highly recommended that you use flashlights instead. Keep plenty of extra batteries.

MOSQUITO REPELLENT

When humans and animals exhale, they give off CO2 (carbon dioxide) and Octenol (an alcohol).  CO2 also seeps from your skin. Mosquitoes don’t see very well, but they have sensors that can detect the presence of these two chemicals at a distance of almost 100 ft. Once the mosquito picks up the scent, they will zoom straight to their intended prey.

Some people use citronella candles as backyard mosquito repellents. One research study compared the ability of commercially available 3% citronella candles and plain candles to prevent bites by mosquitoes. Persons near the citronella candles had 42% fewer bites. But just ordinary candles provided 23% reduction. Citronella candles repel mosquitoes, but you have to stay in the smoky plume to be protected.

REMOVING EAR WAX

Ear Candling is a method of cleaning out accumulated wax and white, flaky fungus from the ears.

Ear candles are actually long, narrow cones. They look like cotton candy cones, but are a somewhat more narrow.  Made of strips of unbleached muslin dipped in beeswax or paraffin, the candle is hollow and tapers to a rounded tip, with a small opening. The tipped end is designed to fit comfortably into the ear. 

The candle is lit and the spiral of the cone causes the smoke to be pulled down in to the ear canal. This causes the ear canal to warm up and loosen the wax and any other material. As it heats it up, the candle causes a suction by creating a vacuum in the ear canal. Air is drawn up from the Eustachian tube into the inner ear then through the porous membrane out into the outer ear. The heat and the vacuum draw out the wax and other materials from the ear canal into the base of the candle. As it burns down you hear a lot of cracking and hissing which is the process of removing the wax and residue.

The cones are available plain, or infused with herbal extracts. Many users feel the herbal cones have an enhanced therapeutic effect.

Ear candling dates back to at least around 2500 B.C. Ear candles, sometimes called ear cones originated in ancient civilizations of India, China, Tibet, Egypt, and Native American Indian Cultures, thousands of years ago. All of these cultures utilized ear coning in healing, and spiritual purification. There is evidence that it was used by the Hopi Indians, Aztecs, Egyptians, and in India, China, and Tibet at that time.

Practical Uses of Candles

REMOVING OFFENSIVE ODORS

Cigar smoke odor, cigarette smoker odor, household smells, pet odor, bathroom and other offensive odors can linger in the air. Candles tend to mask the offensive odor with a more pleasant scent. Fruit scents, particularly lemon, are particularly popular. The principle at work is combustion. As the exposed flame burns, convection currents around the contaminated air are drawn into the flames. Combustible odors are burned and transformed into less offensive odors.

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