The burning of aromatic essential oils in an oil burner is an ancient and timeless practice, as close as one can get to pausing whilst on a walk to inhale the delicate scent of blooming roses or the essence of floral and fruit scents. Use of an oil burner can soothe or energize the mind, heighten or relax the senses, and promote any mood or feeling one can think of, more or less.
In cannot be denied that smell, being perhaps the most potent and immediate of the senses, has a great potential for transforming our experience of the world in which we live. We have all observed, at one time or another, the effect that smell has on our perception of a person, place, or thing. The burning of oil in an oil burner, then, is an easy, affordable, and natural way that each of us can take greater command of our senses, while simultaneously enabling ourselves to reach the physiological and psychological states we wish to inhabit.
An oil burner usually consists of a chamber in which to place a small tea light candle, which serves to heat the oil. The oil itself rests in a small, concave dish directly over top the candle chamber, usually diluted with some spring water or tap water. The candle is lit, and in only a minute, warms the water/oil mixture, the smell of which is then released into the surrounding air — without producing smoke or ash.
Although some scientists will dispute the medicinal value of aromatherapy — the practice of burning essential oil in an oil burner, to produce a specific physical or psychological effect, or otherwise inhaling the essence of plants — the fact is that numerous cultures throughout earth’s history have used oil burners, and other similar means, to unleash the healing properties contained in plants, and so achieve what they found to be tangible, powerful results.
And the advantages to burning oils in an oil burner are readily apparent. Oil burners are simple and easy to use; they cost little, and, properly taken care of, will last indefinitely. The process is all-natural, and one need not ever worry about side effects from harmful, synthetic chemicals. Unlike incense, the burning of essential oil in an oil burner produces no smoke, and leaves behind no ash or debris. And, in addition to providing therapeutic benefits, the use of oil burners will greatly enhance the olfactory beauty of your living space!
Distilled oils have been burned in oil burners for medicinal purposes since distilling was invented in the 11th century A.C.E., but the roots of aromatherapy stretch back far earlier, at least to the first century A.C.E. At that time, the Greek physician Dioscorides described the use of infused aromatic oils for their healing properties.
The use of oil burners in the context of aromatherapy first made its way to the western world in the early 20th century. A French chemist named René-Maurice Gattefosse coined the term “aromatherapy” in the early 1900s, to describe the process of using plant oils therapeutically. Legend has it that that, while Gattefosse was working in a perfume factory, he burnt his hand and swiftly put some Lavender oil on the burn. He was so impressed by how quickly and cleanly the burn healed, he began to study the healing powers of plant oils.
In recent years, this age-old practice has undergone a considerable revival; currently, there are countless options available in both oils and oil burners for those interested in the benefits of aromatherapy.
And now, scientific evidence indicating that burning essential oil in an oil burner is effective is mounting. A study conducted by Japanese scientists found that burning essential oil of lemon in an oil burner reduced stress in mice. Likewise, research at The Ohio State University found lemon oil to enhance one’s mood, and aid in achieving an engaged, alert state. Evidence has also been found that lavender oil can assist in reaching a relaxed state. But, throughout history, many cultures have experienced the benefits of burning oil in an oil burner firsthand, and have not needed scientific evidence to validate what they already experience to be true.
The design of oil burners is only limited by human creativity. Some of the most common materials used are ceramic and soapstone; or for a beautiful home decor option, check out our mosaic oil burners range. They can be used at any time, day or night, and the only precaution one must take is remembering to cease burning the candle before retiring for the night, or after the water/essential oil mixture has been exhausted.
Whether for physical or psychological benefit, or simply to enhance the atmosphere of your home, burning essential oils in an oil burner is a wonderful way to reconnect with, and rediscover your body’s timeless connection with the flora of our wondrous planet. It can provide a soothing respite after a hard day’s labor, or help to awaken the body and mind before vigorous activity. It can help center you for evening meditation, or enliven a gathering of friends. In short, burning essential oil in an oil burner is a simple, beautiful activity that can benefit any and everyone.
Written by Brenda at Kharma Creations