Your Candles Actually Are Good for You

Does keeping the porta-altar near the desk make me healthier?

I find that having a candle burning on my desk helps me to focus. That goes back to when I was 17 or so.

A few years later, I declared myself Pagan, which meant that I could have all the candles that I wanted!

“Homes with candles burning brightly are filled with sexy wood nymphs nightly,” said Al G. Manning, an occult teacher and author most prolific in the 1960s–1980s. (I can’t remember which book that was, Helping Yourself with White Witchcraft?)

In our “witches of Manitou” period, M. and I used to eat dinner regularly by candelight or illuminated by a Victorian kerosene lamp. Were we making ourselves healthier? Who knew?

Meanwhile, with the passage of time, more of the electric lights in our houses went from incadescent bulbs to the curly fluorescent ones to low-wattage LED bulbs. Good for saving energy, but not for your health?

There are some voices in the “health and wellness” crowd saying that melatonin is a powerful antioxident and that most people are not getting enough. Sure you can take melatonin supplements — many people do so to help them sleep, and if you do that, take them earlier in the evening, not just before bed.

But the best way to get melatonin is not through a pill, they say, but through exposure to sunlight and also infrared and near-infrared light. The new energy-efficient light bulbs do not produce as much of that spectrum as the old incadescent bulbs did.

Here is the argument, with quotes from various websites.

Two forms of melatonin exist in the body – circulatory (produced by the pineal gland), and subcellular (produced inside the cells and mitochondria); the majority of melatonin in the body is subcellular.

Or from another site:

Over 50% of [the] sun’s energy is infrared; campfires, fireplace, candles, and incandescent lights also emit infrared light, as do infrared saunas and lasers

Antioxidants can be produced from exposure to the sun!

“As a therapy, being outside in the environment, in nature, and being exposed to sun, is extremely important, probably just as important as eating healthily.”

Infrared light has the ability to penetrate the skull and access the cerebral spinal fluid, a reason why those with Alzheimer’s and dementia especially should get more sun.

My take-away is that sunlight is best, and you need to be out in it as much as possible.

Sunlight exposure also results in the production of serotonin and beta-endorphins, which promote mood enhancement and relaxation, relieve pain, and boost immunity. There is also evidence that vitamin D itself may help regulate the production of both serotonin and melatonin.

And candles, fireplaces, woodstoves, etc. are also good. So light ’em up.

4 thoughts on “Your Candles Actually Are Good for You

  1. Kalinysta

    I wish you had put in which sites you got those quotes from.

    I would be very cautious about getting information from non-scientific sites because, in many cases, they’re just parroting misinformation or “old wives tales”. On the other hand, getting out in the sun does enable one to generate Vitamin D, which you really can’t get through food or pills. (from WebMD): “Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Not enough vitamin D — a vitamin D deficiency — can cause pain, hormone problems, muscle weakness, and more. ”

    Yes, Melatonin is an antioxidant. Again from WebMD “Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal and. That’s a pea-sized gland found just above the middle of your brain. It helps your body know when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Normally, your body makes more melatonin at night. Levels usually start to go up in the evening once the sun sets. They drop in the morning when the sun goes up. The amount of light you get each day — plus your own body clock — set how much your body makes.”

  2. Aren’t the links working for you? All these sites have something to sell, it is true. But sunlight is free, and it does not hurt to think about the relationship between say, firelight and human health.

  3. Jonathan Nightshade

    Actually the quote on candles burning brightly came from Louise Huebner in her book Power Through Witchcraft, page 31 (hdcvr ed) under Isis Full Moon Ring section. I’ve collected books such as Al G Mannings since the late 1960’s, they may not be up to todays standards in writing, but they have a charm all their own.

    1. That is interesting. I know who Louise Huebner was, but I did not think that I ever had book. I wonder if Manning cribbed that line from her. Thanks for your comment.

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