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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Herbal Butters & Waxes

(Euphorbia Cerifera, Euphorbia Antisyphilitica)

"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Candelilla Wax Herbal Description
  • Candelilla Wax Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Candelilla Wax Dosage Information
  • Candelilla Wax Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Candelilla Wax Supplements & Products

  • candelilla wax beads


    Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia cerifera, Euphorbia antisyphiliticais) is a wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States from the family Euphorbiaceae. It is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, aromatic, and opaque to translucent.

    With a melting point of 68.5 to 72.5°C, candelilla wax consists of mainly hydrocarbons (about 50%, chains with 29 to 33 carbons), esters of higher molecular weight (20 to 29%), free acids (7 to 9%), and resins (12 to 14%, mainly triterpenoid esters). The high hydrocarbon content distinguishes this wax from carnauba wax. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in many organic solvents such as acetone, chloroform, benzene. The wax is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems with dilute sulfuric acid, and the resulting "cerote" is skimmed from the surface and further processed. In this way, about 900 tons are produced annually.

    It is mostly used mixed with other waxes to harden them without raising their melting point. As a food additive, candelilla wax has the E number - E 902 and is used as a glazing agent. It also finds use in cosmetic industry, as a component of lip balms and lotion bars. One of its major uses was a binder for chewing gums. Candelilla wax can be used as a substitute for carnauba wax and beeswax. It is also used for making varnish.

    candelilla wax


    Candelilla Wax is usually confined to rugged areas where climatic conditions produce the highest wax-yielding varieties. Plants growing in the hottest and driest areas produce a scale-like covering on the plant, which, after processing yields a hard vegetable wax of superior quality. Once collected the raw "scales" or fans from the tree are boiled in water where the wax will separate, and here it is collected for drying onto large sheets. Once dried the crude wax is melted again, filtered, flaked and packaged.

    Candelilla wax is a natural vegetable wax which is hard, brittle, slightly tacky and is usually light yellow in color. The wax is derived from the Candelilla plant and is a perennial and native to the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico and western Texas. Candelilla is known as the "weed" by Texans, and Mexican laborers simply call it "yerba". The wax forms as the outer coating of the shrub and helps the plant retain moisture, and the plants need from two to five years of growth before they produce significant wax. Production for Candelilla wax is year-round with somewhat less wax obtained in the wet season. Attempts have been made to grow and harvest the plant in other regions but the plants produced little or no wax at all. The harvesting of native plant stands and processing the wax under primitive conditions remains the best and may be the only method to extract the wax.

    After the wax has been refined it is harder and more brittle than beeswax and less hard than Carnauba and it should be noted that it does not reach its maximum hardness for several days after cooling. Candelilla wax has been used as a hardener for soft waxes and as a dilutant for beeswax and Carnauba wax, and when Candelilla wax is warmed, the odor resembles that of beeswax. The melting point is 67 to 68°C (ca. 153 to 154°F) and the solidifying point, 64.5°C (148.1°F).

    Few people in this country have ever heard of Candelilla wax yet nearly everyone has had personal contact with it. If you have chewed gum, used cosmetics, worn shoes, ridden horse-back, or waxed your car you have probably encountered Candelilla wax. The wax is best known as the ingredient in chewing gum giving it its chew and ability to hold the flavor. It has superior molding properties making it a good casting wax. It is also used in the cosmetic industry for many purposes like lipsticks and creams when the product requires a good glide property and is a vegan alternative to beeswax. Traditional or folk uses for the wax are candle making, religious statues, artificial flowers, cloth waterproofing, leather dressing, chewing gum, and coating for the small wax matches from Mexico. During the world wars when other waxes were scarce, Candelilla wax was important to the military for waterproofing and insect-proofing tents, tarpaulins, thread, and fabric.


  • Botanical Name: Euphorbia Antisyphillitica; Pedilanthus Pavonis
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Extraction: Hand Collected, Hot Water Separated
  • Shelf Life: 3 to 4 Years
  • Notes Stores well under any condition but extreme heat and light may cause discoloration. Candelilla wax will vary in color from a pale yellow to a deep yellow, and this difference is a normal occurrence. Candelilla melts, mixes and blends remarkably like beeswax and is a great alternative for cosmetic creations and it is also a binder and waxing agent for food products.

      Color- Yellow
      Odor- Flat
      Size- 1/4-inch Standard Flake
      Acid Value- 16.4
      Melting Point- 155-160 degrees
      Saponification Value- 53.3

    The above product information description was obtained from Mountain Rose Herbs regarding their products. For other manufacturers, merchants and vendors, consult individual product label description.


    Candelilla wax is considered a food additive (as compared to a food supplement). It is used for various food items such as chewing gum. It is used in medicines as a binding substance for pills and salves. It is used in cosmetics, and many other non-food, non-cosmetic uses, such as candle-making and car wax. There is no dosage information available for this herb.

    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Herbal Butters & Waxes Index

    candelilla wax and confections


    The food additive, Candelilla Wax, was already authorized in the EU as a glazing agent for confectionary and chocolate, but a reassessment was sought by the European Commission, which is seeking new risk assessments on all food additives permitted before January 20, 2009. EFSA issued its scientific opinion following an evaluation from the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee onn Food Additives (JECFA) - Not Genotoxic. The panel considered that absorption of Candelilla Wax is expected to be low, and that upon absorption the components would be incorporated into normal metabolic pathways. Overall, the Panel considered that the available data suggest that Candelilla Wax is not genotoxic. The Panel did not establish an acceptable daily intake (ADI) as it said long-term toxicity data on Candelilla Wax were lacking.


  • Candelilla Wax Herbal Products




    Amazon: Candelilla Wax Craft Products
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  • Nutrition Basics: Candelilla Wax Herbal Information

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