The simple act of burning incense for both spiritual and health benefits has been practiced for centuries. Evidence has been found of incense burning in many religions including ancient Egypt, ancient China, and the Vedas. Used in ancient rituals, meditation, and for creating pleasant aromas, and also for medicinal use.
What Is Incense Made Of?
Composed of manly aromatic plant-based materials and can include a variety of barks, tree resins, seeds, roots, and flowers. This in turn is made into a paste and hand-rolled onto bamboo sticks. However, the process differs from country to county. For example, Tibetan incense does not contain a stick and tends to be much thicker in diameter. Incense comes mostly packaged in cones, sticks, and the lesser known powder variety. The combination may vary depending on the region where it is made from and the manufacturer. It might be interesting to know that people would mix the ingredients based on the project at hand over the centuries
There are so many different scents available, some of the more popular incense fragrances are:
Sandalwood Incense Benefits
Sandalwood is a beautifully fragrant wood grown mainly in Australia and India. Popular for use in essential oils as well as in incense. Used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies and is still popular today in Hindu and Buddhism cultures. In Western cultures, it’s readily used for its relaxing properties. Thought to relieve stress and anxiety as well as helping with sleep problems. Its glorious scent can have a sedative effect calming the mind and aiding a better night’s sleep.
Patchouli Incense Benefits
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is an aromatic flowering plant that originated in the tropical climes of South Asia. It belongs to the mint family and has large, fragrant leaves with irregular tooth-shaped edges. Both the stems and leaves are covered in fine hairs. When the plant blooms, it produces small flowers in white or pale purple shades. Patchouli is said to have a balancing effect on emotions and creates an amorous atmosphere. It is used to eases anxiety and depression.
Frankincense Incense Benefits
Frankincense oil is prepared from aromatic hardened gum resins obtained by tapping Boswellia trees. Boswellic acid is popularly known for its ability to improve blood circulation, and it also has some anti-inflammatory properties. The word is derived from the French franc meaning luxuriant, and was, along with myrrh, the first gum to be used as incense. Ancient Egyptians burned frankincense as holy incense and used it as a face mask. They ground the burnt resin into a powder called kohl, used to highlight the eyes. Kohl-lined eyes are commonly seen in Egyptian art.
Incense has been around for centuries, and it was mainly used for rituals by people in the past. However, these days, people use incense for many reasons, not just for rituals.
It does not matter what reasons you might have to burn incense; the best thing is that incense has many therapeutic and overall health benefits.
What Therapeutic Benefits Does Incense Have on the Body?
Incense has lots of therapeutic benefits to the mind and body of the user. The act of indulging our olfactory senses is more powerful than you might realise. Scents and smells have been known to have major impacts on our feelings. Think of the smell of cut grass or baked bread in the home. They all take you back to a place of contentment. This is true of fragrances used in incense different scents can trigger different emotions.
Below are some of the health and therapeutic benefits of burning incense;
These days it is common for people to complain about insomnia which can be very stressful, resulting in many health issues. Sleep problems result from many distractions in the modern world, such as work stress. Therefore, burning incense with lavender ingredients can help calm the nerves, thus helping you relax your mind and unwind. To have a good night’s sleep, you need a relaxed mind, and burning ingredients that help you relax eventually enables you to sleep better.
Combats Respiratory problems
If you suffer from different respiratory issues such as sinusitis, frequent colds, and sometimes allergies, burning incense may help you immensely. Most incense ingredients aid the body in fighting different respiratory problems. So you can try to burn small amounts of incense a day and see the results in your respiratory system.
As mentioned before, incense may help you relax, improving your sleep patterns, and helps reducing anxiety. Incense fragranced with sandalwood or lavender helps a great deal in reducing anxiety and helping you relax. So if you feel excessively anxious, try some incense with sandalwood or lavender and see how it works on you.
Purifies the Air
Buddhist monks have been using incense to purify the air around them for thousands of years. Floral-based incense has antibacterial properties with Nag Champa being the most popular. Citrus scents are also good for neutralising cooking, fusty, and even pet smells in the home.
Helps with Depression
If you feel depressed or under too much stress, you should consider burning some incense at your home. Frankincense incense is famously known for its overall health and healing benefits, but it is incredibly good in relaxing the mind and easing depression. In addition, frankincense incense extracts have stress-reducing and neurological healing effects.
Burning incense can help stimulate creativity by clearing and opening the mind. Look for uplifting scents such as citrus, lemongrass, and Ylang Ylang
From the therapeutic benefits listed above, you have seen that burning incense has great benefits other than making your room smell wonderful. Once you know which ingredients work for you, burning incense will be one of your favourite activities.
Types of Incense Burners
It’s also a good idea to invest in a quality incense burner. Some of these products are universal and can be used for burning both cones and incense sticks. If you love backflow incense cones make sure you choose one specifically for this. Backflow cones and burners work by both of them having a whole that you align together. Once lit the hole seals and works like a vacuum to pull the smoke down creating a mesmerising waterfall effect.
We hope you found this interesting, you might want to read our article on Natural Remedies to Reduce Stress and Anxiety. Looking for more home fragrance ideas read this article Eco-friendly way to Fragrance your Home.