Incense is a substance that you burn to produce pleasant aromas, and its name comes from the Latin word ‘incendere,’ which means ‘to burn.’ People have used incense since ancient times for various purposes, including as part of religious rituals, to repel evil spirits or demons, in aromatherapy and meditation, and to create fragrant scents that counteract bad aromas. It is also possible to use it as a deodorant and an insect repellent.
Where Does Incense Come From?
It is believed that incense originally came from countries such as Egypt, Babylon, and Greece. Evidence suggests that incense was introduced to the Romans by the Greeks. However, these were not the only civilizations that used incense in various ways, as there is evidence of the Chinese, Koreans, Indians, and Japanese using incense in ancient times.
What is Incense Made Out Of?
There are two components to incense. The first is an aromatic material that will produce a scent as you burn the incense. These are usually made from plant-based materials, such as barks, seeds, flowers, roots, and resins made from plant oils and extracts. Typical examples include sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, frankincense, musk, and cinnamon.
The second component of incense is a combustible material, and this serves two purposes. First, it is the combustible material that allows the incense to burn. Second, they bind the aromatic material into a shape, such as a stick, a cone, or a block. Different incense producers use different combustible materials, although common examples include charcoal or wood powders.
Types of Incense
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Incense Scents & Their Benefits
We have written several articles on a wide range of different incense scents and their benefits for you to read below.
- Amber Incense Benefits
- Cedar Incense Benefits
- Dragon Blood Incense Benefits
- Frankincense Incense Spiritual Benefits
- Jasmine Incense Benefits
- Patchouli Incense Benefits
- Rose Incense Benefits
- Rosemary Incense Benefits
- Sandalwood Incense Benefits
- Benefits of Lavender Incense Sticks
Incense How To Guides
Sandalwood Incense Guides
Where to Use Incense
Most people use incense inside their home. If you use incense indoors to create a nice aroma, make sure you ventilate the room and do not leave the incense alone while it is burning. You can also use it outdoors, although you may have some problems burning the incense on wet or windy days.
Incense comes in various forms that you can use in your home, including coils, cones, powders, and sticks. Which form of incense you buy will depend on how you use it, although you must ignite all types of incense to release the fragrant smoke. It is possible to buy various incense accessories to burn your accessories, such as an incense stick holder that allows you to stand the incense upright while it burns.
To use incense at home, you must ignite it with a lighter or a match to create a flame. Once the incense is lit, blow out the flame and allow the incense to burn. There is no need to extinguish the incense, as it will burn itself out once there is no combustible material left.
Is Incense Bad for Your Health?
There are both potential benefits and dangers associated with using incense. However, research into this subject is limited, and many of the available studies have only focused on incense that contains frankincense or myrrh. Therefore, further research is needed to confirm the findings of these studies. It is also important to note that the benefits and risks can vary from one type of incense to the next, as they contain different compounds.
Some studies have shown that a potential benefit of burning incense is that it can act as an antidepressant, so some people burn incense to help alleviate stress, depression, and anxiety. Another studied showed that some types of incense contain anti-inflammatory properties.
On the other hand, other studies show there are some potential risks associated with burning incense. One area of concern is that burning incense releases carbon monoxide, and some studies have shown that this may trigger wheezing in asthmatic children.
Another studied showed that burning incense regularly could increase the risk of developing squamous cell lung cancer. Other studies have shown that incense smoke is toxic to cultured cells and that inhaling the smoke increases the risk of high blood pressure.
Where to Buy Incense Online
Incense is widely available to buy online in all its forms. Not only is it available from many general online retailers, but it is also available from specialist shops, such as Buddhist, holistic, fragrance, and home décor retailers. You may need to shop around to find the best deal for your preferred type and scent of incense.