Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Incense is abiotic and aromatic material that releases smoke with fragrance when burned. Perfumed smoke gets emitted from it. It is useful for several reasons like meditation, aromatherapy, and other aesthetic reasons.
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Benefits of Incense
There is use of natural materials like resins, oil, sage, woods to create incense. Nowadays, people use more added substances to enhance the scent of incense.
There are two types of incense, based on its burning. They are indirect and direct burning incense. Indirect burning incense requires a constant separate source of heat to keep it alive. On the other hand, direct burning incense can get lit and fanned shortly.
History of Incense
The derivation of the word is from the Latin word incendere. The meaning of incendere is to burn. Back then, incense started in Egypt. In ancient Egypt, priests used to burn incense for fumigating ceremonies and tombs. Graves of the Egyptians discovered to have traces of fragrant resins present in incense.
Also, people used to believe that with the help of incense, they would hinder the presence of the demon. Likewise, to worship to god during rituals and festivals. In early 3300 BC, India and other parts of southern Asia also started using incense. Gradually the use of incense started spreading to China. In the current scenario, India is the largest producer of incense.
The burning of incense is a fundamental part of Hindu culture for thousands of years. In the late 12th century, buildings were designed and constructed by burning incense. In today’s world also, Hindu people use incense before constructing the base of the house or building.
Benefits of incense
1. Reduce Anxiety and Stress
Incense helps you to relax your body, reducing body activities and heart rate. It encourages your mind to stop worrying about things and lets you handle stressful situations. Sandalwoods incense is best for reducing anxiety and frustrations.
It allows your mind to be calm and work accordingly. Lavender and rosemary would also be a great choice. According to mystic and monks, inhaling the fumes of incense will help you to calm your state of mind. You have to let the fumes to wave in the air.
In many religious practices, burning incenses is believed to help one deepen their attention and uplift their spiritual side while mediating. Incenses sticks of sandalwood and lotus are more common in use for meditation. Traditionally, people used to burn incense to measure the passing of time.
They used to use set length incense sticks. The aroma of incense fosters your spiritual connection. It gives you the right mindset before you begin. It is a premeditation ritual at the beginning of each session.
A well-selected scent of incense stimulates your ability ideas and improves mental health. Aloes wood-based incense has uplifting fragrances like lemongrass, Ylang-Ylang, citrus scents, etc. It determines your creative zone and finds your flow while you do kinds of stuff like writing, painting. It creates space in your mind for beautiful notes.
4. Yoga Practice
It creates an aromatic atmosphere for yoga as well. Doing so, you will avoid unnatural activities and toxic distractions. The scent of incense helps you to boost your energy level and can overcome your stressful situation. Also, incense helps to block odors during the yoga session. When you are doing yoga, different odors may come through various activities like the odor of smoke, car exhaust, which can lead to distractions during the session. Therefore, having incense during the session will help you to get distracted.
5. Aid Sleep
Incense can be beneficial for insomniacs. Lavender, Vetiver, and Chamomile are useful for inducing sleep. You will have a peaceful sleep with the help of incense. Light the incense 15-20 minutes before you go to bed. Let the aroma revolve around your room that will aid sleep.
However, make sure the incense gets burned out before you sleep. It is also safer than burning candles.
Scents releasing out from incense produces serotonin hormone in your brain. It can be an alternative to taking drugs. It is a nonpharmacological method of raising the serotonin hormone. It improves your mood as well as a healthy addiction.
Serotonin hormone is a natural mood stabilizer as it helps in sleeping, eating, digestion. It also helps to reduce depression, headaches, and anxiety.
Rose incense can be best for releasing serotonin hormone.
7. Purifies Air
Certain floral perfume of incense has an anti-bacterial property that helps to purify the atmosphere. It is also an easy, quick method to get rid of the unwanted smell of your area. Mostly, Cedar, Myrrh, Citrus are useful to cleanse the air.
It leaves behind freshness and a new beginning. Using incense to purify air gives you a fresh and clean feeling for 24 hours. It eliminates diverse pathogenic bacteria from the air within closed spaces.
Burning incense will help you to connect spiritually. People involving in different religions use incense who have a belief in the spiritual world. Incense can act as a purifier that eliminates negativity in the atmosphere and welcome positive vibes along your way.
For thousands of years, religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity use incense for a spiritual purpose. The scent of the incense can also capture and recall good memories.
9. Generosity and Mindfulness
There is a belief that incense allows you to create good karma. You can light up the incense and let the aroma flow through your sensory receptors to have an impact on your body. It is a simple way to do something without any expectations in return. It is mesmerizing and lets you feel the peace in and out.
10. Incense as a Timer
Once an incense gets lighted up, it takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to burn down completely. You can light them up when you start your meditation, working, or during meetings. Its fragrance can also be a gentle timekeeper than a clock or an alarm. In ancient history, people used incense to measure time instead of clocks.
Lastly, incense can be highly beneficial to everyone. Looking at its benefits, you can start using incense for various purposes.