Over the last decade, I've been used increasingly by people all over the world for my pleasant aroma. Although, I’ve been around for more than 6000 years. If we haven’t met before, Hello, my name is incense. Incense means “to burn” in Latin. But I am not frightening, don’t worry. Quite the opposite, I help make you feel at ease.
From being used to kill insects, remove bad odors, and as part of religious ceremonies, I’ve come a long way. Incense is now a key element in aromatherapy, meditation and plenty other self-care practices. I’m loved for my fragrant aromas that soothe, heal, and comfort the ones around me.
And now after researchers have dived deep into me and my aromatic allure, they say incense aromas impact your mind and body positively and help enhance your mental well-being.
what am I, incense, made of?
My incense-ancestors started off as resin balls. They went on to transform into a mixture of special herbs and mystical plants. The base of this mix is still widely used to make incense today.
A blend of plants and herbs are intensely boiled or distilled through steam to reduce down to aromatic extracts. The extracts often include a variety of natural ingredients based on the desired aroma of the final incense.
My ingredients differ in every region and are made from native elements like resins, barks, seeds, roots and flowers. These ensure that when I’m burnt, I heal and purify the air with my scent and incense smoke.
Mostly, I borrow my aromas from locally available plant friends. Some of them are:
While they give me the fragrance, I also have a share of combustible binding material. This lets me “to burn” and helps me stay true to my name, incense. The sad side of this is the charcoal powders that end up inducing toxic-smoke from me.
When you find yourself picking a pack of incense next time, check the label. Avoid ones that have synthetic scents, colors or binders. If the label says charcoal, then you won’t just be picking me, but also harm-causing charcoal impurities.
Surprisingly, synthetic binder is only a new addition. Earlier, I was made of honey. In the traditional incense-making of Indian culture, honey is used as a binder. It adds a bonus warmth of sweet aroma to me.
Luckily, Looshi makes me in the safe and sweet way, even today. They pamper me with the sweetest of honey and the loveliest of native plants. Looshi also dresses me up with 8 pleasantly gentle aromas.
how to burn incense, the safe way
I come in different attires, but mostly as incense sticks.
To burn me, you must first ignite me. Light the tip of my stick and blow out the flame once my tip turns red. The tip of my stick continues to glow and gradually gives you a fragrant scent with smoke.
Most incense sticks are 8” long and burn between 50 to 75 minutes, all the while, spreading a sense of serenity in the air. After I’m lit, I shrink with time and naturally extinguish myself.
To avoid any risk of fires when you light me, always remember to:
- Use an incense holder or stand
- Place the holder on a fireproof surface
- Don’t leave me unattended
science says I’m helpful and make you feel good
Aromas in incense come with goodness for your health. I help clear the air of uninvited odors, help you de-stress, regain your energy and feel at peace with yourself.
Studies suggest aromas positively nurture mental health and people use incense even in their aromatherapy routines. I’m sometimes made of lavender and jasmine to help the ones around me decrease anxiety. When I’m a mix of peppermint and rosemary, I better the entire ambience for you.
How I make you feel depends on the type of incense and aromas that I’m made of. Some types of me are meant to relax and some to energize.
and that’s me and my story
I and my makers at Looshi strongly believe that aromas have the power to transform your mind, body and soul. If you’re looking to buy incense, think about why you're going to use it. Think about the feeling you want to evoke and use an incense designed with safe ingredients that take you closer to your needs.