14 Reasons to burn Incense and the benefits
Scents, aromas, fragrances (however you describe them) can be used to trigger specific responses. For instance; to encourage relaxation, aid sleep, promote concentration, stimulate creativity, increase motivation and heighten sexual desire. In addition, there’s also a whole raft of religious, aesthetic and practical reasons. A further dimension is that specific fragrances or ingredients can be used for specific purposes.
Below, we explore these attributes and uses for Incense, highlight various benefits and suggest fragrances for occasions and purposes.
1. Relax and unwind
Light some Incense, curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea, a book and some chilled-out music. Alternatively, run a bath and replace candles with an Incense Stick or two. Soft fragrances will further enhance this time, allowing you to give yourself time and space away from the hassles of everyday living.
Frankincense, Sandalwood and Cedarwood are all ‘calming fragrances’, so work well for general relaxation.
2. Reduce stress and anxiety
A step up from relaxing – reduce body activities like heart rate and breathing. Also, encourage your mind to stop worrying and racing from one thing to another. Go for the purest and best quality Sandalwoods for this. Lavender and Rosemary are other great choices here too.
Incense is used widely in many religious practices to deepen attention, heighten senses and uplift one’s own spirit when practicing meditation. Traditionally, the passing of time was also measured by the burning of set length incense sticks.
Sandalwoods and Lotus are used most frequently for meditation – but you chose what suits you best. One that transports you to the place you need to be, without taking over your thoughts.
The burning of Incense can act as a doorway to spirituality, formal or informal, recognised religion or secular. Incense is and has been for thousands of years in daily use in many religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
5. Generosity and Mindfulness
Whether formal or informal, religious or aesthetic, you create good Karma by taking an incense stick and lighting it as an offering. A simple way to do something, without expectation of return. An act of generosity and letting go.
Make this a mindful activity and select an Incense Stick of high-quality. Take time and pride in preparation, selecting your stick, incense bowl and lighting materials. Light, ‘listen’ to the fragrance and relax.
6. Stimulate creativity
A well-selected fragrance can be used to enhance your own abilities, stimulate ideas and improve mental performance. Aloeswood based Incense is known for this as well as ‘uplifting’ fragrances such as Lemongrass, Citrus scents, Geranium and Ylang-Ylang.
7. Increase Focus
Burn Aloeswood and uplifting fragrances when working or studying to increase focus and enhance concentration. Less intrusive than having music playing in the background, fragrances have a subtler effect of the mind and body, making them a perfect partner for work, study or engaging in a hobby that requires detailed focus.
8. Aid sleep
Insomnia is an increasing affliction, especially in our modern, always on and interrupt orientated society. Lavender is especially associated with an aid to sleep, as are Vetiver and Chamomile. Having an Incense stick burning when falling asleep is far safer than using a candle with its naked flame.
9. Increase sexual desire
Yes! Use fragrances such as Jasmine, Vanilla and Rose to create a ‘get it on’ mood. We stock a very popular Romance Selection box of Luxury Indian Incense by Sacred Elephant for this very purpose. The mind is a powerful thing, readily activated by these aphrodisiac scents. Also, try Cinnamon to drive passion and loving moments.
10. Yoga practice
Help focus the mind and ready the body by creating the right aromatic atmosphere. Doing such a natural and healthy activity you’ll want to avoid anything artificial, toxic or just plain distracting. Try Sacred Elephant's Yoga Selection – 4 fragrances carefully chosen to suit many types and styles of Yoga - from energetic to restful and meditative.
The effect of good aromas, generated from Incense sticks has been shown to raise serotonin in the brain. As an alternative to taking drugs, nonpharmacological methods of raising brain serotonin may not only improve mood but does so without side-effects or dangers of addiction.
Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer and helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. Serotonin also helps reduce depression, regulate anxiety and reduce headaches.
In summary, Serotonin is good and Incense helps it flow! Rose is highest on our list of recommendations for this attribute; try it blended alongside a good Aloeswood stick too.
12. Cultivate a new interest
Some people drink and appreciate fine wines – others burn Incense! There is an interesting journey to be taken here with fragrance … Which do you like, which motivates you, which affects you most? Turning the burning of Incense into an interest will encourage you to slow down, appreciate things in more detail, even tune up your ability to focus and concentrate. There’s much to discover, learn and appreciate.
13. Air purification
Certain floral based ingredients have antibacterial properties – such as the Nag Champas. Plus, Incense is an easy, quick and accessible way to cover unwanted household smells like cooking, pets, damp clothes etc. Cedar, Myrrh and Citrus scents will ‘cleanse’ the air, leaving behind a freshness and new beginning.
14. A magical experience
Scents arouse significant responses in our brains and can instantly remind us of past events, people and emotions. We can be transported back to ancient Egypt, to Springtime in Japan – or anything within our own memory banks.
The good feelings are just a moment away. Accessible in price, easy to use, huge choice plus interesting and engaging.
What’s not to like!
14 Reasons to burn Incense Sticks and the Benefits
We think this is a decent list for Incense newcomers and experienced people alike. You can see, the reasons are many and the benefits diverse.
Vectis Karma is here to help you choose the Incense that suits your needs and budget best. Do contact us with any questions you have or advice you seek. eMail us HERE.
Read here, for information about Incense in general, which includes how sticks are made and comparisons between Japanese, Indian and Tibetan Incense Sticks.