Incense sticks are used for a variety of spiritual, religious and health reasons. They produce soothing aromatherapy benefits and are a great way to enhance your meditation and yoga practice.
When inhaled, incense smoke can contain particulate matter that is easy to ingest and may cause respiratory problems. But when used correctly, incense can be safe and effective for you and your family.
It Purifies the Air
Many types of incense are composed of natural components with antibacterial properties, which means they can purify the air by killing germs and sanitizing your environment. Some even have anti-inflammatory elements such as boswelliic acid, which helps improve blood flow and keep you healthy1.
Incense sticks burn over time to produce smoke that covers up lingering smells in the air while leaving behind pleasant aromas. The scents stimulate your senses and calm your nerves while uplifting the mood. This makes them perfect for meditation and yoga sessions as well as to set a tranquil tone during the day or night before bed.
Studies have shown that inhaling incense smoke reduces respiratory problems, such as cough, runny nose, or chronic bronchitis. It also eliminates different pathogenic bacteria from confined spaces and keeps them clean for 24 hours2.
It Enhances the Spiritual Experience
Inhaling the smoke from burning incense can help to lower heart rate and blood pressure, making it easier to meditate and achieve a state of mindfulness. The scent also stimulates parts of the brain that are responsible for memory and concentration.
Some types of incense have been known to improve focus, and others, like frankincense and sandalwood, have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe sore throats. They can also help alleviate respiratory issues and even promote healing.
Burning incense can sweep out any energy that may be lingering, helping clear your space and open the door for new energy to come in. According to spiritual life coach Barbara Biziou, scents like sage and copal can be used for ritual cleansing or smudging. She adds that rose and jasmine scents have a reputation as natural aphrodisiacs and can be burned to ignite passion and desire. Similarly, she suggests burning cedar or vetiver to ground and connect to the earth.
It Calms Your Nerves
Each year, people spend billions of dollars purchasing prescription drugs to help reduce stress and anxiety. These drugs often come with many side effects and may be habit forming, however, incense provides an all natural solution to calm the mind and relieve stress and anxiety.
Incense will also create a positive atmosphere that can promote motivation, creativity, and even help you sleep better. The calming scents can also boost your mood and increase serotonin levels in the brain, making you feel happy and positive.
Try burning incense while you work, meditate, or journal. You can also light a stick of incense to signal the start and end of your day. Just be sure to keep a lid on the holder as too much smoke can cause lung problems. Try a coil incense that has a backflow design to prevent excess smoke. This will also keep the burner from becoming a fire hazard. You can find these incense holders at most specialty stores.
It Aids in Sleep
For those who are sleep-deprived, burning incense can help them fall asleep quicker. It can also improve their overall sleeping pattern and quality. This is because certain incense ingredients have been proven to make people feel drowsy.
For example, lavender is known for its sedative properties and can help treat insomnia and encourage sleep. Moreover, it can help reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. This makes it a great scent to burn when you are getting ready for bed because it can hasten your ability to fall asleep.
Another popular incense scent is frankincense, which is known for its rich and soothing smell. It can be a good option if you are experiencing anxiety and stress since it has been shown to increase brain serotonin. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer and can help relieve headaches, depression, and anxiety. It can even aid in preventing migraines. Besides, it can improve concentration, enhance focus, and boost confidence.