The incense smoke from powder incense provides healing, purifying benefits to your physical and emotional body. It can also create a peaceful and calm atmosphere.
This type of incense has been used for centuries as an offering to deities, to relax and focus the mind, and to measure time during meditation or yoga. It is also a wonderful way to scent your home.
Burning the Incense
Throughout history, incense has been used for a variety of purposes. From calming the mind to promoting relaxation, incense is a powerful tool to help create a peaceful and focused environment.
Choosing the right scent for your incense is key, and Biziou suggests trying different fragrances to find what you enjoy best. For example, scents like lavender and sandalwood are known for their calming effects. Meanwhile, scents such as cedar and vetiver are natural aphrodisiacs.
Make sure to use incense that is free of synthetic chemicals and additives. These ingredients can cause harmful air pollutants and may lead to respiratory problems. It is also important to open a window during or after burning incense, so that proper ventilation can occur. Loosen the ash in your burner to prevent hard lumps and uneven dispersal. Next, place the incense stick or cone into the ash. Then, carefully light it. Allow it to burn until the tip glows red and smokes.
Choosing the Scent
One of the most important aspects of choosing incense is selecting a scent. Different scents can evoke various emotions or moods, including relaxation, meditative state and even sleep.
In addition to selecting a scent, consider the intended purpose for the incense. The incense you choose should be made of natural ingredients, not synthetic fragrances, and should match the type of atmosphere you want to create in your space.
For instance, use lavender for a calming effect or sandalwood for meditation and spiritual rituals. You can also use energizing scents, such as citrus and cinnamon, to increase focus.
Other incense-making ingredients may be used for their heat, astringent properties or to make the finished product last longer. These are typically referred to as “base” materials and include wood powder, wood chips, frankincense resin and more. They help the aromatic ingredients, such as herbs, flowers and resins, burn evenly and long. They also serve as a fixative for the ephemeral scents of the aromatic ingredients.
Lighting the Incense
Whether you’re using powder incense for religious or spiritual purposes, or just to relax, it is important to know how to light it properly. A well-lit incense stick emits a lovely scent and can help purify the air and promote relaxation.
Stick incense can be lit by placing it on a heat-proof holder or incense burner and applying flame to the end of the stick, until the tip glows brightly. Allow it to burn for a few moments and then blow it out. A small ember may remain, and should be placed inside the holder for safety.
Dipped sticks use incense “blanks” that are dipped in essential or fragrance oils. A depression is made in the combustible blank, and loose incense ingredients are pressed onto it as it burns, creating a trail of fragrant smoke. These sticks are often sold at flea markets and street vendors. You can also make your own dipped incense at home by pressing the woody ends of citrus peels into a depression in a bowl of white ash, and then filling it with makko powder.
Holding the Incense
Using stick incense is a simple, yet effective way to experience the benefits of fragrance. Simply light a stick and let it burn while you go about your day or meditate, reading, writing, or doing other tasks that require focus. The smoke will waft up and down, gently reminding you to stay present in the moment.
The stick can be placed in an incense holder that is usually made of wood or metal, but it can also be placed inside a container filled with grain, rice, salt, or sand to hold it up while it’s burning. This can help prevent the stick from falling down into your work or other places.
For direct-burning powder incense, place a small amount of the powder on top of a piece of charcoal that has been prepared for this type of incense. Light the charcoal and wait for it to form an ember before sprinkling the incense powder on top of it.