Natural Incense Vs Synthetic Incense

Natural vs Synthetic Incense

Natural incense is made from a combination of herbs, spices, flowers, tree resins and essential oils. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, so it’s safer and healthier to use than synthetic incense.

Many types of incense are used for aromatherapy, which helps with relaxation and stress relief. It can also be used to enhance meditation and yoga.

How to Make Your Own

There are a wide variety of herbs and plant material that can be used to create and burn natural incense. Whether used to purify the air, create a mood of relaxation or enhance meditation or yoga practice, herbal incense provides many health and spiritual benefits.

Natural incense can be made at home by mixing loose ingredients together, kneading them into pellets or molds and drying them. It is best to grind all ingredients into a fine powder before starting so they will burn more reliably and evenly. It may help to freeze gummy resins like labdanum and elemi before grinding.

Incense can be made into sticks, trails or cones depending on the preference of the user. Cones are more convenient to use, but aren’t as clean-burning. They also require a heat source like charcoals to ignite the aromatic ingredients when lit. Regardless of the incense type chosen, it is important to choose ingredients that are free of synthetic fragrances and harmful man-made glues.


The bases for natural incense are typically wood powders or resins, like frankincense and myrrh. Other plant materials like dried leaves and barks can also be used, although they tend to have more acrid smoke. Pine needles are a good example; they can be very acrid, so should only be used in small quantities, if at all.

A natural incense base is also sometimes referred to as “koh”. It differs from dipped incense sticks (also known as joss sticks) because it contains no pressed wood and no accelerants that are toxic when burned. Koh is made with a mixture of powdered woods, oils, herbs and resins that are hand-formed into long, thin sticks and allowed to dry.

The binders that are used to make koh and other incense are often a type of wood powder, such as “joss powder” or “tabu no ki.” Wood binders are more forgiving than gum binders, so they’re a great choice for new incense makers.

Essential Oils

Natural incense contains a variety of herbs, flowers, resins and essential oils. It has been used throughout the world for spiritual, medicinal/healing and fragrancing purposes. The natural scents can also have mood-altering effects and help to purify the air.

It is important to find incense that does not contain synthetic fragrances or other chemicals. Look for the words “natural” or “pure.”

Most importantly, be sure to read the label carefully. If the package does not clearly say what ingredients are in the product, avoid it.

For example, many companies use rose oil in their products but the actual ingredient is usually a synthetic alternative because of the cost of distilling high-quality rose attar. Additionally, frankincense oil has been known to have blood-thinning properties and may not be safe for those taking anticoagulant medications. Avoid such products if you want to be healthy. It is also best to stick with natural scented oils and woods. They are much healthier for the environment and your respiratory system.


Incense has been used for millennia in a wide range of religious ceremonies and other rituals. Its burning has been shown to elevate mood, improve breathing, and provide relaxation. Choosing natural incense means you’re using pure ingredients that are less harmful to your health and the environment.

Most commercial incense sticks use synthetic oils and fragrances that have chemical ‘fixatives’ to make them retain their scents for longer periods of time. They are often also made using unnatural wood powders that give off toxic smoke when burned.

The best incense is koh (), which is a mixture of powdered woods, resins, and herbs that are mixed together, formed into long “noodle” shapes, and allowed to dry. Unlike dipped sticks, which are made from incense blanks that are coated in combustible incense powders, koh is made using all natural ingredients. You can easily make your own koh at home by preparing the right blend of natural ingredients.