Incense is a smoke-emitting substance that can be used for decorative or spiritual purposes. It is made from various materials including woods, resins and powders.
Inhalation of incense smoke may cause various adverse effects including asthma and heart diseases. It also irritates the nose, throat and skin. In addition, it can increase the production of oxidative stress markers.
1. It is a natural pain reliever
The scented smoke from incense can be helpful for soothing headaches and other pains. It also helps relieve anxiety and depression. Research has shown that inhaling some types of incense oil can trigger ion channels in the brain related to emotions, relieving depression and anxiety.
To make incense, a combination of aromatic resins, spices and woods are ground to a fine powder. Then, a binding agent and a combustible substance is added to the powder. The resulting mixture is then formed into sticks or cones. A flame is then blown on the end of the incense stick, which causes it to burn and release scented smoke.
Smoke from incense may be harmful to the lungs because it contains a range of small particles and gases, including carbon monoxide. It has been linked to a number of negative health effects, including a greater risk of lung cancer in long-term smokers. However, it can be beneficial if you use a safe incense blend that contains fewer volatile chemicals.
2. It relieves stress
Many meditative and spiritual traditions use incense for meditation or as a part of their prayers. It can be a great addition to any yoga or meditation practice as the scent of the burning incense helps to calm and clear your mind.
The aromatherapy of incense can help improve mood and relieve stress by raising serotonin levels in the brain. This natural mood booster is known to ease depression, reduce anxiety and enhance sleep. The pleasant smell of incense can also help relive pain by easing your breathing and calming your nerves.
Certain ingredients found in the resins of frankincense and myrrh have been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects in mice. However, these results need further validation to determine whether they apply to humans as well. Another concern is that inhaling too much incense smoke could be harmful to your health. This is especially true if you suffer from respiratory issues. Also, leaving incense sticks burning unattended can be a fire hazard.
3. It reduces anxiety
A good incense stick with a floral aroma like rose or cherry blossom will have a soothing effect on your mood and reduce stress. It is known to stimulate serotonin in the brain, which improves your mood and makes you feel relaxed.
In addition, the lingering fragrance of incense creates a calm environment that helps you focus on your meditation. However, you should make sure that you are using incense in a well-ventilated room. Otherwise, the smoke could trigger asthma and other health problems.
A new study suggests that incense may have an unexpected benefit – it can alleviate anxiety and depression. Researchers found that burning frankincense resin (resin from the Boswellia tree) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to calm anxiety and depression. This finding suggests that a whole new class of anti-anxiety medications might be right under our noses. This is a promising alternative to existing drugs, which are often associated with harmful side effects.
4. It improves sleep
Many people use incense to clear out energy lingering in their spaces. This is especially helpful if there has been tension or conflict in the space, as this can block our own positive energy from flowing freely. By performing a ritual with sticks of incense or simply burning them, we can sweep out previous vibes and make room for new energy to come into the area.
Some scents like lavender are known to have sedative effects, which can help promote sleep and combat insomnia. This makes incense a great complement to a yoga or meditation practice for those who struggle to sleep at night.
Just be sure to choose natural, high-quality incense and burn them in well-ventilated areas. The chemicals and particulate matter that are released when incense is burned can have serious negative health impacts. They can also irritate lungs, cause headaches, and even lead to respiratory disease and cancer in some cases. The best natural incense is eucalyptus, which can reduce inflammation and promote respiratory wellness by breaking down phlegm, making it perfect for fighting common colds or the flu.