Using Incense For Stress Relief – What Does the Science Say?

Using Incense for Stress Relief What Does the Science Say

A variety of natural incense fragrances have calming effects. They can be used in conjunction with meditation and can help reduce stress levels and improve moods.

Certain scents, such as lavender and chamomile, are known to encourage relaxation and promote calmness. They also raise serotonin levels in the brain. These effects are similar to those obtained from taking prescription drugs but without the side-effects and risk of addiction.


The calming and soothing aroma of lavender has long been used to help promote sleep, relaxation and calm the mind. It is a common ingredient in many pillow sprays, body mists, oils and other sleep aids and relaxation products because of its relaxing properties.

Studies have shown that the scent of lavender activates the olfactory nerve and is processed by the limbic system of the brain. This is the area of the brain that controls our emotions, memories and survival instincts.

One study found that when a person inhaled lavender fragrance, it significantly reduced anxiety. It also decreased blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory activity. The lavender incense sticks are the perfect way to incorporate this aroma into your daily life and experience the benefits of it’s calming effects.


The scent of sandalwood has been used in religious practices, incense and perfume for thousands of years. This scent is known to calm the mind and promote feelings of serenity. This is why it’s so popular in yoga studios and meditation spaces.

Sandalwood essential oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping with stomach and intestinal ulcers. Research has also found that the main constituent of sandalwood oil, alpha-santalol, has chemopreventive effects on cancer cells.

Chamomile is a common ingredient in herbal teas for its soothing qualities, promoting relaxation and sleepiness. Using vanilla incense in your home can help to create a relaxing atmosphere. This scent is ideal for unwinding after a long day or before bed. Its sweet, familiar scent helps to ease anxiety and stress, making it a great choice for those struggling with depression or general moodiness. It’s also been known to reduce fatigue and stimulate your metabolism, boosting energy levels.


The scent of pine has a natural calming effect. When used in conjunction with deep breathing or meditation, it can be an effective stress reliever. Pine also promotes mental clarity and spiritual awareness.

The fragrance of rose is known for its aphrodisiac properties, but it is also effective at soothing anxiety and promoting relaxation. This classic scent is often used for its emotional healing benefits and balancing effects on the mind and body.

Frankincense incense has a long history of use for its meditative properties. This resinous incense has a strong relaxing effect on the body and is especially helpful for relieving stress, depression, and anxiety. When lit, it has been shown to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which helps alleviate mood disorders. Simply watch the trails of smoke swirl upward and allow your mind to wander into peace. Try it with a lavender or sandalwood stick for a holistic and natural way to relieve stress.

Clary Sage

Clary Sage, also called Salvia sclarea, has many mood-enhancing properties and is particularly calming. In one study, the scent of Clary Sage oil reduced salivary cortisol levels, a stress hormone, and produced an antidepressant-like effect in menopausal women.

Linalool and linalyl acetate are two powerful constituents in Clary Sage oil that have been shown to support a healthy emotional state when used internally. (To learn more about the chemical makeup of essential oils, see the doTERRA Science blog.)

Clary Sage incense is often combined with Lavender and Sandalwood, as these three oils all contain linalyl acetate. This combination is known to promote relaxation, ease anxiety and tension, balance hormones, and strengthen the immune system. It is also helpful during spiritual ceremonies and meditation sessions to encourage a calm and peaceful mind. When using essential oils, make sure you are working with a quality product that is 100 percent pure and from a reputable company.