Chances are, for good or bad, you've experienced fragrant incense before. In the West, we tend to think og incense as a way to cover up bad smells or bring perfume-like fragrance into a space; but that's just one small part of the big blessing that is incense!
Who doesn't love a good Nag Champa, Sandalwood, or Cedar incense? While burning these classic fragrances can change the whole feel of a space, they're just the tip of the incense cone. The oldest uses of incense are actually medicinal and spiritual in nature, and that's what I'd like to explore with you here today.
When pure herbs are burnt, their many active constituents, oils, and energies are released into the atmosphere as smoke. This smoke is inhaled by us and works directly on the brain and heart center before working on the whole body system. One of the reasons why incense is such a popular addition to meditation, spiritual work, and mental balance work is that it tends to affect these areas of the being first and most strongly.
Scent in and of itself is medicinal. The right fragrance can calm the limbic system of the brain bringing emotional calm and harmony. Scents can often call up pleasant memories that help us immerse ourselves in the good feelings of those associations. They also cause active cascades of change in the body system which can affect emotions, mental state, immunity, digestion, stress response, mental clarity, and more. The whole art and science of aromatherapy is built on the power of scent, and it has its own roots in the raw burning of plant materials.
BENEFITS OF MEDICINAL INCENSE
NOT SO SWEET
Did you know what most commercial incense varieties include materials like glue, rubber, saltpeter, charcoal, chemical combustibles, and industrial adhesives? Not to mention the fragrance more often than not is not plant derives but comes from complex chemicals that give incense its strong, sometimes overwhelming scent profile.
When working with incense for wellness, or just when you want to enjoy something that's doing more good than harm, it's important to choose blends that are made only from plant materials and have been formulated for balance and ease on the body system. There's such a thing as too much smoke and a suffocating level of scent. Gentleness, balance, and ease are hallmarks of a good medicinal incense.
In our housemade medicinal incenses, we use only whole plant materials. We start by grinding the herbal blend down to a fine powder, then add gums and resins like copal, myrrh, and dragon's blood. Next up we mix in organic hydrosols and spring water. We blend each small batch by hands following lunar tides, and work only with organic herbs. Enjoy!
LEARN INCENSE CRAFTING
Join us at this year's DIY Festival for an immersive workshop on incense making with Herbalist Josh Williams.
Sunday August 11, 2019 @ 5:00pm
ADAPTOGENS / Saturday January 11 @ 5pm
Join Craft Herbalist Josh Williams for an exploration of the power of Adaptogen herbs.
Stressed? Worn down? Tired but Wired? In constant panic mode? Ungrounded and out of center?
Join us at Greenthread Herbs for our next empowering class on the topic of Adaptogens...
This immersive class will cover:
Attendees will be treated to an adaptogenic herbal tea blend, some fun recipes, several samples,and detailed class notes.
Saturday January 11
5:00pm - 6:30pm
TEA RITUAL / Sunday January 26 @ 3pm
Join Herbalist Josh Williams for a deep exploration of tea as ritual, ceremony, and spiritual practice. In this immersive workshop we will sit various ceremony styles with several types of teas and explore how the herbs can be worked with in magical, medicinal, and spiritual ways through the tea process.
Sunday January 26
3:00 pm- 6:00 pm
Attendees will receive an empowered ritual tea blend to take home in addition to notes from Josh's personal Materia Magica.
Please dress in comfortable, loose clothing and bring a pillow for floor sitting. In this workshop we will be spending a lot of time on the floor. Chairs will be available for those who need them or to take breaks from floor sitting. If you have any concerns about comfort or accessibility, please reach out and we'll help make accommodations!
THE SACRED COMPASS / Saturday February 1 @ 5pm
Explore the ancient symbol of the compass- a tool for self discovery, working with herbal medicines, and aligning to the magical energies of the natural world around us.
In this workshop we'll explore the Sacred Compass by walking around the energies it represents, connecting to those energies for personal initiation, and working with herbal allies along the way in the form of teas, tinctures, incense, and edibles.
Come learn how to explore where you are on your journey, what imbalances may be causing issues in your narrative, and how you can work with the primordial elemental forces to cultivate greater harmony in your life.
Workshop includes several plant medicines, guided meditations, handouts, and deep inspirations!