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
Cold + Flu Workshop / Wednesday November 13 @ 7PM
Join herbalist Josh Williams for an exploration of the herbs and hacks that can help you suck under what goes around and make your time feeling under the weather much more bearable! We'll cover herbs, recipes, adjunct therapies, and more to get you prepped for sickies season.
We'll sample several herbs and formulas and attendees will get to take some special remedies home with them.
Wednesday November 13 @ 7pm