How To Make Incense At Home
The practice of burning incense dates back thousands of years and it has been used for various purposes, including for religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy and meditation. Burning incense is considered to be the most popular way to get rid of negative energies in a house and bring forth new positive vibes.
The literal meaning of the word incense is ‘to burn’ and is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils that release fragrant smoke when burned.
People all over the world have burned all kinds of plants and resins for various purposes, including religious rites, protection, cleansing the air, purifying, repelling pests, or enjoying a pleasant smell.
Incense has long been used in the Far East and its preparation and burning is thought by many rather as a form of art than as a utilitarian purpose.
There are several types of incenses, including cone incense, powdered incense and stick incense.
In this article, we are going to show you how to make cone incense at home. This type of incense was invented in Japan in the 1800’s. Its preparation is very simple and it burns quite fast.
Making your own incense will ensure that everything that is contained in it will be natural and healthy. You will know exactly what plants and resins are in it and that it doesn’t contain any potentially toxic fillers. Note that in spite of the fact that you are using pure products for the preparation of your incense, you should always make sure to burn it in a well-ventilated area.
First, you should purchase an incense making kit, like the one from Mountain Rose Herbs. This kit should include all the necessary equipment for the making of incense at home:
- a variety of different powdered herbs;
- a small mortar and pestle;
- a book with directions on how to make your own incense.
If you don’t have any kit or cannot find one, you can always buy all the necessary things separately and gather everything you need.
There are numerous different incense recipes, but this was our choice.
Buy these powdered herbs at your nearest local herb store and use the following amounts of each:
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass
- ½ teaspoon sandalwood
- ½ teaspoon frankincense
- ¼ teaspoon benzoin gum
- ¾ teaspoon makko
Lemongrass has a very pleasant scent when burned and is also used to repel bugs.
Sandalwood also has amazing scent. Make sure that you purchase this ingredient form an ecologically sound source.
Frankincense is a popular incense that comes from the resin of a Boswellia plant. Moreover, it has been shown that “[b]urning frankincense activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression.”(ScienceDaily.com)
Benzoin gum is often used as a preservative in cosmetics and soaps. Its scent resembles that of vanilla.
Makko represents a prominent base ingredient for incense preparation.
Put all these powdered herbs in a small bowl or a mortar and mix them well.
Then, add several drops of water to this powder mixture so as to create a malleable paste. Use a pipette dropper to help you add water very slowly.
Add water slowly, stir, and then add some more until the mixture resembles a play dough.
When you’re done making the paste, you can start shaping it into cones. Use your thumb as a base while you shape the cone using your other hand. The cones shouldn’t be too big as they won’t lit up fast.
Put the cones on a piece of wax paper or any other hard surface and allow them to dry for a whole day.
Afterwards, lay them on their side so as to allow air circulation to the bottom of the cone.
How much time would be necessary for the cones to dry completely depends on your climate. It usually takes 25-36 hours.
When your cones are completely dried, put them in an air-tight container where they should stay until ready to use.
How To Use These Incense Cones?
Here’s what you need to do when you decide to use your incense cones:
- Take one cone and lay it on a fire-safe surface.
- Light the tip of the cone using a lighter or a match.
- Allow it to burn for a moment, and then blow it out.
- The incense cone will continue to smolder, releasing a pleasant scent, until it burns completely.
- Note that you should always burn incense in areas with good ventilation.
de la Forêt, R. (2011, August 1). Gardening & Skills: How to make incense. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from http://learningherbs.com/skills/how-to-make-incense/
Burning Incense Is Psychoactive: New Class Of Antidepressants Might Be Right Under Our Noses. (2008, May 20). Retrieved January 10, 2017, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm
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