What Is Incense? Health Effects And Spiritual Properties

What Is Incense? Health Effects And Spiritual Properties

What is incense and what is it made of? It’s important to know what your incense contains before burning it.

We’ll talk about the health effects and spiritual benefits of burning incense. When used together with essential oils or crystals, it can have an even greater spiritual effect.

In this post we’re going to cover:

When it comes to spiritual uses of incense, essential oils, and crystals, we’ll discuss how incense interacts with:


What's Incense?

Incense is an aromatic material. Through burning, the glowing ember releases a pleasant fragrance and smoke.

The word incense originates from the Latin incendere, which means to burn or to ignite. Later, the French used the word encens.

Incense was used in religious and spiritual rituals ever since the times of ancient Egypt. Incense was also used by the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. Chinese spiritual practices include specifically-designed buildings for incense burning. Japanese culture popularized its use during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was used by the upper and middle classes as a way to produce fragrant scents in their homes as they cleansed the energies of the space.

What is incense made of?

What is incense made of? Traditionally, incense is made of natural resins, dried plants, and essential oils. These resins would be burned in order to produce the fragrant scent and the smoke. Today’s modern incense can come in the form of a thin stick incense, incense powder, or incense cones.

They can contain wood powder, wood dust, and various types of dried plant matter aside or instead of natural resins. Sometimes, synthetic fragrances can be added so they're released from the smoldering ember during the burning process.

When it comes to stick incense, it can contain a bamboo stick at its core. If it doesn’t contain any bamboo sticks, then the stick incense is a joss stick.

What is incense used for?

All-natural incense has spiritual and healing powers. Those powers are not the same as the synthetic or artificial properties of incense. Let’s talk about the benefits of incense.

Raw incense plays a major role in spirituality. It's believed that the use of incense brings health benefits while it cleanses negative energy. If you don’t have issues with smoke, incense burning can alleviate breathing issues, lower anxiety levels, calm down a racing heartbeat, and help you release stress.

Ever since ancient Egypt, incense has played a major role in religious ceremonies. Various cultures from around the world use incense as part of their religious practices. The smoke resulting from the burning of incense would float up into the skies, carrying the prayers of supplicants, priests, and priestesses.

Burning incense was considered a way to communicate with the higher power in numerous belief systems. Some seers and shamans would burn incense as part of their healing practices and also as part of their journeying or spiritual growth process. In some cases, the plants burned would cause trance-like or even hallucinogenic effects that helped the ascension process.

Buddhist monks use incense to cleanse and optimize their sacred space. You can encounter forms of incense burning in churches as well, as part of the religious rites and ceremonies. Pagans, witches, and New Age adepts all burn incense as part of their practices.


How To Burn Incense

When you’re burning incense, the dried plant materials that slowly burn release scented smoke. That fragrant smoke is part of the whole point of the process. The use of incense involves a few special items, depending on the nature of the incense you’ve decided to burn.

As a practice, the burning of incense is often part of some form of spiritual practice or ceremony. It might include other forms of smudging. Whatever items you use during that ritual or practice are usually separate from your incense-burning items.

When it comes to how to burn incense, it’s important to keep in mind what items you need. The items you’re going to need in order to burn incense are:


This is a pretty obvious beginning, we know. But there’s a whole process involved in choosing your incense before actually burning it.

Start with why you’re burning incense. Does it have solely aromatherapy purposes? If so, it can be artificial or synthetic incense. Do you want to gain some health benefits from the burning of incense and/or some spiritual benefits? Then go for natural incense or raw incense instead.

The shape in which you choose to use the incense isn’t so relevant for the purpose in itself. However, some forms of incense might release more incense smoke from the incense stick, cone, or powder than others during the same amount of time. 

When inhaling incense smoke, bad reactions might occur if you're sensitive to smoke in general. As with cigarette smoke, there’s smoke contact as a result of direct burning incense exposure and indirect burning incense exposure.

Consider the incense smoke released from the Natural Energy Aromatherapy Cones compared to the smoke released from the incense sticks from the Buddhist Meditation Set. The thin shape of the sticks is going to insure a slower burn compared to the thicker shape of the cones.

Another aspect of the incense sticks versus incense cones is the amount of smoke being released. The incense stick burns at a constant pace, releasing a relatively constant amount of smoke through the burning process. The incense cones will release less smoke when the tip is burning and more of it as the fire reaches the thicker base.

Too much smoke can become a form of air pollution. So if you might be sensitive to smoke in general, try to use incense sticks, which are thin and release a smaller amount of smoke than a cone might during the same amount of time.

Incense holder or incense burner

Another essential part of burning incense is the holder or burner you’ll place the incense on while it’s burning. This item is called a censer, incense holder, or incense burner.

An incense holder like the Loving Lotus Incense Holder offers your incense sticks a safe place to burn. At the same time, it makes for gorgeous home decor. If you’re including your incense holders in a ceremony or ritual, you want to enjoy the aesthetics of the items so everything flows in a harmonious way.

Incense burners can be as simple or as ornate and intricate as you’d like them to be. They usually involve some space to place the incense in and a cover that has holes or patterns cut into it. The incense smoke is released in a controlled manner as a result of the holes or patterns cut into the cover of the incense burners.

Fire and charcoal

An essential item is a fire source for lighting incense sticks or incense cones as part of your incense ceremony. Any form of fire source will do, really, from matches to fancy lighters.

The charcoal disks are only necessary if you’re burning actual resins, like Frankincense or Myrrh. Natural incenses that come from resins don’t contain something to maintain the fire burning, so they need charcoal to maintain it.

If you’re using charcoal to burn incense, you’ll also need some metal tweezers or some other such metal instruments to handle the burning disk. You’ll also need sand to be able to put out the fire if it doesn’t burn itself out during your burning incense ceremony or ritual.

Items like incense sticks, incense powder, or incense cones have wood dust or other agents that maintain the fire burning without you adding anything extra.

Don't leave incense burning unattended! It can become a fire hazard. When you're done with your burning incense ceremony or practice, extinguish the fire.


Spiritual Uses Of Incense, Essential Oils, And Crystals

The use of incense is often accompanied by the use of essential oils and crystals.

The New Age movement took well to the practice of burning incense and other dried plants as part of smudging or cleansing practices. The notion is the one present in cultures ever since ancient times: the smoke cleanses, removing negative energies and amplifying the positive energies of the person, object, or space cleansed.

Essential Oils

Essential oil is often used together with burning incense. There are several oils that have been used in spiritual ceremonies and practices for a very long time. The use of oils goes as far back as the use of incense goes, in fact.

Oils can be used to anoint candles, even incense holders or incense burners, the hand that holds the incense holder or incense burner during the ceremony or ritual, and so on.

The Crystal Energies - Essential Oil Roller Bottle Set is perfect to use together with incense. The handy roller bottles help you anoint any items or yourself as part of your ritual or practice. These oils improve your energy flow. They offer you energetic protection, promote grounding, and help you relax.  

The scent of the oils combined with the scent of the incense also helps you relax and unwind. Aromatherapy is a very powerful tool to use in order to overcome issues like anxiety.


Along with burning incense and using oils, crystals are very powerful spiritual tools. Crystals have also played a major role in spirituality ever since ancient times. They have the power to cleanse, promote healing, and offer guidance and support to those who use them.

Depending on the purpose of the ceremony, you can use different types of crystals. You can use incense and crystals for:

A powerful option to use together with burning incense and oils is crystal sets, like the Natural Energy Lamp or the 7 Chakra Bracelet and Stones Set. Such sets bring together the power of the crystals that work with all the chakras in order to optimize your entire energetic system.

With your entire system optimized energetically, your incense burning and use of oils are going to have the best possible results.


Get Your Incense Sticks And Burn Incense Today!

Burning incense has many spiritual and even physical benefits. If you haven’t tried yet to burn incense, then it’s time to give it a shot. Experiment and enjoy the benefits of incense.

You can choose fragrant incense cones or incense sticks with exotic scents. Or you can try raw incense, which has spiritual benefits as well as smelling great.

Cleanse your own energetic field and that of your space of negative energies. By burning incense, you optimize your energy levels so you can lead your best life. Burn incense while meditating, doing yoga, or simply while you’re relaxing at home. It will improve your ambiance and your morale.

If you’re recovering from any sort of issue, physical or emotional, it’s a great idea to burn incense. If you’re going through any sort of spiritual practice or ritual, burning incense is going to heighten the spiritual level of your connection to your higher power.

You can achieve so much more by burning incense while also using essential oils and crystals. Whether you want to burn joss sticks, incense cones, a thin stick, or powder, you’re still going to enjoy the benefits of incense. Amplify them with the help of the oils and crystals that best fit your situation and your desired outcome.

If you’d like to amplify the cleansing power of incense, use it together with crystals for healing and cleansing or with crystals for protection and support. You’ll build a spiritual barrier around your energy field that will keep away any low vibes, malevolent energies and entities, and negativity. 

If you choose to use incense together with crystals for wealth and abundance, crystals for success and manifestation or crystals for love and happiness, it will amplify their powers and positive effects. You’ll achieve your desired results faster and with more ease.

Burning incense can improve all areas of your life. Embrace the cleansing and transformative power of incense burning. Experiment with burning incense of different kinds and find the best fit for you.


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