What are the best types of incense, and why do people burn incense for prayer, worship, and healing? Because incense has surprisingly powerful benefits for your mind and spirit! Learn how different types of incense – frankincense, white sage, myrrh – can reduce stress and calm anxiety. If you burn incense for its pleasant aroma and meditative properties, make sure you use high-quality incense that isn’t toxic.
Below are the safest and healthiest ways to burn different types of incense:
“We use pieces of frankincense on hot coals,” says health blogger Vidya Sury, who often burns incense for meditation and relaxation. “We cover the burning frankincense with a large bamboo basket and spread babies’ clothes on the basket to dry, so the smoke permeates the clothes. After a bath, there’s frankincense in the room to soothe the baby with its gentle wisps of smoke. We dry our long freshly washed hair, holding it over the smoke of frankincense.”
What are the Benefits of Burning Different Types of Incense?
Burning incense for meditation decreases stress, and some people believe that different types of incense – frankincense, sandalwood, and sage – have the power to cleanse negative energy, ease tension, and elevate your meditative state. Incense for meditation and prayer is an ancient tradition.
Before we get into the benefits of different types of incense, here’s a brief summary of the research on incense burning and health. Incense burning is a traditional and common practice in many families and in most temples in Asia. The religious and meditative benefits are widely accepted, as is the belief that the pleasant aroma of incense improves mood and relieves stress.
Frankincense for sanctification and cleansing:
Frankincense is the original incense; in fact that’s where the word “incense” comes from. The effects of burning Frankincense are uplifting, centering and purifying with a warm sweet aroma. It’s one of the best types of incense for creating a meditative space.
“Sometimes, if the atmosphere of the house feels ‘heavy’ and I can’t sleep, I’ll burn incense,’” says Tracy on 9 Natural Sleep Remedies for Sleepless Nights. “I will use a purifying incense – usually Frankincense and/or Myrrh, both of which have ancient origins and are believed to purify and sanctify a space.
Sandalwood for grounding and relaxing:
“Sandalwood incense has been used for at least 4000 years for good reason,” says Dan. “Its effects are both grounding and euphoric, promoting a sense of well being and relaxation with a woody, sweet and exotic scent that wraps you in peace and harmony.”
Mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly popular way for people to improve their mental and physical health, yet most research supporting its benefits has focused on lengthy, weeks-long training programs. The good news for sleep meditation is that new research shows that even just 25 minutes of mindful meditation for three consecutive days alleviates psychological stress. You don’t need to burn incense or meditate every day…unless of course you find it’s the natural remedy for sleep you’ve been missing!
What type of incense do you burn?
Cinnamon for balancing emotions:
“Supposedly the only substance whose scent arouses most males is that of cinnamon, which is often a component in mixed incenses,” says deTraci. “For women, jasmines and roses scents are supposed to enhance the romantic mood. And 60s hippie favorite patchouli is said to work on both!
Patchouli to lift your spirits:
“Patchouli has a satisfying earthy quality that is great to balance the emotions and help you relax,” says Dan. “At the same time it energizes and uplifts the spirits. As well as contributing to peace of mind, it is a great aphrodisiac. That must be why I like it so much!”
Amber for elevation and letting go:
“Amber is a sweet layered scent, with spicy, earthy rich undertones,” says Dan. “Known as the “King of Scents” it will help you let go of daily concerns and enter the world of sensual arousal or spiritual elevation, depending on the intention.”
Cedar and Sage for positive energy:
“Cedar and Sage drive out negative energies, spirits and influences,” says Dan. “They have been traditionally used as a smudge to purify people and places before any sacred ceremony. They both help with creating a meditative and relaxing space.”
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