Many use incense to practice yoga, to get inspired, to meditate, to unwind, to make their routines more delightful, to release emotional build up, to get connected spiritually, even to improve sexual experiences. But what does incense really do for our air quality and wellbeing? Scientists explain.
Many of us have used incense before as air freshener frequently unaware of the many physical and psychological benefits of this practice, namely soothing and calming our state of being. Natural and plant based incense benefits our wellbeing according to traditional users by enabling us to clean the air, to soothe and calm anxiety, to enhance focus, stimulating our creativity, increasing our motivation, heightening sexual desire, helping to relieve muscle tension, among others. Some of these benefits have been scientifically proven as we will discover in the next section.
Cleaning the air
Several studies demonstrate the antibacterials powers of incense. One of these studies observed that that 1h treatment of incense smoke on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24h in the closed room. Absence of pathogenic bacteria in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment. This demonstrates the capabilities of incense to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined spaces.
Activating cells to soothe and calm
Another study on single and multi-ingredient herbal and non-herbal incense in 50 countries across 5 continents found that incense activates ion channels in the brain that alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests an entirely new class of depression and anxiety remedies might be right under our noses, literally. Gerald Weissmann, M.D. and Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal explains "Studies of how psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incense acetate, the compound in incense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion--burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over"
Choosing incense correctly
Burning low-quality incense can be harmful to your health. Poor quality incense is actually a pollutant, especially if it’s burned indoors or in small places. It can harm your lungs if you breathe it in over a long period of time. If you are interested in burning incense because of the benefits of the pleasant aroma, make sure you use high-quality incense that isn’t toxic. In this matter, researchers from the South China University of Technology say that although the belief of the pleasant aroma and improved moods and relieve of stress, there should be further research about the different particle matter that is released into the air during incense burning. Therefore, make sure that you get high-quality sticks or coils.
Now it is time for you to consider what use you have for incense. Always find non-toxic, all natural, hand rolled sticks, and aromas that resonates with you and you will enjoy the benefits in a seamless, simple and delicious way.