Traditional Incense’s Medicinal Properties

There are many ways we use medicinal plants. They are used in many ways: infusions, decoctions, flower essences, alcohol tincture and glycerin-tincture, syrups, honey extract, and oxymel. Inhaling their medicine is also possible through pipes, steams and essential oil diffusers.

Our sense of smell is key to the medicinal properties of incense. This happens when molecules travel up sinus cavities and dissolve in the mucus membrane. The olfactory receptors at the tips of the sensory neurons detect them. It is unclear whether these molecules are detected by the neurons via vibration or shape. Theories have alternated between both over the years. Our sense of smell is weaker than that of other animals. For instance, humans can only have 10 cm squares of olfactory tissues in their sinuses. Dogs have 170 cm of olfactory tissues with 100 times more receptors per centimeter. The right brain perceives smell as the only sense. This is because it is more focused on intuition and imagination than the left brain, which is focused on logic and analysis. The effects of smell can be physical, psychological, and emotional. It is believed that fragrance is the spirit of the plant, and this has an impact on our spirits. The limbic system is responsible for processing smell, which includes emotions such as lust, hunger and memory. This is how smell can cause emotions and memories. The oldest sense of smell is part of the primordial “lizard brain”, which is approximately 450 million years old. It predates sight and balance.

Incense has been used in many cultures throughout history. Although Egypt is the oldest known place where it was used, it was also widely used in other African countries such as India, Arabia, and Europe. The Incense Road was a route that transported frankincense north from southern Arabia via camel caravans to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, and east to Mesopotamia or India. The Spice Trade, which was centuries old, moved aromatic plants via the Red Sea or the monsoon winds between Europe and the islands in Indonesia. Incense and Buddhism were brought to Japan by the Silk Road in the first century A.D. The incense ceremony (kohdo), along with flower arrangement (ikibana), tea ceremony, and the Japanese lyre, is still considered one of the most traditional Japanese arts. Incense schools were established in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). However, the incense ceremony suffered from the collapse of feudal society and the disintegration shogunate, which led to a decline in the 19th century. This was due to the opening of Japan and China to westernization. Incense ceremony and craft were revived by the descendants of the kohdo (“way to incense”) masters in Japan’s 1920’s. Classes began again in 1960.

Synthetic incense has a very different composition to natural incense. Synthetic incense typically contains a binder (usually starch), a bamboo core that produces copious smoke, the scent of burning bamboo, and an ignition source like charcoal, sodium nitrate or paraffin. Paraffin and petroleum solvents can be neurotoxic, and inhaling their smoke can lead to skin reactions, asthma, skin reactions and dizziness. Also, the smoke can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and throat. Synthetic incense can also contain synthetic aromas. 95% of these are derived from petroleum, and they cause the same symptoms as the original. Certain manufacturers prefer synthetic aromas because they are cheaper, more consistent, and can be used to create new scents not found anywhere else in the world. They also make a good ethical replacement for ingredients from endangered species such as musk, ambergris and civet. Synthetic aromas can still smell artificial, however they are less complex than natural scents. They also lack the psychoactive, emotional, or physical properties that natural scents have, and can have the adverse side effects mentioned above. There are no legal restrictions on synthetic fragrance chemicals’ quantities or combinations. The ingredients of these synthetic aromas don’t have to be listed and only a small fraction have been tested for safety Räuchermischungen Onlineshop.

Natural incenses are, however, usually 100% plant. Natural incenses are made in Japan with makko (a.k.a. tabu no ki. This substance is water-soluble, adhesive, and odorless. It burns evenly and smoothly. It is Cercidiphyllum japonicum’s powdered inner bark (Katsura Tree and Japanese Judas Tree), which acts as both a natural binder as well as an ignition source. It is interesting to note that the Magnolia family (flowering plants) is the most primitive. The Magnolias are evergreen but have leaves and the flowers form cones very similar to conifers. These plants have a fossil record that dates back to 100 million years. Cassias, champas, champas, nutmeg and star anise are just a few examples of plants that belong to this family. The traditional Indian incense base is Halmaddi, the resin of Tree of Heaven. This unusual hygroscopic property pulls water from the air and makes Indian incenses feel damp. Honey and Hamaddi are the ingredients that give champa (spice mix) its sweet honey/vanilla notes. Ground and powdered herbs are added to the base of makko, hamaddi, including barks and flowers, seeds and roots, leaves and fruits, twigs and rhizomes as well as bulbs, woods and seaweeds.

Incense has been used historically for many purposes, including medicinal, spiritual, and ambient. Incense has many medicinal uses, including boosting energy, treating or preventing illness (fumigation), stimulating the libido and enhancing positive emotions. It can also reduce anxiety, stress and worry. It can also be used to create an atmosphere, set the mood, and to infuse a group with a particular mood. It was used in meditation, meetings and at the geisha house to measure the time. There are many spiritual uses for incense. Incense is used to pray. It is believed to be a way to please and attract the gods. The rising smoke is also said to transport both the spirit of the dead and prayers to heaven. Incense can also be used spiritually to incite meditative states and dreams, visions, and focus during prayer. Incense can improve the acoustics of large spaces such as churches or other public places and allow one to receive communications from plants. It purifies and sanctifies space and people and can also drive away evil spirits, pests, disease and other negative energy. It is used to commemorate festivals and rites, and it is also burned as a sacrifice. It is also used to mask the smells of animal sacrifice and cremation.

Incense ingredients can be made from any part of plants. They have many actions, including bark, flower, fruit and leaf, resin, seed and wood. A common bark used to counter exhaustion, depression and weakness is cinnamon. It also calms and tone the nerves. Cloves, which are actually flower buds, are a good example of a flower that can be used. They are also a stimulant for the brain. The Juniper berry is a fruit that stimulates and strengthens nerves. It also strengthens the spirit when faced with difficult situations. The Eucalyptus leaves improve concentration and clarity, while the benzoin resin acts as an antidepressant and sedative. Fennel is a common incense ingredient. It increases courage, resolve, and strength in the face adversity. Sandalwood is one of the most popular bases for incense. It calms and harmonizes, reduces stress, tension, acts as an antidepressant and combats anxiety, nervous exhaustion, and fear.


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