We have been using incense in many forms and for a variety of purposes for centuries. One of the common ways has been burning the best incense sticks during divine worship. Burning incense has been a ritual in religious ceremonies in many cultures across the world. Similarly, people in prehistoric times used incense to get rid of bad odors and drive away evil spirits. Further, incense is an integral part of aromatherapy. Proponents of aromatherapy claim that burning incense is beneficial in managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.
Accordingly, the fragrances, aromas, or scents used in incense trigger certain responses. For instance, these aid in relaxation, better sleep, improve concentration, enhance creativity, and motivation.
Likewise, incense takes forms. These include incense sticks, joss sticks, incense cones, coils, powders, rope, rocks, charcoal, and smudge bundles. Further, some of the commonly used incense fragrances include frankincense and myrrh. These are natural extracts from the barks of specific trees.
In this article, we will primarily guide you on some of the best incense sticks that you can use and the benefits of burning incense. But before that, let’s first understand what is incense and the benefits of burning incense, and then look at some of the best incense sticks that you can buy.
What is Incense?
Incense are natural plant extracts used to produce fragrant aromas when burned. The substances primarily used as incense include resins like frankincense and myrrh. In addition to this, seeds, roots, flowers, aromatic wood, and bark are also burned as incense for their soothing aromatic odors.
Also, incense is available in various forms. These include incense sticks, cones, rods, coils, small blocks, wands, and powders.
Accordingly, one of the common ways of packaging incense is incense sticks. Advocates of incense claim that apart from revealing soothing odors, incense burning has physical and psychological benefits and spiritual effects on the body and mind.
Although not much research is available on the therapeutic benefits of burning incense. However, as per an experiment conducted on the Wild Type (WT) mice, the burning of Boswellia resin (or Indian Frankincense) induces psychoactivity in the brain. Accordingly, there is a possibility that a component present in the Boswellia Resin or Indian Frankincense may provide us with certain therapeutic agents.
That is, it may impact our sensations and emotional states. In fact, frankincense and myrrh are two traditional natural medicines. Both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been using frankincense and myrrh for the treatment of chronic diseases for years.
According to a study, both frankincense and myrrh have important pharmacological effects. These are useful for treating cancer and inflammation.
Likewise, there are studies that indicate adverse effects of incense smoke on health. The incense smoke contains Particulate Material, gas products, and organic compounds. Accordingly, excessive exposure to incense smoke may damage the respiratory system.
Best Incense Sticks You Can Buy
Here’s a list of some of the best incense sticks that you can purchase for worshipping, meditation, yoga, or therapeutic purposes.
I. Cleansing Incense – Alternative Imagination Premium California White Sage Smudge Stick
California White Sage is a culturally sacred herb. For centuries, people have been using white sage to get rid of evil spirits and negative energy. However, in the most recent times, native Americans still continue to use Californian White Sage to keep off evil and negative energy at home, temples, and their workspaces.
You’ll find them observing grand sage smudging formal events. Accordingly, burn white sage to clear energy and spiritual purification. Further, White sage is medicinal in nature and consumed for healing purposes.
- This Alternative Imagination Californian White Sage Smudge packs 3 white sage smudge sticks, tied together with 100% cotton string.
- Each stick in the pack is 4 inches tall and 1 inch wide.
- To burn the white sage, simply hold the want at an angle of 45 degrees over the flame. Let it smolder and for 20 seconds and reignite if needed. Untie the wand a little if you find it difficult to burn the wand as it will allow oxygen to burn the wand.
II. SHOYEIDO Plum Blossoms Natural Japanese Incense
If you are looking for the purest natural incense in the market, Shoyeido is our choice. These incense sticks have no synthetic oils or fragrances, no charcoal or wood to emit smoke, and are a blend of sandalwood, cinnamon, and spices. These are masala sticks that cram spices and plant matter and have a light, spicy, and woody fragrance.
- This Japanese incense packs 150 sticks in a single box.
- Each stick is 6 x 1.25 x 2.75 inches in size (LxWxH). Since there is no wood, these incense sticks do not have a stem. It incense top to bottom, all-natural.
- The burning time is 30 minutes per stick.
- Hold the incense sticks vertically and light the entire tip. Blow off the flame after the tip is properly lighted.
III. Hem Incense – Six Most Popular Scents of All Time
Hem has been exporting natural incense across the world for 35 plus years. This HEM incense pack contains six best-selling HEM incense sticks from the past 20 years. The six popular scents include Dragon’s blood, Frankincense and Myrrh, Patchouli, Precious Lavender, First Rain, and White Sage.
Dragon’s blood comes from the dragon blood tree and has a sweet, soft, and woody fragrance. It induces a calming effect in whatever environment you’ll burn it. Similarly, the combination of Frankincense and Myrrh is not only relaxing for your body and mind but also has disinfectant health benefits.
Patchouli, likewise, has a strong, sweet odor. It keeps your home and office spaces fragrant. Further, Lavender incense sticks have a floral fragrance and are relaxing and calming, both emotionally and physically.
Finally, as mentioned previously, White sage is typically used for smudging. It’s a cleansing incense that you can use to ward off negativity and evil spirits at home, temples, and workspaces.
- Each tube contains 20 incense sticks, in all 120 sticks in the pack of 6 Precious Hem incense.
- The pack comes with a free wooden boat burner.
- Each stick is 9 inches in size and has approximately 30-40 minutes of burn time.
- To light the incense sticks, simply ignite the coated end of the stick and blow off the flame once properly lit.
IV. Incense Satya – Nag Champa Incense
Need soothing incense sticks that can purify your space and help in meditation or deep relaxation while you take up mental health exercises? If so, use Nag Champa incense by Satya Sai Baba. These incense sticks are made from masala mix using natural extracts in the form of dough and then hand-rolled on the bamboo sticks.
Nag champa incense sticks combine Champa flower, floral, and oriental spicy aroma together with base notes of patchouli and wood. Thus, these soothing aromas make it ideal for sanctifying spaces and having a calm environment for meditation and relaxation.
- The Nag Champa incense sticks are 9 x 9 x 4 inches in size.
- This includes 1 pack of Nag champa agarbatti weighing 250 grams and is made in India.
V. 100% Natural Incense Sticks by Bless International
These are 100% natural incense sticks that are hand-made and rolled with essential oils. They are prepared by immersing them in oils for long periods made from mixtures of herbs, resins, oils, and wood.
Since the ingredients used are all-natural, these natural incense sticks have a clean burn and clear fragrances. Further, the incense sticks use frankincense and myrrh proprietary fragrance oil by Bless International Fragrances. And they don’t ship immediately as the incense sticks are made to order.
- This pack contains 100 incense sticks, with each stick of the size 10 x 3 x 2 inches.
- These are natural, handmade incense sticks that are soaked in oils for at least 48 hours.
- The sticks burn for 20-30 minutes and their fragrance lasts for 24 hrs in a room.
- You also get ‘Health Rich Wealth Rich, a bestseller eBook.
VI. Luna Sundara Palo Santo Smudging Sticks
These are long-lasting Palo Santo sticks that make for ideal smudging tools. Palo Santo is a wood that is known for its magical properties of emitting peace, warding off negative energy, and connecting to the earth. It has different therapeutic properties, much like its botanical kins Myrrh and Frankincense. These include the ability to lift the mood, protect, and boost energy.
It is also advantageous for meditation, increasing concentration and focus, and augmenting creativity and learning. Palo Santo, when burnt, releases an aroma that is like none other.
The resin in the Palo Santo wood gives it its distinctive scent which helps in bringing peace and calmness to any space.
In order to use Palo Santo, all you need to do is light a match, and hold the stick at a 45-degree angle for under a minute. Then, shake off the stick to blow off the flame and place it in an incense stick holder to enjoy the fragrant smoke.
- These are high quality sustainably harvested Palo Santo smudging sticks. They are sourced from local communities in Peru and Ecuador. Further, Luna Sundara Palo Santo sticks are handpicked and come in 100% biodegradable packaging.
- These Palo Santo sticks emit a fresh aromatic scent on burning.
- This is a pack of 8 sticks and each stick is 10 cms or 4 inches long.
VII. Gonesh Collection #6 – 100 Stick Pack – Classic Incense Count
Gonesh Incense Sticks No.6 will fill your space with the perfumes of the ancient times from Gonesh. These have a strong woodsy fragrance mixed with old spices. Further, Gonesh incense sticks are exclusively made of High Charcoal and premium quality raw materials that emit the magical fragrance. Having the highest charcoal content relative to any brand currently in the industry, Gonesh gives you the purest burn.
Gonesh incense has been made in Chicago since 1923. They are hand-dipped in oil which makes for a long-lasting crystal clear burn and fragrance.
- The pack contains 100 incense sticks. Each incense stick has a burn time of 60 minutes, with a total of 100 hours of fragrance.
- Gonesh incense is easy to use. All you need to do is light a match or lighter and burn the coated end until it glows. Then, blow off the flame and place the lighted incense sticks in an incense stick holder.
- Each stick is 10 inches long and has a burn time of approximately 45 minutes.
VIII. Raajsee Incense Sticks White Sage
Rajsee WhiteSage incense sticks are 100% natural. These incense sticks are fully handmade and are made from scratch. The materials used to make these natural incense sticks include natural herbs, resins, spice with aromatic wood powders, charred coconut powder, fragrant oils, and honey.
Accordingly, these incense sticks are not made by dipping them in toxic chemicals. Further, Raajsee White Sage incense sticks are hand-rolled in India, using the traditional rolling techniques. This makes these incense sticks last longer.
- Each incense stick in this 100 gm pack is 8 – 8.5 inches in length.
- The pack contains 75 incense sticks approximately, each of which has a burn time of up to 45 minutes.
- These incense sticks can be used for myriad purpose. For instance, wedding events, church, worshipping, yoga, meditation, spa, reiki, aromatherapy, healing, sensual therapy, positivity, etc.
- Raajsee incense sticks are made of 100% pure herbal components and do not have any chemical fragrance.
IX. Chakra Flower Premium Aroma Sticks
Chakra flower premium aroma sticks feature a range of aromatic incense sticks which emit refreshing aroma of various herbs. These include Lavender, Musk, Jasmine, Rose, Sandal, and Tuberose. Each one offers a range of therapeutic benefits. For instance, Lavender offers grace and lifts your mood. Musk, on the other hand, helps in reducing anxiety, enhances inner strength, and offers spiritual effect.
Likewise, Jasmine calms your mind and re-establishes confidence and optimism. Rose also has a soothing effect on mind. Sandal, too, helps in calming the environment. Finally, Tuberose advocates relaxation and helps in treating frigidity.
- This is a pack of 6 boxes of natural fragrance sticks. Each box contains 20 high quality incense sticks.
- Each incense stick burns for up to 40 – 45 minutes.
- Chakra flower premiu aroma sticks are very easy to use. Simply burn the tip of the incense stick with a match or a lighter until it glows. Once lit, simply blow out the flame. Finally, place it on an incense stick holder and keep it at a safe distance from plastic or paper.
X. Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks
Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense sticks are made from the 100% natural alternative to the harmful chemical DEET. Yes, these are DEET free and are crafted out of natural plant based ingredients like the Citronella oil. Apart from Citronella, the other plant based ingredients repellent oil content includes Rosemary, Lemongrass, Cedar, and Peppermint oils.
Further, Murphy’s Mosquito Repellent incense sticks contain 10 times the repellent oil content relative to other brands in the market. Thus, a blend of plant-based repellent oils gives you mosquito protection like none other.
- Each mosquito repellent stick offers protection from mosquitos for up to 2-2.5 hours.
- These contain no synthetic fragrances, harsh chemicals, dyes, and petroleum.
- Remember, these incense sticks are only for outdoor use. So, light the incense sticks outside 10 minutes before use for maximum effect. Hold the stick at an angle so that flame burns the tip properly. Let the end burn for 20 – 30 seconds before blowing off the flame. Finally, place the incense stick in an incense stick holder and have mosquito free evenings.
XI. Stamford Premium Aromatherapy Hex Range Incense Sticks
This gift pack contains Premium Hex range incense sticks from Stamford. These include Relaxing, Stress Relief, Meditation, Refreshing, Sensuality, and Energising incense sticks.
The Relaxing Hex incense is a blend of Cardamom, Cedarwood, and Patchouli. This helps to soothe your worries and create a peaceful environment.
Stress Relief, on the other hand, is crafted from lavender, orange blossom, and thyme. These incense sticks help you develop a sense of calm and balance.
Meditation Hex incense sticks bring together the therapeutic properties of camomile, sensual vanilla, and sandalwood. This helps you to open your mind and unwind.
Similarly, Refreshing Hex incense is a blend of mint, sage, and clove. This helps in rousing your senses and gives your home an instant lift.
Likewise, Sensuality Hex incense sticks contain ylang ylang, patchouli, and spicy nutmeg. This provides for complete indulgence and its strong fragrance helps in creating a peaceful environment.
Finally, the Energizing Hex incense blend together lemon, lime, and grapefruit. This helps you to revive your senses and spirit.
- A pack contains 20 sticks each
- Each stick has a burn time of 30 minutes approximately
- The incense sticks are made from perfumery raw materials only
- Place the burning incense stick on an incense stick holder for best results
XII. Yajna Frankincense and Myrrh 100% Natural Incense Sticks
Yajna frankincense and myrrh incense sticks are hand-rolled, made with High Charcoal and immersed in oils of herbs, resins, and woods. This makes these incense sticks give a pure and a clean burn.
Further, these are completely handmade using traditional techniques and take over a week to manufacture.
- These handmade incense sticks are soaked for a minimum of 48 hours.
- Each stick is 8 inches long and has a burn time of 20 – 30 minutes approximately. Further, the fragrance of these incense sticks lasts in your room for 24 hours.
- It is made from frankincense and myrrh fragrance oils made by Yajna.
XIII. India Temple Incense – Song of India
India Temple Incense by Song of India is incense that smells of holy temples in India. Its original, light, fresh aroma is just like the one you will find in the temples of India.
These incense sticks are created by blending finest herbs, spices, fragrant wood powders, perfume oils, and resins. Its a fragrance that lasts long can be used for myriad purposes including church, worshipping, meditation, etc.
- This pack contains 120 incense sticks
- The India Temple Incense sticks are black in color and made out of wood
- These incense sticks have a sweet aroma, typical of incense and are long-lasting.
XIV. Blunteffects Hand-dipped Incense Display
This is an assorted pack of incense sticks by Blunaeffects. Yes, they keep changing the scents in this assorted packing. They have a wide range of incense flavors. These include sweet and musky blends, and incense sticks with floral, tropical, and fruity notes.
Further, the Blunteffects incense sticks are perfect for relaxing and unwinding. These incense sticks are hand-dipped in the United States.
- You get a total of 72 sticks in this assorted packing.
- Each incense stick is 10 inches in length
- Using Blunteffects incense sticks is fairly simple. Just light the incense stick at the tip and and wait for 30-45 seconds until the tip turns white. Blow off the flame and place the incense stick in an incense stick holder.
XV. Utopia Scents Ultra Premium Natural Incense Sticks Starter Pack
Crafted out of heady vanilla essential oils, these vanilla incense sticks by Utopia scents enhance your awareness. These foster positivity and enhance healing and relaxation.
Thus, Utopia Scents Vanilla incense sticks can be used for myriad purposes. These include yoga, meditation, chakra healing, enhancing creativity and confidence, spa, etc. Further, these provide a clean and pure burn for they are hand-dipped from the premium quality natural essential oils and non-toxic ingredients. Also, these are bamboo sticks which ensure that you smell of aromas and not wood.
- This pack contains 20 sticks. Also, Utopia Scents Ultra Premium Natural incense sticks come in six different aromas. These includeVanilla, Lavender, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Rose, and Patchouli.
- This set comes with a beautiful incense holder which amps up your whole incense experience.
XVI. Incienso de Santa Fe – Piñon Natural Wood Incense Bricks with Holder
These incense sticks by Incienso de Santa Fe are crafted out of natural wood of the Pinon tree. Thus, these provide a clean burn in contrast to the incense sticks made out of synthetic chemicals.
The Pinon smells much like winter in Northern New Mexico. This reminds you of the smell of a campfire, bringing back memories of summertime fun with loved ones. Its aroma helps bring a sense of calm and positive energy. Therefore, you can use it during yoga, meditation, worshipping, etc.
- This pack contains 100 incense bricks in total
- Each brick is 7.8 inches in length and has a burntime of 10 minutes.
- Using these incense bricks is very easy. Simply hold the brick over flame until it is lit properly. Then, place the brick on the incense stick holder and blow off the flame.
XVII. Maroma EDA Incense, Lavender
These are signature incense sticks offered by Maroma. The lavender incense sticks are handcrafted in India and are made using traditional hand rolling techniques. The bamboo sticks are rolled into sandalwood powder, are bound using a natural gum resin, and further hand dipped into Maroma’s original fragrances. These fragrances are blended with 100% natural essential oils.
Further, these incense sticks contain lavender, geranium, and bergamot that help you relax and maintain balance. Also, the incense sticks do not use petroleum derivatives or charcoal and are free of parabens and phthalates.
- The pack contains 10 incense sticks, each having a burn time of 45 minutes.
- Ingredients include bamboo sticks, wood powders, Machilus Macrantha, natural essential oils, and resins.
XIX. Woods Natural Incense – Wholesale Pack
These are all natural incense sticks that are hand rolled in India. Woods Natural Incense contain natural oils and resins that have been known since inception for their medicinal and aromatic properties. Thus, it’s a perfect blend of natural oils, resins with a slight hint of cinnamon.
In addition to this, the unique aroma of Amber, with a tinge of Musk, Sandalwood, and Geranium helps you feel blissful and at peace.
Further, these incense sticks have a strong earthy aroma that is long-lasting. A single stick does magic and fills your room with the earthy aroma. Also, these lighten up your mood and help in relieving stress. Accordingly, you can use these for a variety of purposes including yoga, meditation, relaxation, worshipping, etc.
- This is a value pack having 6 incense stick boxes and each box weighs 32 grams. Accordingly, there are approximately 20-25 sticks in every box.
- Each incense stick is 10.4 inches long
XX. Karma Scents Premium Natural Incense Sticks
Utopia Scents premium natural incense sticks by Karma Scents are all natural incense sticks. These are hand-blended and rolled in India using natural herbs and employing traditional techniques.
Further, these incense sticks contain organic and non-toxic incense ingredients. These include nag champa essential oils, herbs, and wood gums. Also, the incense sticks are long-lasting and thus offer soothing aroma for hours for your unwinding stretches. Therefore, you can use these incense sticks for myriad purposes like meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, soothing, romance, and worshipping.
- This pack contains 5 incense kits, that make for 75 incense sticks in total. You also get 1 incense burner along.
- The pack contains a range of aromatherapy scents. These include Nag Champa, Musk, Asian, and Lemongrass. These help in uplifting your mood and enhancing positive energy.
XXI. Bodha Smokeless Incense – Tenderness
These are smokeless incense sticks by Bodha. Bodha therapeutic ritual smokeless incense is a soothing blend of rose, geranium, and shiso leaf. These incense sticks gives a smokeless burn which is good for your delicate lungs.
Further, the aroma of Bodha smokeless incense helps you to calm down and create a peaceful space.
- The pack contains 50 x 20 minute sticks, with 16+ of total burn-time.
- Using Bodha smokeless incense is very easy. Simply light the intense sticks at the tip and let it burn. Blow off the flame once it’s properly lit and place the incense stick in the incense holder to enjoy the blissful time.
What is Incense Made of?
Typically, incense is composed of herbal and wood powder (21% by weight), fragrance material (35%), adhesive powder (11%), and bamboo stick (33%). Accordingly, incense is made from tree resins and some of the aromatic flowers, seeds, roots, and barks.
Thus, incense sticks are made with punk sticks made of bamboo and fragrance oils. Further, the upper crust of the incense stick is layered with paste made of sawdust from machilus wood. Charcoal is also used in incense sticks made in India to make the punk that absorbs fragrances easily. Then, the punk sticks are dipped in fragrances oils to make incense sticks.
What are the Benefits of Burning Incense?
Burning incense offers many benefits. For instance, it helps to increase concentration while mediation and helps in warding off negative energy. Further, it helps you to calm down, relax, and reduce stress and anxiety. It helps your mind to stop worrying and moderates racing heart and breath.
Also, incense burning induces spirituality, abundance, and mindfulness. Further, it enhances creativity and boosts mental performance. Also, it helps in sleep as the incense burning has therapeutic properties of increasing the mood hormone called serotonin levels in the brain.
Likewise, incense burning helps in increasing your sex drive. Certain fragrances like rose, vanilla, and jasmine aid in getting you in mood.
Is Incense Bad for You?
Incense use is common and an important daily ritual in major parts of Asia. However, excessive burning of incense can be harmful. For instance, as per studies, incense burning is a powerful source of particulate matter which deposits in your respiratory tract, dysfunctioning the same.
Furthermore, burning of incense increases airborne concentrations of carbon monoxide and benzene. An increased exposure to carbon monoxide prevents the blood to carry oxygen to body tissues and important organs like the brain and heart.
Likewise, incense smoke is also suggested to be associated with cancer development. As per some studies, incense use at home is linked to childhood leukemia and brain tumors.
It is also proposed that incense smoke contains chemicals that cause skin irritation.
What Does Incense Sticks Do Spiritually?
Burning incense is believed to ward off negative energy and helps you connect spiritually. Different religions have different beliefs for burning incense. For instance, in hinduism incense sticks are used while worshipping God and are believed to fill a space with divinity.
This helps in comforting the mind, enhancing focus, and uplifting mood. Further, it helps in removing the nasty smell and provides an ideal environment for inculcating good habits
. In Christianity, burning incense reminds of the sacrifices which imply God’s honesty. The change of resin to smoke demonstrates the transformation from body to soul. Likewise in Chinese, Taoism, and buddhist cultures, incense burning is used as a technique to purify the space and provide realm of adornment.
How to Burn Incense?
Burning incense is very easy. First and foremost, find a suitable place to light the incense sticks. Make sure that the space you choose is properly ventilated. Also, ensure that is there is nothing combustible near the incense sticks.
Then, simply light the tip of the incense stick with a match or a lighter and let it burn for a few seconds. The flame may go off on its own. If you can see the incense glowing at the tip, it means its burning properly. However, if you do not see the glowing amber, you may have to relight your incense.
Once properly lit, place the burning incense in the incense holder and enjoy the aroma. Make sure that you do not leave the incense stick unattended. Also, if you wish to leave the room where the incense is burning, make sure you puy it off by dipping it into water.
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