The Benefits of Burning Natural Incense

Although commonly thought of only as an air freshener, the burning of all natural incense has actually been found to have a range of positive physical and psychological effects. That said, these effects are only true for natural incense, free from harsh or damaging chemicals which often aggravate and promote health problems, such as allergies and asthma.

Below is a list of some of the benefits of burning natural incense sticks.

Purifying the air

Some incense has been found to have special antibacterial properties, which enable them to naturally purify the air and surfaces in a room. A recent study conducted in a Chinese hospital showed that certain fragrances (particularly ones with a higher concentration of naturally antibacterial resins such as frankincense and myrrh) were just as effective at sterilizing a room as steam cleaning. Pure air also has additional health benefits, in a similar way to eating healthy food. Incense made with actual resin, like our natural black frankincense incense, are the best for this.

Our black frankincense incense

Reducing stress and anxiety

When we're angry, stressed or upset our brains release stress hormones. These hormones cause inflammation which, in turn, causes the release of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. These proteins can greatly impair cognitive function, almost 'clouding' the natural process. This is a major reason why stressed people can perform worse than they would normally. Eating and smelling vanilla has been scientifically proven to naturally reduce and deplete these stress hormones, as well as sooth your nervous system and promote the release of serotonin. A study at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center showed that patients undergoing MRIs who breathed vanilla-scented air reported 63 percent less anxiety than those who breathed unscented air.

Our vanilla incense

Stimulating creativity

Being in the same environment as incense has been linked to heightened creativity. The basis for this is similar to listening to music providing inspiration and motivation. Aromas are also a very powerful emotional memory trigger which can help to stimulate thoughts and creativeness (Collins, 2012). Lotus and agarwood incense are particularly effective due to their distinctive and psychoactive natures.

Our blue lotus incense
Treating insomnia

The deeply soothing properties of some incense give the added benefit of sedative properties, helping to induce sleep for those who suffer from insomnia. Furthermore, this additionally reduces the impact of the association between stress and insomnia (Linton, 2004). Lavender and patchouli incense have a sedative nature.

Our lavender incense

Fighting sadness and depression

A medical study determined that, when inhaled, some incense smoke activates ion channels in the brain which are closely associated with emotion and alleviating depression. This stimulates the production and release of TRPV3 a protein which helps reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression (Moussaieff et al., 2008). Combining this with the positive effects of promoting calm and reducing stress, suggests incense is a valuable tool in the battle against depression. Frankincense was used during the study.

Our frankincense incense

Increasing sexual desire

Despite its calming nature, incense can also be used as an aphrodisiac. This is because the area of the brain that it effects, the hypothalamus, controls the creation and release of hormones that regulate everything from sleep and appetite to mood and libido. When burned to help set the mood for a romantic evening, the release of the hormone testosterone is stimulated in both men and women. With lower levels of testosterone linked to lower libidos, a little spike in production can make all the difference to some people. It also increases blood flow to the sexual organs. Jasmine and vanilla are the most common aphrodisiacs, although warm and musky scents have also been found to work well for women. 

Our jasmine incense

Managing minor pain

Certain fragrances trigger a response from the limbic system which results in a release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the blood that can work as a mild painkiller (Isaacson, 1982). Serotonin also works to help lower blood pressure and balance our mood, with a deficiency in serotonin linked to depression. Rose incense is most commonly linked with increased serotonin levels.

Our rose incense

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