Incense has been used in religious ceremonies for millennia in civilizations across the globe. Ancient Egyptians imported incense materials from all over Africa to worship the sun god Amon-Ra, and the ancient Greeks and Romans used incense to scare away demons. Incense also makes an appearance in the Christian Bible—you might recall how two of the Three Wise Men gave Jesus frankincense and myrrh.
In addition to places of worship, you’ll find incense burning in many people’s homes, providing a rich fragrance throughout the space. Whether you burn incense as part of your religious practice or just to make your home smell nice, you may want to know how it’s made. Lucky for you, we have the answer. Keep reading to learn how incense cones are made.
Raw incense materials
Before we dive further into how incense is made, let’s start with the materials used for incense. Incense is made of plant-based aromatic materials, including resins, barks, seeds, roots and flowers. The specific ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer and the region the incense comes from. A few common ingredients you’ll find are cinnamon, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, frankincense and myrrh (which we mentioned above).
The scents alone aren’t enough to burn incense sticks and create the wonderful aroma. For that, manufacturers use combustible materials like charcoal or wood powder. The charcoal or wood powder is applied to the stick with an all-natural binding agent like tragacanth.
How is incense made?
The process of making incense sticks can be relatively straightforward. In fact, you can even do it at home on your own. But professional incense making starts by combining all of the natural materials mentioned above in a large vat. The materials are then loaded into machines that squeeze out long strings of incense that look like spaghetti.
The spaghetti-like strings are cut evenly, laid in molds and then left out to dry in a humidity- and temperature-controlled room. The strings are left out to dry for up to several days before they’re packaged and shipped off.
If you’d like to make your own incense, you can do so by purchasing unscented bamboo incense sticks and fragrance oils. Dip the sticks into a bowl of your fragrance mixture and leave them there for anywhere from 12 to 15 hours. After they’ve absorbed the fragrance, remove them from the mixture and let them dry for a few days. It’s that easy!
Does burning incense provide any health benefits?
There’s limited research into the health benefits of burning incense. However, studies performed on mice in 2008 and 2017 found that frankincense had effects similar to medical antidepressant and anti-inflammatory drugs.
These studies were performed with purified frankincense resin—not actual incense sticks—so the results should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, incense still works wonders to eliminate odors and make your home smell pleasant.
Where should you buy incense?
If you’re interested in buying incense, you can find it at New Galaxy Gifts. Stop by our store today to learn how incense cones are made and to check out our vast inventory. We’re always running great deals on our products, so you’re sure to find a scent you love at a price you can afford.
Categorised in: Smoke Shop