Agarbatti or an incense stick is a slow-burning stick which was to emit a mild fragrance to clear the atmosphere and also to keep insects away from the human habitat. Traditionally the sticks are made of bamboo coated with natural adhesives made from the bark of trees along with various non -synthetic ingredients which includes charcoal, sawdust of specific wood, the fragrance from sandalwood, cedarwood, cloves, turmeric and lot of other natural fragrances. Customarily the sticks are made of bamboo covered with normal blocks of cement produced using the bark of trees which incorporates charcoal, sawdust from wood, the scent from shoe wood, cedarwood, cloves, turmeric and parcel of other characteristic aromas. Its natural mix of aromas helps eliminate bad odor from the surrounding. Indeed, apart from blessing the aura with a mesmerizing aroma, burning an incense stick has a lot of benefits.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The word incense comes from the Latin word incendiary, meaning ‘to burn’. The use of incense can be traced back to ancient Egypt where incense is depicted to have been used by priests for fumigating ceremonies and tombs. Egyptian graves have been discovered to contain traces of fragrant resins such as frankincense and myrrh. It is widely believed that Egyptians would have used incense to hinder the presence of demons and likewise as an offering to their gods during worship and ritual.
Monks and spiritual leaders well know the calming effects of incense. Certain incense aromas work to slow down the heart rate and soothe nerves. These calming effects help to relieve built-up tension in the muscles, enabling incense also to be used as a muscle relaxer.
In the hustle and bustle of today’s world levels of anxiety are increasing all the time and those who are feeling anxious often seek non-medical help to treat their condition, and since incense sticks are a great way to treat anxiety naturally, they have been used for many years. Pine is considered to be the best incense for anxiety
Incense history is synonymous with ritualism and spirituality. It’s believed to have been used in India and other parts southern Asia as early as 3300 BC, with the use of incense spreading to ancient China around 2000 BC where it was used for worship and prayer. India is now the world’s main producer of incense and the burning of incense has been a fundamental part of Hinduism for thousands of years.
The earliest documented evidence of the use of incense is in fact in ancient China, where it was made from blends of herbs and plants such as cinnamon and sandalwood, two fragrances that are still widely used in modern incense. It is even documented that buildings were designed and built specifically for the burning of incense in late 12th-century China.
BENEFITS OF INCENSE STICKS
- Acts as an air freshener
The most common benefit of incense is that it acts as a natural air freshener or an odor eater with a pleasant smell, and keeps our homes or room fresh.
But it’s not just an air freshener. Most people who never or seldom use incense often think of it merely as an air freshener and are unaware of the many other benefits it has to the mind and body. Even many regular incense users who use it regularly may not fully appreciate all its physical and psychological benefits.
2.Enhancing Concentration & Focus
Whether it is during study or at work, the use of specific incenses enables clear thinking and helps in developing a state of complete awareness. Monks recognized this benefit of incense long ago and used it during their meditation to clear the air as well as their thoughts. Jewellery makers and other workers who require intense concentration also often use incense to help them focus and to switch back and forth between working under the microscope and working away from it.
- Stimulating Creativity
Similar to a fun song or beautiful scenery can inspire the imagination, a pleasing aroma can get the creative energy flowing. The many herbal scents of incense can transport one’s mind away to a tropical island, a rain forest, a high range, or any other earthly heaven. The smells of incense can put one in a dream-like state where the imagination is set free to roam.
- Relieving Headaches
Our sense of smell is a direct path to the brain, and certain odors trigger an immediate response via the Limbic System. Distinct aromas stimulate the brain to produce essential chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, which cause feelings of happiness, relaxation, and contentment. For headache relief, certain incense aromas can help open the nasal passages, while others can lower blood pressure.
- Fighting Depression
A study from an international team of scientists has discovered how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain that alleviate anxiety or depression. Incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, was administered to mice and found to stimulate TRPV3, a protein which helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. The compound significantly affected brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs.
- Reducing Anxiety & Tension
Monks and spiritual leaders well know the calming effects of incense. Certain incense aromas work to slow down the heart rate and soothe nerves. These calming effects help to relieve built up tension in the muscles, enabling incense also to be used as a muscle relaxer.
In the hustle and bustle of today’s world levels of anxiety are increasing all the time and those who are feeling anxious often seek non-medical help to treat their condition, and since incense sticks are a great way to treat anxiety naturally, they have been used for many years. Pine is considered to be the best incense for anxiety.