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Fragrant Incense and Essential Oils

Mar 5, 2008
Incense is made of aromatic substances or ingredients. It releases a fragrant smell in the form of smoke when it burns. Many rituals and spiritual purificatory performances use incense, a practice that is still carried on today. Incense is also a medicinal ingredient and also it has aesthetic values. In different countries, a wide variety of materials are used in the making of incense. Some fragrance materials are employed in either direct or indirect burning of incense. They are normally used in religious ceremonies, and many of them are known to be quite valuable. Essential oils or other ingredients extracted from these materials may also be isolated and used to make incense. The following list of material is used to make fragrant incense and essential oils : Agarwood, Cedar, Sandalwood, Cypress, Juniper, Cassia, Star Anise, Nutmeg, Coriander and Vanilla.

Indian incense are of two types: masala and charcoal. Masala incenses are made of dry ingredients, while charcoal incenses contain liquid scents. Masala incenses have many subgroups such as dubars, champas and dhoops.

Aesthetic use of incense
Incense can be, like art for the eyes, music for the ears, or fine cuisine for the palate, an indulgence for the sense of smell.

Religious use of incense

The use of incense in religion is found in many cultures and may have their origins in the practical and aesthetic uses considering that cultures and traditions with not much in common all use incense. One common use of incense is done as an offering to a deity.

Incense and health

The studies of several Asian Cancer Research Centers showed: "No association was found between exposure to incense burning and respiratory symptoms like chronic cough, chronic sputum, chronic bronchitis, runny nose, wheezing, asthma, allergic rhinitis, or pneumonia among the three populations studied: i.e. primary school children, their non-smoking mothers, or a group of older non-smoking female controls. Incense burning did not affect lung cancer risk among non-smokers, but it significantly reduced risk among smokers, even after adjusting for lifetime smoking amount." However, the researchers qualified the findings by noting that incense burning in the studied population was associated with certain low-cancer-risk dietary habits, and concluded that "diet can be a significant confounder of epidemiological studies on air pollution and respiratory health."

Essential oil fragrances

An essential oil is a distillated liquid (most frequently by steam or water) from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other plant elements. Essential oils, contrary to the use of the word "oil" are not really oily-feeling at all. Most essential oils are almost transparent while some oils such as patchouli, orange and lemongrass are amber or yellow in color.

The following fragrances are some of the many that can be used as essential oils : Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-ylang

Essential oils can help in enhancing one's emotional outlook on life. Although aromatherapy is not a miracle cure for serious emotional issues, the use of essential oils may assist, sometimes greatly, with particular emotional issues. Furthermore, the right use of essential oils may enhance one's emotional outlook and provide support and help balance one's feelings during the day. The use of essential oils for emotional health is what is often first thought of when talking about "aromatherapy."

For example:

To Cure Anger:
Bergamot, Jasmine, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang

To Vanish Anxiety:
Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver

For Confidence:
Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Cypress, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange, Rosemary
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books. You can find the best marketplace for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books at these sites for Krishna incense and oil, incense and oils, and incense and oils.
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