What makes Japanese incense unique?
Japanese incense is respected as one of the finest incense varieties in the world. Incense quality can vary from maker to maker, but the most skilled artisans work to ensure that all variables, including the raw materials, humidity, temperature, and drying time, are all optimized to create a premium incense product. Japanese incense is traditionally made of natural ingredients and rare fragrant woods that have been used in formulas dating back centuries. These include sandalwood, agarwood, patchouli, clove, cinnamon, frankincense, and star anise, amongst other natural substances. Combinations of tree barks, resins, roots, fruits, flowers, herbs, and/or plants are blended together to cr4eate aromatic material.
Types of Japanese incense
Kunko incense involves heating small pieces of fragrant wood. It emits a faint smoke that is nearly invisible and leaves behind only charred wood at the end.
Zuko incense is powdered fragrant material that is enjoyed in its raw form, without applying any heat at all. It often comes wrapped in a sachet or nioi bukuro.
Shoko is stick or cone-shaped incense that directly combusts and turns into ash as it burns. The smokey fragrance is the most intense of the three, and it can fumigate a larger area. Shoko is the most popular type of Japanese incense, especially the senko (stick) varieties.
Wellness benefits of Japanese incense
The benefits of Japanese incense go beyond their pleasing aromas, although this is reason enough to make it part of your daily ritual!
1. Soothes the mind
Incense is used all over the world as a quick antidote for stress relief, due to its ability to affect one’s state of mind almost instantly. Because of its calming properties, it is often lit to assist meditation, yoga, and other practices that require intense concentration. It goes without saying that incense has long played a major role in many religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, which associate a calm and collected mind with good health and well-being. On the quest for spiritual growth, incense is considered a worthy companion in moments of contemplation and solitude.
2. Enhances creativity
For the same reason that incense supports relaxing activities like meditation, scents like cinnamon can help increase focus and creativity during work and study. Burning incense is a great way to tap into the “flow state,” a creative headspace where productivity peaks and ideas flow effortlessly. This “zone” is well-known to artists, athletes, musicians, writers, and other creatives.
3. Purifies the air and reduces bad odors
As long as you use high-quality incense, you can count on it to eliminate airborne bacteria, neutralize funky odors and cleanse indoor spaces. Studies have proven incense to have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and even assist in pest control. Many insects are naturally repelled by incense smoke, so it’s a great way to ward off pests without harming them. Of course, you should only use pure and high-grade incense for purification purposes, as low-quality incense tends to contain synthetic ingredients that can irritate our health and harm the environment.
4. Aids sleep
When used properly at nighttime, incense can serve as a natural alternative to sleeping pills. Look for incense with natural sedatives, like lavender and chamomile, that can help you drift off to sleep easier.
5. Enhances mood
Like we said, the number one reason to use incense is just to feel better! Burning incense for pure enjoyment is a benefit in its own right, and reminds us to appreciate simple pleasures. Uplifting scents have the power to trigger fond memories, elevate our moods, and make us happier. So why not indulge in this healthy pastime?
Interested in burning incense to experience these positive effects? Check out these incense holders to help enhance your experience.