The Sacred Act of Burning Incense

“Bakhoor” is the Arabic name for scented bricks or can refer to a blend of natural ingredients, mainly woodchips soaked in oils and mixed with other natural ingredients that give off a lovely scent such as resin, musk, and sandalwood. This is the most traditional form of incense and can also refer to the charcoal that is burned in a metal bowl or censer with herbs and wood chips. To some, this is a sacred way of filling the home or meditative space with an inviting scent. Many use incense while praying or chanting. Essential oils such as frankincense are used with pieces of charcoal and, when burned, give off a special perfume. Frankincense has been used since ancient times and is valued for its medicinal qualities; it was most prominently mentioned in the Bible as a gift to the baby Jesus from one of the three wise men.

Incense, whether used with disks of charcoal or in the more convenient stick form, has always been a popular aromatic material as it releases fragrant smoke when burned, so it is more effective, at times, than candles. Incense is ideal when a lot of fragrance or a certain ambiance is needed. It is used not only in sacred ceremonies but for any occasion as it is aesthetically pleasing. Spiritual leaders and monks have used incense for centuries for its soothing effects, such as tension and stress relief. It is also used to help with spiritual and creative processes as it is linked with positivity and can even be an aphrodisiac. When it comes to incense and filling your home with aroma, you can pick virtually any scent you like and, now, incense sticks do not necessarily have to be burned as there are diffusers filled with oil that, through hollow reeds, disperse fragrance into the air.

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