How To Make Incense To Soothe Your Senses.
Rolling incense sticks is fun !
If we do our own little research incense making dates back to the time when mankind discovered fire! I bet our ancestors chose one kind of wood over another for its heady, sweet smell. Most of the religions have its share of incense burning rituals. These sweet smelling sticks gives one a sense of comfort, bliss, soothes the senses and relieves stress. Its an integral part of worship in some communities to please God and purify the area.Different aromas have different effects on our emotions.Some perk up our mood, some relax, some bring out the sensual side in us! Experiment with a lot of fragrances and see which fragrance triggers happiness, sense of well being and peace. Our smelling sense associates a certain smell with a certain memory before it percieves the kind of smell it is, whether its fruity, citrus etc.Salt peter is a common ingredient used in making incense.I would advice against the use of salt peter as this is a toxic substance. Its best to avoid it as we can easily do without salt peter and make incense which is completely harmless.There are several ways to make incense sticks, adding different substances but i want the process to be easy, fun and simple for everyone so i am incorporating only the easy methods which are less time consuming and a little different from how its regularly done.
What you would need for making incense-:
>Mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
>A pair of gloves
>Essential or aromatherapy oils
>Wax sheet (to stop the mixture from sticking to the surface while rolling the incense)
>Saw dust or coarse charcoal powder
>Arabic gum or agar agar
>Makko ( for bonding as well as a combustible sustance)
>Thin bamboo sticks
How to --: Method # 1
Make a powder of gum arabia or makko with the help of mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Mix a little warm water, little bit of saw dust or charcoal and essential oils. Mix well and knead, knead, knead the hell out of it :) Make sure that the mixture is not runny but firm enough to hold the thin bamboo stick which we will roll into it. leave this dough like incense mixture for 2 to 3 hours, after which we will start rolling them into sticks or cones.
Meanwhile a little info on makko-: its a water soluble binder and a burning agent as well, a natural tree bark and contains no synthetic chemicals.
Method # 2
Take two parts makko and 1 part sandle powder, 1 part cassia powder, add a little warm water and drops of aromatherapy oils, mix well and knead into a dough. spread a wax sheet on the table and take a little of this dough and start rolling (as we used to roll fun clay in our childhood).Take the thin piece of bamboo stick and roll it into the incense. Dab an extra bit of aromatherepy oil of your choice. leave it to dry in the sun for 2 weeks.
Method # 3 (easy one)
Mix powdered gum arabic with flour, use a little warm water to mix this into a dough.Add just a tiny bit of saw dust, powdered charcoal, aromatherapy oil.Knead well and roll it into sticks.
Method # 4 ( the easiest one )
Ground cinnamon or cardamom or dry fennel seeds ( for the base ).Add strawberry or apple sauce to it, mix well to form a dough and roll it gently on a wax paper to make a stick. let it sun dry for a couple of days or you can try microwaving it !
Some helpful sweet fracrances to add to your incense mixture--:
>Cedar, cypress and cinnamon--increases intellectual power, ends drug addiction and smoking
>Basil and cinnamon--clears negative vibrations specially when household members are arguing or when the house seems heavy and thick with anger, depression, fear and negative emotions
>Basil, bergamot, rose, lavender, musk oil, patchouli--attracts love, strengthens the love you have and to expand your ability to give and recieve love .
>Sandle wood-- for relaxing and meditation
>Orange and lemon--to lift your mood and cheer you up
>Ylang ylang, clove, musk, vanilla, rose--*warning* aphrodisiac :)
You can experiment with a lot of different fragrances and see what suits you and works best for you.Once you get a hold of it, in no time you would be rocking (mortar and pestle) and rolling :) like a pro.I hope you have loads of fun making your incense sticks!