Incense is a biotic material that releases aromatic smoke when burned. The practice of burning incense dates back to ancient times, and the fragrant substance still serves as a prayer aid for many religions. Believed to enhance concentration and stimulate creativity, incense is also a popular form of aromatherapy.
Although you can, of course, buy incense, it’s very easy to make your own. Follow these simple steps for homemade incense cones you (and your house guests) will love!
How to Make Homemade Incense
2. Crush them into powder. Use a mortar and pestle to pulverize the herbs until they have a powdery consistency. Keep in mind that some plants take longer to crush than others.
3. Mix in makko powder. When combined with water, this powder, which is derived from the bark of the Thunberi tree, serves as a binding agent. It is also naturally combustible, which helps ensure a slow, even burn. Use a 1:3 ratio when mixing makko powder and herbs (e.g., one teaspoon powder for every three teaspoons of pulverized herbs).
4. Add some distilled water. Introduce distilled water to the powder mixture very slowly, a few drops at a time, until a dough forms.
5. Mold your cones. To create your incense cones, place approximately half a teaspoon of the dough into a small conical mold. If necessary, insert a pin into the tip of the mold to help dislodge the cones. Or, if you prefer, shape your cones by hand.
6. Let them dry. Place your incense cones on parchment or wax paper and allow them to dry for a minimum of 12 hours. Be sure to turn them over halfway through the drying process so the bottoms dry out as well.
7. Light ‘em up. Fill a small, heat-resistant bowl with salt or sand and top it with a newly created cone. Light the cone’s tip and blow it out after a few seconds. The cone should continue to smoke for approximately one hour.
Incense is obviously “hot stuff.” Therefore, it’s important to take certain precautions when burning it:
- Always keep unlit and burning incense away from small children and pets.
- Do not consume incense as it is not designed for ingestion.
- Incense bowls or burners may become hot, which can damage furniture and cause injury. So, make sure they are properly insulated and placed on heat-resistant surfaces, like ceramic tiles or trivets.
- Always burn incense in well-ventilated areas.
- Keep incense away from drafty areas, such as open doors and windows.
- Do not place incense near flammable objects, such as lampshades, drapes and rugs.
- Be careful not to brush against the glowing tip of an incense cone or stick as doing so can burn skin and damage clothing.
- Do not leave lit incense unattended.
- Falling ash from incense can be a fire hazard. Make sure ash falls onto a fireproof surface.
- Make sure all incense is completely extinguished and cool to the touch prior to discarding it.
*If you are pregnant, nursing, asthmatic, have respiratory issues or other medical conditions, consult a physician before burning incense.