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How To Differentiate Between Good VS Bad Incense Sticks?

Explore key factors such as natural ingredients, fragrance sources, smoke production, and ethical sourcing. Make informed choices for a more enjoyable and healthier incense experience. Learn how to easily distinguish between good and bad incense sticks with our comprehensive guide.

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We burn incense sticks almost regularly at our homes, and workplaces while meditating, practicing yoga, or cleansing our space of negative energy.

But have you ever considered what you inhale while burning incense?

Have you thought about how these incense sticks are made?

Let’s understand the process of making incense & decide which one to buy.

Certain researchers have compared incense smoke to be more harmful than cigarettes, since incense burning has religious and spiritual associations, sometimes the lines between the facts can get blurred.

Before making any statements let’s define the purpose of burning incense sticks.

Check out: 20 Physical and Psychological Benefits of Burning Incense

Why do we Burn Incense? 

Incenses are burnt at a variety of installations, from temples, homes and Mini altars, offices and similar workplaces, restaurants, and similar public places.

It is burnt for different purposes for aroma, for a feel-good factor, and for religious and spiritual purposes, most of the reasons can be exclusive and inclusive.

Now the question is which one is beneficial & which one is harmful to health.

You will find two types of incense in the market- Synthetic and Natural. 

Let’s define both.

What are Synthetic Incense Sticks?

Synthetic incense sticks are created with either a mixture of natural and synthetic materials or are created entirely with synthetic materials. 

Inhaling smoke from artificial materials over long periods of time is dangerous for health.

Must read: Is Incense Bad for You?

What are Natural Incense Sticks? 

Incense sticks made with dried herbs, woods and resins are said to be Natural incense sticks. Resin is known to be the purest form of incense. 

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Also look for few of these ingredients in the incense sticks – dried sap and solidified oils from plants and trees, chunks of wood or herbs and grasses.

organic incense sticks ingredient list

What You Shouldn’t Do?

  1. Don’t be fooled by the robust pretty scents of artificial materials. 
  2. Inhaling smoke from artificial chemicals isn’t smart for your health. 
  3. Do not go for heavy smoke incense sticks.
  4. If the incense stick is ‘dipped’ in a sturdy-smelling fragrance oil it is best to avoid it. 

Note: If you like incense, continue the natural or low-smoke brands and burn them moderately.

Healthiest Incense

Finding top-quality, healthy incense sticks is usually quite a challenge. 

  1. Hunt for the words ‘natural incense sticks’ on the packet. This could mean that the sticks solely contain natural ingredients – that is after all the best possible for your health. 
  2. Dig a bit additional and see wherever the fragrance comes from.  
  3. If you’re trying to find the most effective incense sticks for your health- search for incense that’s created solely with ‘pure herbs’. Pure flavor incense burns cleaner with a whiter smoke or a sublime ‘cloud’.
  4. Select incense without harmful additives like charcoal or fillers.
  5. Pick incense that produces minimal smoke to prevent irritation.
  6. Ensure sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients.
  7. Opt for mild, balanced fragrances instead of overpowering scents.
  8. Look for incense tested and certified for safety and quality.
  9. Choose handmade or artisanal incense for higher quality.
  10. Be cautious of very cheap incense, as it may be lower in quality.

Also Check: Also read: How Many Incense Sticks to Burn for Good Luck?

Distinction Between a Good VS Bad Incense Sticks

CriteriaGood Incense StickBad Incense Stick
IngredientsMade from natural, organic ingredients.Contains synthetic fragrances, artificial colors.
Fragrance SourceUses pure essential oils, herbs, and resins.Relies on low-quality synthetic scents.
AllergiesHypoallergenic; unlikely to trigger allergies.Contains potential allergens, causing sensitivities.
AdditivesFree from harmful additives like charcoal and fillers.Includes charcoal, binders, releasing toxins.
Smoke ProductionProduces minimal smoke, reducing respiratory irritation.Emits excessive smoke, causing discomfort.
SourcingEthically sourced, sustainable ingredients.Ingredients harvested unsustainably, harming nature.
Fragrance StrengthBalanced fragrance, not overpowering.Overly strong scent, overwhelming the senses.
Testing/CertificationTested and certified for safety and quality.Lacks testing, potentially unsafe to use.
Traditional RecipeFollows traditional, time-tested formulations.Deviates from traditional practices, lower quality.
CraftsmanshipHandmade or artisanal, showing attention to detail.Mass-produced, lacks attention to quality.
Aromatherapy BenefitsOffers therapeutic effects like relaxation or stress relief.Lacks any potential aromatherapy benefits.
User FeedbackPositive user reviews and testimonials.Negative feedback, users dissatisfied.
PricePriced reasonably for the quality and ingredients.Unusually cheap, indicating subpar quality.
Personal SensitivityTakes into account individual sensitivities and preferences.May cause discomfort due to personal reactions.

The Final Checklist

  1. Check the “ingredient” list.
  2. Know the process of making the incense (you can visit the company’s website)
  3. Check for the word “Natural
  4. Check if the incense sticks are “dipped” in essential oils. If yes, say NO to it.
  5. Check if it is made with “pure herbs”.

There you have the complete checklist of what to look for when buying incense sticks & how to differentiate between artificial & natural ones.

I hope this article has helped you. If you have any questions at all, feel free to post them below and I will do my best to answer them.

Browse our premium all-natural organic incense sticks. 

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Mekhala, a law student and avid reader, has a deep passion for spirituality and meditation. She finds solace in these practices, using them to cultivate inner peace and mindfulness each day. Nature, yoga, and varied spiritual pursuits captivate her outside her studies and writing. Mekhala's devotion to mindfulness enriches her blogs with inspiration and insight.

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