The Magic & Medicine of Aromatic Tree Resins

Tree resins have been a major part of human history and have been used in nearly every culture on Earth for thousands of years. Whether used in perfumery, as incense, medicine, or for more practical uses in crafts, construction, ancient boat building, and insect repellants, tree resins continue to share their many virtues and gifts with humanity.

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Incense On The City Bus

Photo: Jacquie Bird Day

Running into an incense connoisseur or collector is a rare occasion these days. We’re out there, but we are far and few between compared to the ages before our time. It is curious to think that in many ancient cities several hundred or thousand years ago, the majority of a population would at some point in their day, encounter the alluring scent of incense or plant smoke. In ancient times incense was commonly found burning on the street corner or heavily wafting from the doors of a temple. Geishas were keeping track of their customer’s time with their ‘incense clocks’, and people would be burning incense in their homes to accompany their prayer, as an offering, during meditation, or for medicinal purposes.

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Reviving The Spirit Of Incense

In the Western world, there is a great lack of sacredness surrounding the use of incense. Over the past few decades the popularity of incense has grown substantially in the U.S., mostly as a consumer product and not so much as a sacred and ceremonial tool. The traditional use of herbal incense is deeply rooted in ritual, prayer, mediation, spirituality, religion, and medicine in most ancient cultures. Continue reading Reviving The Spirit Of Incense