Burning incense has a huge role in cultural and religious practices. It’s also becoming increasingly popular in Western countries. These days, you can find incense in health food stores and groceries.
There are many types of incense, but sandalwood is well-loved. It’s made from the wood of the tree Santalum album.
Aside from releasing an amazing aroma, burning sandalwood incense sticks will have these five benefits.
1. Relieves Anxiety
Feeling tense? Use sandalwood incense for natural relief. The scent is associated with lower levels of anxiety and stress – something we could all do without.
A study in the journal Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing observed these effects in women receiving breast biopsies. If sandalwood’s aroma can help them, imagine what it can do for you.
For even more stress relief, burn lavender incense simultaneously. The combination of both aromas has been shown to have an amazing impact on stress relief.
2. Aids Better Sleep
The stress-busting impact of sandalwood makes it a great sedative. It’ll calm down your worried mind, helping you get some shut eye. It might be just what you need after a long day.
In aromatherapy, sandalwood has been honored for its relaxing odor.4 Burn an incense stick while getting ready for bed. It’ll set the mood and create a comforting, soothing atmosphere.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Sandalwood’s relaxing aroma can even lower systolic blood pressure. This can force your body to calm down, especially if you’re feeling worked up from stress.
It’s also beneficial for your heart. If your blood pressure is too high, it means that blood is forcefully pushing against your blood vessel walls. It also means that your heart is working extra hard to pump blood. This is stressful for both you and your heart.
By lowering your blood pressure, you’ll protect yourself against heart attack, stroke, and other forms of heart disease. Of course, sandalwood incense can’t solve the problem. But it can be a part of the bigger picture.
4. Heals Wound
The ability to heal wounds is a surprising benefit of sandalwood incense. It works by activating certain olfactory receptors, which can impact other processes in the body.
In turn, this induced pathways that stimulated keratinocytes or skin cells make keratin. These cells make up the outermost layer of the skin. The result? Better growth of epithelial tissue during wound healing.
5. Acts As Natural Air Freshener
Sandalwood is prized for its woodsy, fragrant scent. Burning sandalwood incense will make your home smell amazing, especially if you’re trying to get rid of unpleasant odors.
It’s also safer than using store-bought air fresheners. These products don’t even truly deodorize the air. Instead, they add harsh chemicals to the environment. Many of these can change your hormones and potentially cause cancer.
Incense smoke is still smoke. It can add to indoor air pollution, especially if ventilation is poor. This can be dangerous for people who spend most of their time indoors, like young children and elders.
Studies have shown that daily exposure is linked to poor lung function. To protect your health, burn incense in moderation. Encourage good ventilation by opening windows and turning on fans. Avoid direct inhalation by never burning them in closed spaces. Instead, use incense in an airy, open spot.
The benefits on this list were found in sandalwood essential oil. However, sandalwood incense sticks are derived from the same plant. The aroma is the same, letting you reap the benefits of sandalwood.