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  • Writer's pictureMichael Cutter

Incense for Air Purification

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Recently, I was invited by Kevin Torres of KDVR Channel 2 in Denver to speak about the role incense can play in air purification during these times. You will find the video link below.

In order to have this discussion, we will look back to the roots of incense, and take a look at a larger, more holistic version of health and well-being. In todays scientific age, it can be difficult to lend credibility to the long-held traditions as being effective without science-based research to back it up. Scientific research of medicinal smoke from aromatic plant materials (incense) is very limited. There simply isn't the funding to conduct the testing. After all, who is going to invest in research that cannot be patented, packaged and sold?

Aromatic plant materials used traditionally for air purification
Just a few of the ingredients in our incense, used traditionally for air purification.

But, at least one scientific research study strongly validates the burning of certain plant materials to purify the air. The testing showed a 94 percent reduction in multiple airborne pathogens. Furthermore, the air remained remarkably clean over the following days and weeks. The article can be found here in the PubMed National Library of Medicine. There is also an article published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology discussing the role of medicinal smoke used throughout the world for the treatment of various illnesses and conditions including air purification. These researchers make compelling arguments in favor of the benefits of smoke as a delivery method of the medicinal components into the body and strongly urge further testing and research.

In our science-dominated atmosphere its easy to discount ancient wisdom as mere 'folk medicine'. But folk medicine and extensive knowledge of plants is what kept our ancestors healthy for thousands of years, and incense plays a key role in all the religious traditions in opening to higher truth and spirituality as well as healing many physical ailments. As people realize some of the shortcomings of of western medicine's approach to health, more and more people are taking it upon themselves to embrace holistic solutions in their daily lives. 

Now, back to some of the plants used traditionally for air purification. Prior to making incense, I sought healing from traditional healers for life threatening health conditions western medicine could not help me with. My experience showed me the power of the ancient shamanic traditions and the effects that medicinal plant smoke can have on the mind, body, and emotions. I began healing and I also became a student to some of these healers, learning the traditional ways. I have learned of many plants from around the world that are used for air purification. I have also done research, including the articles linked above as well as countless books and articles on ethnobotany and plant materials used in incense throughout the world. These plant materials (ethically and sustainably sourced) are what I now use to make incense as well as using them in the healing work I offer to my clients. 

White Sage for smudging
White Sage, used traditionally by Native Americans

I recommend to anyone interested in embracing a holistic lifestyle to see things such as incense as supportive factor in your overall health and well being. There is no question as to the benefits of reducing stress in regards to boosting the immune system, and incense can play an important role.

All of the incense and smudging formulas I offer contain materials used traditionally for air purification. Among them are multiple varieties of Sandalwood, Palo Santo, White Sage, Artemesia Tridentada, Pine, Juniper, Cedar, Frankincense and Myrrh. These are not uncommon ingredients to see in commercial incense, but when using incense for healing or cleansing its critical to only use incense made with 100 percent natural ingredients. Almost all incense on the market today is made using artificial and/or inferior quality materials. I speak more about this in my article titled Why is Natural Important. Only when using the highest quality natural ingredients will you fully benefit. 

Big thanks to Kevin for having the inspiration to publish this video and invite me to share a few words. You can click the video below or the link here on KDVR website.

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