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In the Vedic tradition, incense plays an important role for promoting health and deepening spirituality. Here are some benefits of using incense:
- It is aromatherapy. Of all human senses, smell is the most primal and has a direct influence on the frontal lobe of the brain improving memory, attention, and motivation;
- It stimulates the first chakra which is responsible for generating feelings of stability, security and confidence in life;
- It heightens our sense of smell increasing the enjoyment of foods;
- It is connected to two of the five ayurvedic elements - air and space - and purifies air and creates an environment for optimal healing;
- Because of it’s influence over the air and space element, it transforms ordinary space into sacred space when used in the home, office, yoga studio or meditation center;
- It prevents infections because incense has anti-bacterial properties. Some Asian hospitals burn incense for that very reason. One Chinese pharmacopoeia, states that incense remove “evil vapors in heart and belly” and is especially recommended for eye troubles, including cataract;
- It calms the mind, and therefore, is an aid for meditation;
- It reduces stress and anxiety;
- It offers headache relief. Our sense of smell is a direct path to the brain and certain scents trigger an immediate response via the Limbic System stimulating the brain to produce essential chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, which cause feelings of happiness and relaxation;
- It stimulates creativity, motivation and positive energy.
Some raise a concern about incense smoke and pollution. Dr. Andrew Weil says it is "unlikely" that burning a stick or two can cause any health dangers.
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