Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What are incense sticks and joss sticks?

Burning incense may be good for spiritual wellbeing but it could also be bad for your health.

The fragrant smoke, used in religious ceremonies and to scent rooms, contains a cocktail of harmful chemicals linked to a host of physical disorders, scientists say.

Chinese people believed that they could build a communication with holy spirits through the smoke of incense sticks. They burn slender stick in front of joss from which the name joss stick has originated. In India also, incense sticks have been used during religious rituals from centuries with believe that the soothing scent of these sticks enhance spiritual elements. The aromatic smell of these sticks heightens the spirits, enhance the surroundings by purifying the air and put an unusual soothing effect on the mind. Regular use of incense is said to prevent disease, promote longevity and enhance mental clarity.

Burning Incense Sticks and cones - General Safety Instructions

Though incense sticks and cones are very easy to use, certain amount of safety is required to avoid any mishappening. When lit, incense stick or cones are very hot, and could cause severe burn or fire if not handled properly. Some common safety measures are

1. Never leave burning incense sticks or cones, unattended.
2. Do not burn incense products in the presence of flammable fumes or in the presence of materials that can create
flammable fumes such as gasoline, acetone, varnish, etc.
3. Keep burning incense sticks or cones out of the reach of children or pets.
4. Never place burning incense sticks or cones near moving objects or draperies such as curtains.
5. Always use appropriate incense burner for the type of incense you are burning and place the burner on a flame-
resistant and heat-resistant surface. Never place burners on television, stereo or computer cabinets.
6. Do not fall asleep while incense stick or cone is burning. Do remember that incense creates smoke and may trigger
smoke alarms.
7. Always lit incense products in a well-ventilated area.
8. Incense sticks and cones are not edible and may represent a choking hazard, hence must keep them away from
children and pets.
9. When lighting stick incense, be sure to hold the incense away from your face and hair as some types of stick incense
ignite with a tall flame. Always hold the stick by the bare end and light the coated end, after lighting, gently blow out the
10. While burning incense cone, remember to place it in right burner, and burner should be placed on flame-resistant and
heat-resistant surfaces.
11. It is always advisable to consult your doctor if you have some kind of allergies, breathing or lung disorders
conditions, difficulties or illnesses, before using any incense product.