Making your own incense can be a therapeutic and worthwhile pastime; helping you relax and get in tune with your spiritual side. If you’re interested in crafting some homemade incense, here’s what you need to know.
Which incense do you want to make?
First of all you need to decide if you want to make combustible incense or non-combustible incense. If you want to use sticks or cones, you’ll need to make combustible incense. This requires a binding material and combustible material added directly to the incense mixture. Whilst this method is a little more difficult to make, it burns a lot easier. If you’re making non-combustible or loose incense then you’ll need to use charcoal or makko to heat it. It’s really easy to make this kind of incense but just needs a few more ingredients to help it burn.
Choosing your ingredients
Whatever ingredients you choose, it’s best to start with a mixture of high quality, natural ingredients. It’s also best to include at least one wood or resin in your base. Other than that, you can choose scents and ingredients that you simply love the smell of, or ingredients that you feel will help you accomplish a specific goal such as cleansing or relaxation. Why not try aromas you’ve never tried before? You can visit local herb and incense shops to see what you like!
Making loose incense
If you have raw, unpowdered ingredients you’re going to need a pestle and mortar to grind up your ingredients. You might find that wood is quite difficult to grind using a pestle and mortar so you can use a coffee grinder for this. It’s also best to leave resins until last so you don’t have to clean your equipment until the end. Once you’ve ground all your ingredients individually, mix them up and give them a grind together one last time.
Once you’ve got all the grinding done you can heat your mixture as it is over charcoal, on mica on top of charcoal, on mica on top of ash under which hot charcoal is buried, or on top of makko. And there you have it! Your very own homemade loose incense.
Making incense sticks
When making incense sticks you can follow the steps above to grind up your ingredients, but ensure the end result is an incredibly fine powder. Leave the mixture to settle and blend overnight to really get the best out of your incense.
Once it has been aged, you can mix it with your makko to form an incense stick or cone in the shape you desire. If your mixture has no resin in you’ll probably only need around 10-25% of makko however if you have resin in this will need to increase to around 40-80%. Add it little bit little to see how the mixture molds and forms. Slowly add a little water too, just to ensure you get a solid shape that binds.
Alternatively you can use plain bamboo sticks and mold your mixture around them.
Once you’ve made them you need to let them dry for a couple of weeks. During this time they should be kept away from direct sunlight and any heat. When they’re completely dry it’s time to burn! And your incense sticks are done!
Let us know how you get on with meditation & healing with your homemade incense.