How to choose an incense stick that is not harmful: Natural or synthetic?

Choose the wand that you will light because its smoke can be more or less charged with toxic compounds. The environments that you find in the supermarket are full of artificial chemicals that can be irritating, allergenic or interfere with the endocrine system. Incense sticks seem a natural and healthy alternative but they are not always. Some experts say that sometimes their smoke can be worse than tobacco smoke. The aroma of natural incense or lavender wands acts on the nervous and endocrine systems with relaxing and antidepressant effects. That is why they have been used for thousands of years, often in religious and therapeutic settings. Incense sticks are associated with the perception of the sacred, with the increase of consciousness, with the experience of community, with concentration, motivation and creativity.

Incense sticks

Incense sticks: what are the good ones?

If you want to light a wand to create a pleasant atmosphere and relax during your yoga session, while you read or celebrate a dinner with your loved ones you must have chosen it well before because the differences between manufacturers and products are enormous. The wands of good quality are composed only of natural ingredients. They are mixtures of aromatic plants, oils, flowers and resins. Cheap wands with synthetic ingredients are much worse. They may contain formaldehyde, an irritant and potentially carcinogenic preservative and flavors that behave as endocrine disruptors. However, even the most natural wands emit fine particles that irritate the lungs, as well as toxic compounds.

What is to choose and why?

But a single wand in a room does not produce so many PAHs that you need to worry as long as the exposure does not last more than 2 or 3 hours and then ventilate the space. Wands can be a handmade product. But most of those you find in stores have been made with machines and are most likely to contain undesirable additives. You can find the alternative in the fair trade shops that distribute the handcrafted products by cooperatives in impoverished countries. Choosing these wands also ensures that they have not been manufactured in a plant with child labor. Fair trade guarantees that processors work in decent conditions and are not exploited.

Conclusion: What is the country of origin?

In India both natural wands of excellent quality and synthetic products produced in the so-so conditions are produced. Those in China, Thailand, Bangladesh and Indonesia are probably of poor quality. Those in Japan, Nepal and Tibet are tending to be better. It is difficult but you can find wands with ecological certification that offer all the guarantees regarding the quality of the composition. There are even Demeter certified wands of biodynamic agriculture, more demanding than organic. You can choose an alternative to ambience without consequences such as diffusers of essential oils based on ultrasound, water or dry. You can also resort to flowers and plants. Some species are even capable of absorbing pollutants and all provide a dose of nature that improves your mood and your overall health.