What's the difference between essential oils and incense sticks? It can be confusing to make sense of this question since both are natural aromatic products. However, there are some key differences between them which you should know about if you want to make the best possible use of them in your home. In this guide, you'll learn how they differ in scent and therapeutic properties, as well as how to use each product safely and effectively so that you and your family can have an enjoyable yet beneficial experience.
What are essential oils?
You might already be familiar with essential oils which have been used in aromatherapy for years. They're available in many different forms including essential oil diffusers, soaps and perfumes. Essential oils vary in terms of their scent and therapeutic effects, depending on the plant they come from. Some have a floral scent, while others may have a more intense or spicy aroma. The most popular essential oils on the market include lavender oil, vetiver, white sage, ylang ylang, clary sage, lemongrass and frankincense oils.
Essential oils have a range of health benefits, including:
- Reduces stress levels
- Relieves muscle tension
- Promotes skin health
- Improves oral health
- Improves sleep quality
- Prevents nausea in pregnant women
Essential oils boast antimicrobial properties and are a natural remedy for headaches, insomnia and feelings of anxiety. Several types of essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint and patchouli, are also packed with anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit people with inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis.
What is incense?
Incense is a popular product often used for spiritual purposes or in religious ceremonies. It's typically made from resins, herbs and other plant material which are dried then burned. Incense smoke has a range of health benefits, which is why it is used in so many homes, offices and commercial establishments. Burning high-quality incense sticks causes the following:
- Air purification
- Induces relaxation
- Reduces stress levels
- Promotes creativity
They can also be used as natural air fresheners, without the risks associated with synthetic fragrances. Incense sticks emit a woody scent that is calming to the senses since they are made from various plant components such as resin, tree bark, roots, or a variety of flowers. Nag champa, sandalwood, frankincense and sage are among the most popular types of incense.
Which is better for your home - essential oils or incense?
In terms of their scent, essential oils are typically more subtle than incense, which can often be overwhelming. This is because essential oils only contain a few concentrated plant extracts, while incense contains large amounts of powdered herbs or resins. In addition to this, essential oils aren't meant to be burned; they're diluted with a carrier oil and then used for massage therapy or in an aromatherapy diffuser to purify the air.
Incense, on the other hand, is meant to be burned to produce smoke over an extended period of time. Unlike some essential oils that can be used orally, incense should never be ingested because it contains powdered herb resins.
When choosing between essential oils and incense, it's important to first identify your purpose so that you can make an informed decision. Do you want something that will quickly fill a small space with aroma, or would you prefer a product that gradually fills up a large room? In addition to this, consider how intense you want the fragrance to be. If you need something strong but safe, then try mixing essential oils into an air freshener. There are lots of different brands out there at varying price points, so it should be easy to find one that works for you.
For large spaces, opt for an essential oil diffuser so that you can choose between a pleasant-smelling fragrance or one that's therapeutic and stress-reducing. Alternatively, use incense in smaller areas like your car, office, living room or bedroom. You can burn it in an incense tray or on charcoal blocks to produce smoke that absorbs odour molecules. However, because the scent of incense is much stronger than that of essential oils, it should be used with caution in aromatherapy.
Essential oils, on the whole, have more use in the home than incense. Essential oils can be used to make natural cleaners and air fresheners that are safe for dogs and children. Incense, on the other hand, has a limited range of applications outside of its traditional role as a meditation aid. While many varieties of incense have pleasing scents, they do not have all of the therapeutic properties that essential oils offer.