Creativity, motivation, releasing anxiety and more… all areas where many claim incense can benefit (depending on what you’re burning). But there are also many ways you can burn in incense.
Cone, stick or resin? What type of incense do you use? Believe it or not, all incense is not created equal. Like anything, there’s a crunchy version and a synthetic version. While there are a few studies about the dangers of incense the main points I have about the incense is “What are you burning?” and “How’s the ventilation in the room?”
In order to not release dangerous VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air which can cause harm to your body. You don’t want these VOCs in your home! But there are ways to help purify the home… but I digress.
Direct burning is usually done in the form of incense sticks or cones in which you directly apply heat and burn causing the aroma. When it comes to cones in the cone actually burns the incense with less smoke as there is no wood to burn. You also have to make sure the incense is scented in natural incense and not synthetic which can also be harmful to your health. The wood inside the incense also needs to be “clean” wood as it burns as well.
Resin incense is the most common for of indirect burning. You put the resin on charcoal and burn the charcoal, in turn burning the resin. The traditional way would consist of taking coals from a fire putting it on a stone (or non-flammable surface), then placing the resins or loose incense herbs over the charcoal to release the smell. The important aspect here is to only buy the herbs or resin from place you trust. You have to ensure the product is pure. (Omg I sound like I’m talking about drugs “Make sure the product is pure”, but seriously that’s important). I get mine from my local health food store that I trust.
You also have to make sure the charcoal you’re using is pure also. I use this one made from coconut husks.
There’s also bamboo charcoal that is a better alternative than regular charcoal which often has additives to burn faster and longer, these can release VOCs into your home… (BOOOO!)
WHAT’S SO BAD?
Well, I don’t know exactly what could be in your incense but neither do you. The exact type of pollutants released into the air (and your home) depends on the chemicals present in the incense being burned. That’s why I’m a crazy person when it comes to gettin only pure and natural incense and charcoal. Whether you choose stick, resin or a cone incense, choose something clean and pure to the best of your ability and stay away from synthetic incense.
FINDING THE GOOD STUFF
Incense De Santa Fe
It’s a cone type incense in the shape of a rectangle. This company offers 7 different types of natural wood incense made in the US. There is also a sample back where one could try all the offering for a good price.
Its a modern twist on incense cones. Their most popular mix is called Blood Countess, a dragon’s blood resin and frankincense Combination to lift the mood and add some edge.
It’s a Japanese specialty brand that isn’t too pricey but has been around a very long time! These are natural and trusted brand.
This is the brand my local health food store and local Whole Food’s offer. It is a natural brand with ingredients I can understand (Yay me!). These also offer the tradition scents like frankincense and myrrh that aren’t blended so you decide for yourself on the scents you like.
Also check out your local health food store to see what they offer for incense, just make sure you read the packaging to ensure there’s no artificial or synthetic fragrances.
Essential oils can be used to help calm the mind and relieve a the stress and anxiety of everyday life.
Instead of banging your head on the wall, try these essential oils. Remember everyone's body chemistry is made differently. Just because one oil doesn't work for you, try another before giving up. Also don't force it. If you hate the way one oil smells don't use it!
You can use these in an inhaler (15-20 drops), with a carrier oil on your body (12 drops per ounce for a typical 2% dilution) or in a diffuser(5 drops per 150ml).
Lavender- This is the oil you're most likely to have in your cabinet already. It has been used to beat stress, depression and anxiety. There is a full review in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice (2013).
Vetiver - It has a smokey spicy woody type scent. My husband isn't really a fan of this oil but I love it. According to a 2015 study on rats, vetiver oil is used in aromatherapy for relaxation. The study showed vetiver has anti-anxiety abilities similar to the drug diazepam. It is a grounding oil. I read in The Healing Power of Essential Oils that is has also been used to help with ADHD.
Ylang Ylang - It has a floral scent but I love it. Besides being and awesome "get it on" essential oil. Ylang Ylang is great for anxiety.
Orange oil - It smells orangey (haha) There are studies that show orange oil used to help with presurgical anxiety in dental patients and it did in fact help!
You can use these oils alone or try a mix to see what you think .
Of course if you are under a doctor's care or taking prescriptions talk to a doctor before taking any oils.
I'm all about making life easier and with the crunchy life food is a HUGE part of how I live. So wouldn't it make sense to try to make cooking and shopping a bit easier? Making meals in my crockpot makes life easier on the cooking side. But on the shopping side, not leaving the house to go grocery shopping makes my life SUPER easy! That sounds like sorcery doesn't it? While I wish there was a magic portal or a way to travel through my fireplace (Harry Potter reference), there is not. (Yes, I looked at my fireplace and cried inside for being a muggle)
Not having to leave my house to shop is great and is made possible with a little help from technology. Instacart, Butcher Box, Yumble, Fresh Direct, Amazon Pantry, Fresh or Subscribe and Save are all great ways to live the delivery life. Although they aren't all available in all areas. For example Fresh Direct does not come to lower Delaware neither does Amazon Fresh. It literally pains my soul to say this as I loved these services but I'm surviving. [barely]
Can I write a love letter to Instacart? I love you, my whole family loves you. Same day groceries? Replacements? Picking good fruit? YESSSS please and thank you. Instacart will go to select grocery stores in your area and bring you your groceries you select. They do Safeway, Whole Foods, Giant, Acme, Target and so much more. Okay so the downside for some stores prices are higher than they would be if you went to the actual store. Delivery ranges from $5.99 to $9.99 or you can join and get free delivery for $14.99 a month but there are often specials that allow you to get free delivery. There is also a surcharge to pay for using Instacart and you can tip the driver. But that is a price I am willing to pay for not having to take my 2-year-old, and preteens into the store. AND you can schedule delivery in advance or have them come in the next 2 hours (sometimes 1 hour!) It works great for when I have a recipe I want to try and I can stand in my panty and physically see what I have or don't have.
Save money and get free delivery with my referral!
Here's the link: https://inst.cr/t/TGUyqyyKC
Butcher Box is all about bringing you the best meat. Where we live it is not always possible to get organic meat at the closest grocery store (bummer) and I don't want to drive to the closest Safeway all the time so I get my meat delivered once or twice a month. The animals are humanely raised, no hormones or antibiotics, beef is 100% grass-fed & grass-finished no and their chicken is organic with all vegetarian feed.
You can try Butcher Box Here: (you'll get free meat if I refer you!)
This is for when I'm truly a lazy laze OR for when I make meals my 2-year-old won't eat. I warm up a yumble meal and there's dinner or lunch! For $6.99 or $7.99 a meal (6 meal minimum) I get premade meals for my little picky butt. I subscribe and unsubscribe (like I am now because I have a few saved up) at will with no penalty. You can pick from a pretty good selection of meals that kids hopefully will eat. While it is not all organic they do say they use organic items when possible. You can get referred here.
Fresh direct is another great tool when it comes to the typical grocery shopping although they do not have a "store" they go to but they have their own warehouse of food. They have a pretty good selection of organic foods. The downside is there is no same day delivery and they don't have a good way to keep stuff cold once it is at your house just in case you aren't home with the delivery occurs so you'll have to schedule it during a 2 hour window you're home or nearby! Delivery is $7.99 or free delivery for $129 a year.
Click here to try it out
Amazon, as they continue to take over the world and our mailboxes, has plenty of options for food delivery. My favorite is Amazon Fresh especially since they own Whole Foods now!) But they no longer deliver to my location (Boo! What happened Amazon?).
Amazon also has Amazon Pantry where for $4.99 a month you can order items to fill your pantry, dry foods, non refrigerated juice, paper goods etc. There is a good selection of organic items on here as well!
The option I use is Subscribe and Save. I get items that I know I need monthly or every 2/3 months like toilet tissue, pull-ups, lunch items, lotion, tooth paste all delivered on schedule and I save 10-20% on each item. Yay savings. You can cancel an item anytime before shipping, it's great.
Remember these are all just my thoughts and reviews of the companies listed. I make no money from sharing this info besides perks from referrals if you do try it out.
Want to get into the crunchy life but don't know where to begin? Here is the Crunchy Rice starter kit. The top 10 things (plus two) we cannot live or go without!
1. Say NO to High Fructose Corn Syrup
2. Organic Please!
3. Take Your Shoes Off In The House
4. Cut Out Faucet Water
5. Natural Hair Products Only
6. Essential Oils
7. Say BYE to Regular Lotion & Soap
8. Learn Your Body Type
9. Limit White Sugar & Flour
10. Tea, Yum!
11. Natural/Organic Baby Products (if Applicable)
12. Natural Makeup
I'm a mom of 3 girls and a husband who I converted to the crunchy life. I buy a lot and try a lot so you don't have to.