With so many of us working from home, it’s now more important than ever to create and maintain an environment of cleansing energy to keep us focused, joyful, and relaxed.
Throughout history, different cultures developed rituals and formulas for burning incense, herbs, and special woods to aid in personal purification and uplift people.
The following list has just a few tools and practices stemming from the ancient aromatherapy rituals that you can apply in your home. By clearing out the stale air, let’s enter into a deeper state of reflection and gratitude with less anxiety.
Sacred ceremonies throughout history have relied upon Frankincense. There are records of it being traded in the Middle East and North Africa that go back 5000 years, and traditional Chinese medicine has used it since at least 500 B.C.
The ancient Egyptians bought boatloads of the resin from the Phoenicians, using it in incense, perfume, insect repellent, and salves for wounds and sores.
The aroma of frankincense can be described as woody, earthy, and spicy with a fruity nuance. The fragrance is believed to strengthen the respiratory system, reduce feelings of anxiety, and stimulate the immune system.
Pregnant women and individuals with bleeding disorders are warned to avoid Frankincense.
Tap a few drops of Frankincense oil into a diffuser or burn a incense stick for simple and immediate transformation of your space.
Myrrh has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic practices, and Christian ceremonies. Ancient Egyptians used myrrh and other essential oils to embalm mummies, as the oils not only provide a nice scent but also slow down the natural decaying process. Scientists now know this is because the oils kill bacteria and other microbes.
In Biblical times, myrrh incense — often in combination with frankincense, as both were gifts from the Three Wise Men to Jesus — was burned in places of worship to help purify the air.
It’s best to dilute myrrh oil in a carrier oil. Add 3-4 drops of myrrh oil to a diffuser or burn a myrrh candle to enjoy the energizing and cleansing aroma.
One simple trick is to apply a few drops of myrrh oil to the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper. Every time someone uses it, a bit of the aroma will be released.
Palo Santo — also called “Holy Wood” — is a mystical tree that grows in South America. For centuries the indigenous peoples of the Andes have used palo santo for spiritual purification and energy cleansing. When burned, the citrusy wood creates a pleasant, fresh smoke that can help brighten energy, reduce stress and promote feelings of positivity and joy.
Light a stick of palo santo and let the flame burn for 30 seconds to one minute. Blow it out and walk through the areas you wish to cleanse, allowing the smoke to waft through the room, similar to how you would use sage or cedar, which are other wonderful woods.
With a spirit of gratitude, ask the smoke for its blessing and protection.
Burning sage — also known as smudging — is an ancient ceremonial practice common in several First Nations and Indigenous cultures. The purifying smoke from sage is said to clear out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects. Typically, smudging uses raw leaves wrapped into a wand-like bundle that can be used repeatedly.
White sage is scientifically proven to have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also contains thujone, which is mildly psychoactive and can be found in many plants used in cultural spiritual rituals to enhance intuition.