Why You Should Stop Using Incense Immediately

Incense is lit with a flame to produce fragrant smoke in religious ceremonies and for aesthetic purposes. It comes in many different forms, but the most popular are as a stick or cone. Incense is made of natural aromatic materials like sage, resins, oils, or wood, depending on the scent, as well as unnatural ingredients. Even though it's made from mostly natural materials, incense has been suspected of negatively affecting users' health.

The smoke released when incense is burned is where the problem lies. It's made of particulate matter that causes health problems when breathed in, according to Healthline. Some of this particulate matter being inhaled through incense smoke can cause cancer when breathed in because a 2009 study found it to be carcinogenic. This particulate matter can also cause respiratory diseases like asthma and inflammation in the lungs. A 2014 study even shows that long-term exposure to incense smoke can increase the risk of heart disease.

Incense alternatives

These studies made large claims about the potential dangers of inhaling incense smoke, but it's important to understand that they haven't shown that incense caused these diseases. According to Healthline, these studies have only shown that there is a correlation between these diseases and one's exposure to incense.

If you would rather stop lighting incense, there are alternatives you can switch to. These alternatives have either minimal or no link to increasing the risk of the health problems that have an association to incenses particulate smoke. Smudging the room with sage is the most similar to incense because it involves lighting the smudge stick so the smoke can leave a pleasant fragrance in the room. You can also use candles without a lead-core wick. If you don't want any smoke, oil diffusers will add fragrance to a room by adding a couple of drops of essential oil to water.