The Origin Of Sandalwood Incense
Sandalwood incense is, perhaps, one of the oldest known types of incense. Used for over 4000 years, it is believed that this fragrant wood was used first by the ancient Chinese in their sacred temples. Many believe that sandalwood incense is the most calming type of incense, so it is the scent most often used for meditation purposes. It is believed that a number of ancient temples are also made out of sandalwood.
Sandalwood incense has been used by many cultures. By the Chinese, it was used in religious ceremonies, and many of their deities are made from this beautifully soft wood. Ancient Egyptians not only for religious purchases, but also for embalming and for medicinal purposes. Sandalwood incense is one of three primary incenses used by Buddhists in religious ceremonies as well.
Sandalwood incense has been used in medicine to treat such conditions as sleeplessness, severe anxiety, as well as depression. Herbalists believe that the incense helps to promote an atmosphere of open-mindedness, peace, and spiritual awareness. It is also used in the death ceremonies of many cultures. The Catholic Church, Jewish Synagogues, and Hindi Temples are just a few among the many religions that use sandalwood incense.
Where Sandalwood Incense Is Found
The sandal tree, known in the botanical community as Santalum Album is found primarily in Karnataka, India. The tree is medium sized, growing to a height of about 40 feet. The tree is not cut down when harvest time comes, but rather is pulled up from the roots during the rainy season when the ground is soft. The roots contain the essential oil which also has multiple purposes.
Making your Own Sandalwood Incense
Making your own loose sandalwood incense is quite easy. Simply purchase the dried wood from your local craft or hobby store, and grind it to a fine powder with either a mortar and pestle, or a manual coffee grinder. Some species of sandalwood will be too tough to grind with a mortar and pestle, and must be ground exclusively with a manual coffee grinder.
If you want to make pellet sandalwood incense, you can purchase inexpensive resin to mix with the ground sandalwood. Be sure to let the pellets dry completely before attempting to burn, however, as the resin can be quite flammable. Otherwise, your finely powdered sandalwood can be used as a loose incense. Simple sprinkle the sandalwood incense over a lit charcoal briquette which has been embedded in a bowl of sand. The heat from the charcoal will release the lovely scent of your homemade sandalwood incense throughout your home.