SPECIAL NOTE: I love incense…I have used Indian incense before. But I have not used Chinese medicinal incense. In face this is the first time I am reading about this special beneficial healthful incense! Growing up as a Chinese, I was exposed to the incense commonly used to accompany different rituals to the gods and to the dead! Those temple incense are not MEDICINAL INCENSE…I would not think those temple incense have soothing smell or beneficial to your health…in fact I do not like their smell but many Chinese would offer or burn those temple incense to their gods or ancestors…incense and paper money are two very common things used by people who go to temples all over the world, both inside and outside China…in fact this should NOT be associated with Buddhism…this is more of Taoism. Buddhism, in essence, is a philosophical teaching, because Buddha wanted people or his followers to know that all existence is suffering and you need to know where it comes from, then deal with it! All existence is suffering because we do bad things, and getting rid of these bad things, is one way to peace of mind and life…know the root causes of our suffering, we are on the way to achieve peace…so meditation is critical in Buddhist teachings, not burning insense or making sacrifices to gods in the temples, that is not Buddhism! THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IN MAINLAND CHINA IS STILL TRYING TO FIND OUT HOW MANY PEOPLE IN MAINLAND CHINA ARE BUDDHISTS, AND WHO ARE TAOISTS…MOST STUDENTS TOLD ME THEIR PARENTS ARE BUDDHIST, NO NO NO NO NO…ANY TIME ANYONE BURNS INSENSE AND MAKE OFFERINGS OR SACRIFICES TO THEIR GODS, THAT IS NOT BUDDHISM, THAT IS A FORM OF TAOISM…BUDDHISM IS A WAY OF THINKING, A WAY OF UNDERSTANDING, A WAY OF FINDING WAYS TO ACHIEVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE, EXISTENCE, SUFFERING AND HOW TO END THIS SUFFERING…Read something about buddhism in your internet, there are million articles telling you what is Buddhism…enjoy your discovery of Buddhism and the medicinal incense! Steve USA August 1, 2018
The sweet smell of traditional Chinese incenses
2018-07-30 China Daily China Daily
Burning incense and sipping tea from a purple clay cup while appreciating traditional Chinese music is a way for many Chinese people to enjoy their leisure time, alone or with friends.
But for this, incense is a necessity, especially the traditional Chinese medical incense, which not only creates a nice smell, but also has healing effects.
“Speaking of medical incense, we should remember that it belongs to traditional Chinese medicine,” Shi Yali, an inheritor of medical incense making craft, told China Daily website at a small lecture held at her workshop in Beijing on Sunday afternoon.
It means that such incense is more like a medicine rather than a simple perfume.
Shi, who belongs to a family that has been connected with traditional Chinese medicine for more than 400 years, has passed down the art of making medical incense to her only son.
However, according to her family tradition, only women were allowed to learn the craft, while male learned traditional medicine that was considered to be superior to medical incense making.
In fact, both traditional Chinese medicine and incense are not something easy to learn.
Moreover, medical incense cost more time and energy, for each ingredient must be strictly made at a certain time. For example, if the recipe of a incense needs rain water on the day of Clear and Bright, one of the 24 Chinese solar terms, the water must be collected on that very day.
“If we cannot get the ingredient on that day, then the incense making has to be stopped,” Shi said.
Thus, according to the inheritor, it takes two or three years to make incense based on methods passed down from ancient time.
“High quality Chinese medical incense is often expensive as some of its precious ingredients must be purchased abroad nowadays,” the inheritor said.
When asked whether she will add her own recipe to the incense making process, she said she will strictly follow the tradition.
“The essence of this craft is tradition, now there are incenses made by machines that look better, yet the best ones are always made by hand,” Shi said.
Hand-made incense often has a rough look, not as smooth as the machine-made ones.
Shi added that incense made with chemical elements may smell good, but is not healthy in the long run.
The craft of making traditional Chinese medical incense was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2009.