Incense sticks are lit in almost every home in India. They are lit in the morning and evening during prayer time. Incense sticks are also lit in temples and other prayer halls. They are lit during festival occasions and celebrations also. The tradition of lighting incense sticks dates back to the Vedic period. Buddhism spread from India to other eastern countries and together with it spread the habit of lighting incense. Ayurveda stresses the importance of aroma therapy through this tradition. Natural herbs are used to make the stick.
The common materials used to make incense sticks are sandal wood, cedar wood, frankincense, star anise, turmeric, clove, patchouli, ginger, myrrh, vetiver, spikenard, costus root, cassia, borneol and valerian. Sandalwood is usually the base and is found in abundance in the state of Karnataka. There are many incense companies in the state. There are companies which produce incense sticks in other countries also. The popular perfumes are sandal, jasmine, champa, rose, masala, lavender, musk and others.
Incense sticks are cheap yet very necessary to create the right atmosphere to meditate and pray. The smell emanating from the stick helps to relax the mind and remove stress. People who meditate should light these sticks and enjoy the experience.