Making InSense of left over Herb Stems

Written Feb 21, 2012

It's a smoke theme with the Wild Things Round up for February and I was going to share this old school post exposing my giant pregnacious belly making smudge bundles, but decided to talk about something a little more recent instead. Hope you enjoy. I really hate wasting any part of the plant. It is such a gift to sit with a plant and cut from it's bounty that I do my best to make craft of every little bit. We are not composting right now so my need to do this is even more intense. We recently grabbed a bunch of some crazy wild rosemary from my parents property in northern Arizona. After a week or so of drying, I garbled off the leaves and powdered up the stems in my Vitamix to use in an incense.

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Making natural no additive herbal incenses is truly a spiritual experience. Blending and mixing and burning to get the just right smell can be mood altering....or maybe it's all the smoke in the air. Either way, it sets the tone for a pretty fun day. I used to sell some in my etsy shoppe, but it's a pretty time consuming endeavor so now I just blend it for myself now and then.

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One of the most important ingredients in a homemade incense is wood. A good wood will keep it burning longer and hotter without needing the chemical additives or toxic salt peter and charcoal found in commercial sticks. I find most of my burnable scented wood in the most industrious way: these garbled stems of my favorite dried aromatic herbs. Rosemary, thyme, lavender, pine, cypress, and creosote are good options around here, but any woody herb will do. It's really acting as a heat conductor more than anything, so even if it hasn't retained any smell, it will still be helpful.

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You can make sticks and cones by adding a little applesauce or makko powder and water to your blended herbs, but I make incense a pretty casual way, powder up a few favorite herbs and stems and burn them on a non-toxic, salt peter free bamboo charcoal brick. It's super easy to do, all you really need is an extra coffee grinder and you can even do it with your kitchen spices. So save your garbled stems and make some delicious homemade chemical free incense. Just popping in to add a link to this little silly video I made for a friend on how to burn loose incense with these bricks.

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Memories are Magical Incense Rosemary stems Star Anise Citrus peel Lavender