The Holy Myrrh, Guggul and Incense

Ever wondered where does your incense come from? Did you know guggul is a resin produced by secreted by the Mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) found in India, Central Asia, and North Africa?

In India, incense sticks are a critical element in most Hindu celebrations. During pujas and festivals, incense sticks or dhoop are used quite liberally. The stick used is normally made of bamboo, which is later coated with a paste of charcoal and tabu powder. The latter is an adhesive substance that is collected from the bollygum tree. Interestingly, the bollygum tree is a close cousin of the camphor tree. Apart from these two ingredients, a “masala” is also added to the paste to give the dhoop its trademark aroma. Apart from religious uses, incense sticks are utilised for aromatherapy. I bet you knew that already.

But did you know this? One of the most used resins in Ayurvedic medicine is #guggul, which is collected from a tree known as the Mukul Myrrh Tree. The guggul resin is very similar in smell and texture to the Biblical resin of #myrrh. It is used to make incense sticks, and as mentioned before, it has many applications in Ayurvedic medicine. In India and Pakistan, the guggul trees are grown for commercial use, and the resin is tapped and sold. The guggul resin is recognised in ancient texts as bdellium. The guggul resin is also related to camphor.

So the next time you are participating in a celebration, remember the fragrance is from a beautiful plant that holds a holy place in the annals of Ayurvedic medicine.

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