Incese stick of India


Incense stick of India

India has a rich tradition of using incense in many social and religious occasions since time immemorial. Incense sticks, also known as agarbathi (or agarbatti derived from Sanskrit word Agaravarthi, gara = odour, agar = aroma, varthi = wound ) and joss sticks, in which an incense paste is rolled or moulded around a bamboo stick, is one of the main forms of incense in India. The bamboo method originated in India, and is distinct from the Nepal/Tibet and Japanese methods of stick making in which a bamboo stick is not used. Though the method is also used in the west, particularly in America, it is strongly associated with India. Other main forms of incense are cones and logs and Benzoin resin ( In Sanskrit Saambraani), which are incense paste formed into pyramid shapes or log shapes, and then dried.
A uniform and codified system of incense-making first began in India. Although Vedic texts mention the use of incense for masking odors and creating a pleasurable smell, the modern system of organized incense-making was likely created by the medicinal priests of the time. Thus, modern, organized incense-making is intrinsically linked to the Ayurvedic

medical system in which it is rooted.

History:

The oldest source on incense is the Vedas, specifically, the Atharva-veda and the Rigveda. Incense-burning was used both to create pleasing aromas and a medicinal tool. Its use in medicine is considered the first phase of Ayurveda, which uses incense as an approach to healing. Incense-making was thus almost exclusively done by monks.
The specific knowledge of incense as a healing tool was assimilated into the religious practices of the time - early Hinduism. As Hinduism matured and Buddhism was founded in India, incense became an integral part of Buddhism as well. Around 200 AD, a group of wandering Buddhist monks introduced incense-making to China. Buddhism gradually developed into Vietnam, the Asian countries and the whole world.

Ingredients:
Incense-Material The basic ingredients are bamboo sticks, paste (generally made of charcoal dust and joss/jiggit/gum/tabu powder - an adhesive made from the bark of litsea glutinosa and other trees), and the perfume ingredients - which would be a masala (mixed) powder of ground ingredients. The bamboo stick is rolled into the masala, or is sometimes rolled into a perfume liquid consisting of synthetic ingredients. Stick machines are sometimes used, which coat the sticks with paste and perfume, though the bulk of production is done by hand-rolling at home. There are about 5,000 incense companies in India which take raw un-perfumed sticks hand-rolled by approximately 200,000 women working part-time at home, apply their own brand of perfume, and package the sticks for sale. An experienced home-worker can produce 4,000 raw sticks a day. There are about 25 main companies, who together account for up to 30% of the market, and around 500 of the companies, including a significant number of the main companies, are based in Bangalore.

Production
The state of Karnataka, referred to as the Capital of Agarbathi (Incense Sticks), is the leading producer of the agarbathi in India, with Mysore and Bangalore being the main manufacturing centres.The Mysore region is recognised as a pioneer in the activity of agarbathi manufacturing and this is one of the main cluster activities that exist in the city. This is because it has a natural reserve of forest products especially Sandalwood, which provide for the base material used in production.
Vietnam is blessed for raw materials incense, incense toothpick manufacturing should grow very strong in this country, with the number up to about 300 to 500 companies work in this field.
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