Does the title sound familiar? The younger generation buy herbal incense probably doesn’t recognize it, but to us older folks it is the title to a song by Strawberry Alarm Clock, a psychedelic rock band from the 1960’s. I just can’t get the tune out of my head, so I thought I’d write a little something about incense and peppermint.

I had a phone call earlier today from a gentleman who was looking for incense sticks with the scent of sandalwood. (He found me by going on the internet and typing in incense and the location. It definitely pays to have your site listed with Google Maps!) The problem was that he wanted them NOW; unfortunately I am a web only site-no physical building. He did not want to run “all the way to the mall” in the middle of his work day just for them. He had a shop where the smell of metal burning was strong and said that the incense smoke worked really great for covering up the odor. We talked and I told him about my product; hopefully he will remember our conversation and in the future place an order.

Incense has been in use since biblical times. It is thought that its origin was in Egypt where it was used for religious ceremonies. Pharaohs also used it to cover up unpleasant smells and to drive away demons, at the same time placating their gods. Today it is used in religious rites, and we use it in our homes to give us pleasant scents, but I don’t think we use it as much as we should. One great advantage about burning incense versus a candle is that there is no open flame so a risk of fire is low. Most people think of the frankincense or myrrh scents when you mention incense. However you can get incense in a huge variety of scents; I offer over 400 different ones.

Now for peppermint! Peppermint is a great essential oil whose scent is crisp, clean and energizing, and like incense, has been in use since ancient times. Probably the most common use that people relate to peppermint is its calming and settling effect on the digestive tract. Peppermint also helps relieve nausea, flatulence (a nice way of saying gas), intestinal as well as menstrual cramps, and headache. Some other uses include treating various respiratory conditions, fighting fatigue (emotional, mental, physical), indecision, and shyness. Peppermint is also used as a flavoring in foods and drinks. One caveat: avoid use during pregnancy. Safe usage at this time has not been demonstrated.

This has been just a brief overview of incense and peppermint, and the uses of each. There is a lot more information out there-just type in either word on bing or Google. If you type them in as incense and peppermint, however, you get something entirely different. You can actually hear a 30 second sound track of the song by Strawberry Alarm Clock and get the lyrics: “Incense and peppermints, the color of time”…..

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