Since ancient times, substances that produce fragrant smoke on burning have been deployed not only to capture the whole atmosphere with a fine fragrance but also for their curing properties and the purification of environment. This philosophy paved the path for the evolution of Agarbatties (Incense Sticks). Originally the chip of Agarwood was known as Agarbatti. AGARBATTI (INCENSE) INDUSTRY IN INDIA Natural herbal Agarbatti (Incense) has be
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  Since ancient times, substances that produce fragrant smoke on burning have been deployed not only to capture the whole atmosphere with a fine fragrance but also for their curing properties and the purification of environment. This philosophy paved the path for the evolution of Agarbatties (Incense Sticks). Originally the chip of Agarwood was known as Agarbatti. AGARBATTI (INCENSE) INDUSTRY IN INDIA Natural herbal Agarbatti (Incense) has been known since ancient times for its beneficial influence on body and mind and in more modern times herbal incense is used in aromatherapy. According to the Ayurveda, India's ancient system of natural healing, quality Herbal incense enhances health, induces inspired thought, and creates a peaceful state of consciousness.  The finest spices, herbs, floral extracts, exotic oils and other natural ingredients are carefully selected for their positive influence—skillfully blended with a base of gums and resins. The fragrances and properties of each variety of our Herbal Incenses are unique, inspiring and uplifting. Agarbatti & Aromatherapy: Inhalation and fumigation, two of the main modes of administration of this ancient healing modality, are easily and effectively achieved through the use of natural scents. Because such fragrances can be used environmentally or for targeted applications, it has become the aromatherapy of choice for countless millions throughout the planet. Daily use of natural fragrances, prevents disease, promotes longevity, harmonizes the psycho-physical constitution, and increases mental clarity. Agarbatti is miniature form of Yagna, which involved with development of time for sake of convenience. Indians has been doing Yagna as daily part of life to send their fragrant message by upward emerging fume to God who is believed to stay above. In present time Agarbatti has not only played role of fragranting message to God but mankind which stays in its vicinity due to its tremendous spreading power at most economic cost. Chronological development of Agarbatti Industry development in India is as follows: - Development of Agarbatti Industries in India in 19 th  Century & potential in 20 th  Century 1.   Pre nineteenth century Yagna were most common method of getting fragrance through burning in India. Infact name perfume is composed of two parts Per   Sacred in Greek, Fume   smoke, so perfume world came from sacred smoke. 2.   In the beginning of 19 th  Century Tanjour in Tamilnadu emerged as one centre where Agarbatti making was started based on need of local temples & kings. 3.   Art of making Agarbatti by 1920 shifted to Mysore as forest based raw material like Sandalwood, Jiget, Bamboo, Charcoal, Halmandi & other Aromatic plants were available from local area. This art was supported by kings of Mysore so it took semi Industrial shape by 1930 whereby Mysore Agarbatti attained its importance through out India due to tourist traffic. 4.   Karnataka was rich in forest which had enough of two species namely a)  Jiget (Michilus macrantha) also known as Maida Lakadi, used for binder. b) Halmandi (Ailanthus malbarica) used for making Masala Agarbatti. This two species along with Sandal brought Mysore first & late Bangalore in Map of Agarbatti Industry. This gave rise to development of rolling skill for Agarbatti. 5.   Continuous development of 50 years from 1930 to 1980 brought Karnataka with Bangalore & Mysore as production base all India suppliers for quality Agarbatti & generated employment of 25 million man-days. 6.   Constant depletion of forest with increasing consumption made dependence of Karnataka on raw material to other states in Northeast region, which slowly gave rise to birth of other centre for production in late 90’s. Sudden development of IT industry in Bangalore made rapid rise in property price around city making Agarbatti industry unviable. This gave rise to development of raw Agarbatti in many nearby village as well new production centres. 7.   Based on consumption pattern, many new Agarbatti manufacturing centre emerged in various part of country. They are Nagpur, Raipur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi (Islampura), Varanasi, Gaya and Cuttack. It was observed that more concentration towards  Northeast was due to very economic labor, availability of raw material & market, which was served up to this time by Karnataka. 8.   Constant shift of Fragrance for Agarbatti from Natural to Synthetic perfume enable starting of Agarbatti Industry in any part of India. 9.    This showed decline of Karnataka Agarbatti Industry with all major successful brands in last five years from other places like “Hirwa Chafa” from Pune, “Zed black” from Indore. 10.   With rising consumption of Agarbatti in Northeast along with production of raw Agarbatti in place like Gaya future place of production will be Bihar & Assam surpassing Karnataka, which is already known for IT industry. 11.   If proper planning is done for raw material & production of quality products, Northeast can become area of Agarbatti production serving not only domestic market but entire segment of Fareast Buddhist country who are largest importer of Agarbatti from India. In last few years, Incense is attracting lot of our attention for research. After reading books on Incense, we started more detailed detail work on 100% natural like 1) Frankincense, 2) Sandalwood, 3) Rose, 4) Patchouli first and propose to extend on 5) Myrrh, 6) Lotus, 7) Jasmine Sambac 8) Vetivert 9) vegetable musk like Ambrette seed or Angelica, 10) Himalayan oils like Costus, Irish, Spikenard etc.11) Forest oils/absolute like Fir, Pine needle/leaves with Cedar wood as base entirely in natural way. 1) Frankincense 2) Sandalwood 3) Patchouli 4) Rose with trial on Geranium Sandal combination first and are in process to standardize 5) Myrrh 6) Lotus 7) Jasmine Sambac 8) Benzoin 9) Vetivert 10) Musk with help of natural plant material like Ambrette Seed and Angelica root, which are only two best resources for natural musk 11) Himalayan Oils like Costus, Cedarwood, Iris, Spikenard etc 12) Forest note with help of oils/ Absolutes of Fir, Pine Needle/ Leaves, Orrise Clary sage, Mosses like Oak 13) Galbanum. First work started with Frankincense as after reading book we felt that it is liked by all and brings all type of prosperity with removal of all problems which is becoming very common now a days if same is burned in proper direction with full faith. We selected both Boswellia Sarrata and Cartrie from India and Oman respectively and found that Boswellia Sarrata is very nice for many reason. We observed that it is very difficult to make incense from raw resin as same contains lot of sand and twigs which comes as part of raw resin since same is collected as forest product after Monsoon. So we removed all external impurity from it by melting and filtering it and mixed with natural molasses ethyl alcohol so that it remains in liquid state.  Then we dipped raw incense (made out of bamboo, coal dust, powder of tree bark tree bark which has adhesive property) in it and allowed same to dry. Alcohol gets evaporated leaving resin absorbed on stick making same ready for use. In the same way, we made Sandalwood incense with 60% hydro distilled +40% CO2 extracted Sandalwood oil so that we get complete odor of natural Sandalwood. We selected +40 years old Sandalwood for same purpose as less matured trees cannot emit nice fragrance (as proved during last so many years of observation). Less matured Sandalwood contains more terpine like alpha and beta Santalenes (hydro carbons without oxygen atom) as compare to Santalols like beta and photo Santalols (hydrocarbons with oxygen), which are responsible for characteristic odor and therapeutic property. This wood we can able to procure from Govt. department, which is collected only after they mature, or falls. In case of Rose we used extract from Rose Petals (Rose Edward) obtained after CO2 extraction. Same is very thick and contains lot of wax (also known as stereoptins in case of flowers like Rose, Jasmine etc.). Interestingly dipping on raw incense it gave little yellow color to coated when this extract mixed with alcohol incense and same on burning emitted very powerful fragrance of natural Rose. We never anticipated such powerful fragrance from such extract, which was very weak in odor when smelled as such. The reason was Rose Petals, which were extracted, were looking like dead flower but it was containing live force in them by way of this stereoptins (wax) which is not visible by ordinary smelling however when they were burned (trying to send them to god) they started speaking in form of powerful odor. Thus we realized why Japanese calls incense ceremony as listening of fragrance. In case of Patchouli we have seen very good power of it in many incense, which are popular in India from last 50 years. All-most >90% successful brands in market are containing Patchouli oil. During various experiment while processing Patchouli leaf we observed that spent leaf after hydro distillation contains many ingredient, which are very diffusive when the same leaf,  burns. So we extracted with solvent spent Patchouli leaf and combined it with hydro distilled oil making available total extract. We have experience here in India that Incense is one of best medium to distribute fragrance of plant material in simplest way without harming environment. Few of observation we come across while evaluating incense is as follows. Experiments carried on Incense by us & our opinion :- 1) Incense have enough power to make a person alert when he/she is in sub-conscious state. We experienced it with Frankincense and Sandal Incense. It is our experience after burning many hundreds of stick that Frankincense is very very powerful in morning and purifies our mind and surrounding atmosphere also. In India all Yagna, begins with chanting of Mantra and offering frankincense in early morning. We saw that even single stick with proper concentration is enough to make whole house full of nice odor of frankincense/Sandalwood. 2) We observed that place of keeping incense is also very important. As recommended by old literature that if we light it in Northeast direction of place where we are leaving/working then it is most auspicious. It is really giving very powerful odor, which directly penetrates our mind as observed by us in all places. It is important that good ventilation should be there at place where incense is burning. If we are in direction of air then it is ok other wise we should visit nearby area and feel power of it. 3) Incense made from natural products like Frankincense, Sandal, Rose Pattel extracts, Patchouli etc. have hardly any odor of there own when we smell incense as such. It emits nice aroma only when we burn them. We can feel their power when same smokes spreads with air and creates nice atmosphere in surrounding. As observed in common marketplace most incense have very strong odor, which hardly appears when we burn same. We thought over same and carefully tried to analyze it with help of holistic thinking which gave us proper answer which was very difficult to get through modern analytical methods. During our past experience of >5 year in incense business common expectation of any customer in India as seen very commonly are Nice odor on first smelling as such a)   After burning smell should spread with in 10 min. to maximum surrounding area. b)   After burning totally smell should remain for prolonged time in surrounding atmosphere making any one happy whosoever comes there even after 20 min. On analyzing many incense available in market we came to common conclusion that many products available in market can achieve first objective with almost 90-95% success but second objective is achieved maximum to 50-60% level but third object is achieved hardly 30-35% in case of synthetic product. Masala natural incense can achieve third objective up to 90-95% level but normally fails in first. If second objective is achieved up to 90-95% level than product becomes most successful. Also famous incenses are using a natural resin known as “HALMANDI” which is very expensive and due to excess use it has become very much in short supply and may become extinct in future. Even today it is very difficult to get pure “HALMANDI” like Agar wood. This observation made our direction very clear that we should not use “Halmandi” but we can use many other natural product for achieving similar finished product which will be liked by common person more if product will be having less smoke and availability problem. Here we feel smoke is symbol of show which is very much visible but every one knows that same is harmful and we should keep our self away from same. Halmaddi :- The botanical name is Ailanthus Malabarica. An Ornamental, deciduous large tree growing naturally in the Western Ghats of India, Kokan southwards. When a moderately deep incision is made on the bark of standing trees, a fragrant resin called “Halmaddi” (Kannada name) oozes out, which is used in the manufacturer of Agarbathies. After collection, it is distilled & then used in Dhoop & Agarbathies (Incense). Many popular hand-rolled Indian Incense sticks are made from the perfumed resins of Halmaddi tree. Common Ingredients of Agarbatti Jigat :- Jigat powder (an adhesive-like substance made from powdered bark of the Maclilus makarantha tree). The Agarbatti industry mainly depends on forest based raw materials like 'Jigat', which helps to preserve the fragrance of the incense stick. Agarwood : The name AGARBATTI has been derived from Agarwood which has been used for burning. Agarwood is from trees of the genus aqualaria   that grow mainly from northeast India down into southeast Asia. The wood is heavy, dark and hard. When the tree is infected by a group of fungi it creates a resinous oil (apparently to defend against this fungi) which has a deep, dark, rich, beautiful, woody aroma. The wood is used as an incense for both pleasure and spiritual enhancement. The essential oil distilled from this wood (known as Oud in Arabic)  is used for the same reasons as well as a perfume and medicine. The wood is mentioned in the Bible as Aloes. Frankincense : It is a resin derived from plant of Boswellia Serrata. Its principal use now is in the manufacture of incense. The word 'incense,' meaning srcinally the aroma given off with the smoke of any odoriferous substance when burnt, has been gradually restricted almost exclusively to Frankincense. Sandalwood : Botanical name is Santalum Album. It is considered as Liquid Gold of India. Sandalwood  is one of the oldest incense materials, and has been in use for at least 4,000  years. It is one of the most calming incenses   and therefore, is one of the preferred ones for meditation. It calms the mind, enhances mental clarity, and aids in the opening of greater awareness. Patchouli :- Botanical name is Pogostemon cablin.    This earthy and musk-like pure essential oil is perhaps best known as an incense. It is an effective anti-depressant when inhaled. Rose :- Botanical name is Rose Edward. It refreshes the mind, uplifts the memory. Myrrh  :- It is a natural Oleo-gum resin derived from trunk of the small trees of COMMIPHORA species. Myrrh Gum is known to contain many volatile oils which make the herb ideally suited for promoting free breathing during congestive colds, and for clearing out mucous-clogging passages in the body. It was used as incense in religious rituals throughout the ancient world. It promotes spiritual awareness and is uplifting. Vegetable Musk :- a) Ambrette Seed : Botanical name is Ambelmoschus moschatus. Removal of fatty acids from Ambrette seed oil gives a clear yellow to amber liquid with the strong, musky odor of ambrettolide. On of the natural source of Musk. b) Angelica Seed : Botanical name is Angelica archangelica. The oil has musk like odor. Both these oils are used in very low % in Agarbatti. Iris Concrete :- Botanical name is Iris Pallida.  A number of species grow in Himalayas at an altitude of 1600- 3500m. Mosses like Oakmoss :- Botanical name is Evernia prunastri   Oakmoss is a lichen mainly found on oak trees. The resinoid is obtained by extraction of the moss. An earthy, mossy, spicy, woody odor. Odor resembles more close to nature. Mainly acts as fixative.
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