Burning Incence

Good morning to everyone. Could I ask please for your input on burning incence in the home or is this a complete no no. I've burn't incence on a daily basis for years but since being diagnosed with bronchiectasis have stopped. I burn't a couple of sticks recently and didn't feel too good and was a bit breathless. Was wondering if it might be connected. Thank you. Holly.

20 Replies

  • Hello, I did read an article recently (I am sorry I can't remember where or when!) that did link worsened breathing to burning incense. My husband suffers with severe COPD and his breathing is very compromised if I burn incense (which I love) and also candles. My guess is that it is connected. TAD xx

  • Thank you for your input Tad. It's very much appreciated. Holly. x

  • It would be best to avoid as smoke & perfume both irritate the lungs. As fibberti says the purest, cleanest air you can find is what your lungs need. x

  • Generally any smoke, of any kind is not good.

    posted article previously on this - view here:


  • Very interesting and thank you for sharing with me.. Holly

  • I personally wouldn't burn incense though I love the fragrance and would often use them. Fairly recently I was given 2 or 3 packets but arranged them in a pretty vase on the dresser instead of lighting them and they still smell lovely if given a shake now and then.

    I have emphysema and asthma and one year I went to a pub for Christmas lunch with other copd folk and their carers. At one point some of them started saying about the bad effects of fags on the lungs etc, almost as if programmed to say this. All the while we were sitting in an average size room with a log fire that wouldn't catch and was chuffing out smoke into the room. I though it strange that nobody seemed affected as I reckon all smoke is bad for us.

    Lovelight x

  • Good idea of yours about arranging the packets so you can still smell them. I must admit also that i always love a log fire when I visit center parcs. I never even thought that they could be bad for you! Oh dear. Best wishes. Holly x

  • Burning incencse is best avoided I think. I know that Pete could not tolerate that and I don't use candles anymore because that also affects his breathing. Stay well Holly. xxxx

  • I do tolerate oil burners as long as I am not sat too close to them but can't do the incense any more.

  • Hiya Holly, cripes, joss sticks are a killer for me. A lodger used to burn them all the time and the stink used to make me fling open windows, doors and run to my room and close the door tight. I can still use my perfume without ill effect but those incense stick? No way. XxxX

  • Hello Peeg. Thanks for your reply. Incense in my home over the past years was constant burning all day when I was home. Not good! Talking about incense though.. I was sitting in a cemetery one afternoon during the summer, feeling a bit teary when I saw what looked like smoke rising from one of the graves. I really thought that some manifestation was about to happen. Getting ready to run, I realised that there was some incense placed in among some flowers there. What a silly person I am. :) x

  • Dear hattie, It wouldn't be a manifestation, but the methane contained in a decaying body that would escape and produce a wisp o' the willow. Not dangerous, except to the lungs!

  • I have also read that incense is bad for the lungs. Any smoke is a no-no - I've posted often about women who cook on wood stoves in unventilated space having huge incidence of copd.

    Do people know that unless stated otherwise candles are made of petroleum. You wouldn't inhale petrol fumes at the pumps if you could avoid it, would you, but that's what you are doing when you inhale candle fumes.

    Best to use beeswax or vegetable oil ones.

    I worry about perfume - even if we can tolerate our own, it could be bothering someone else.

  • Thank you for your reply. I have been burning candles and incense for years so will have to find other ways of putting some fragrance in the home from now on. It's funny but when the consultant is assessing your history they don't ask you about this only if you smoke or have smoked!

  • There are many things they don't ask about. Which of course just keeps the smoking stigma going. 80% of smokers DONT get copd, and many who do have many other causes, environmental, genetic etc and a minority have never smoked at all. The medical profession should pay attention to these factors as well as smoking, and give preventative information about pollution, infection control and more to stop our condition deteriorating more than it has to.

  • With bronchiectasis, any strong or fairly strong scents will irritate your lungs rather than relieve them. My sis-in-law once burned some echinacea in a incense pot, I was coughing and felt really bad. After shave, perfume and the like are an irritant. Menthol and eucalyptus are irritants too. I once bought a loo deodorant. I had to throw it out as I didn't stop coughing while the top was open! Tread very carefully!

  • Thank you for sharing all this information. It's very important to be aware of these things.

    Best wishes . Holly.

  • Hi Holly, I don't burn any incense sticks now or perfumed candles....I sometimes wonder about all the candles I have burnt over the years, even the expensive yankee candles have that benzo (long word) in them, and that is harmful to the lungs. I burn tea lites only and have a burner with essential oils (for my breathing). anything else is a no no.

  • Hi naturelover, When I think about how many candles I've had burning in the evenings on a daily basis over the years and the incense burning in the day, it does make you think doesn't it and especially if a cause hasn't been found for your condition.. Thank you for sharing. Holly

  • Hi again Holly, also I have warm air central heating...I have mentioned it a few times to the doctors and they said it would make very little difference? Extra hold hairspray by Tresemme is another, I've used that for years, my daughter has tried to stop me using it for the past two years or so, and I would not listen. I showed it to my consultant, but he said no, it wouldn't be that, then in the next breath he did not know the cause????

    What is you have holly?

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