I know it may look like a fresh pile of flattened dung…but this actually smells heavenly. This is my recent kyphi incense creation… Ever since I learned how to make this in 2013, through a blog written by herbalist, Kiva Rose…I’ve made it a point to collect extra resin that I see oozing from a tree.
(Certain, aromatic trees exude a thick, sticky substance when the tree is injured…this powerful, anti-microbial substance is called resin…)
I just searched the internet to see if I could most Kiva’s kyphi incense recipe, but discovered she had deleted the post. I suspect that she did this because resin collecting and incense making has become popular (at least in the herbal world) and that many folks are probably harvesting the resin incorrectly (damaging the tree)…or harvesting from trees that are being over-harvested from.
Considering that resin oozes from the tree to protect a gash or cut in its bark from infection, I can understand this concern. If you collect resin from the tree that exposes this gash, you make the tree vulnerable to pathogens and disease.
Let me clarify that I do not know if this is why she deleted the post…I just am making an assumption…
When I lived in the Deep South, I collected pine resin from trees that a beaver had been gnawing on around a lake I frequented. There was always plenty of pine resin (and oh so many pine trees)! I used to sell this resin at my former apothecary (it was called Deep South Dreams).
Here are some pictures from my Deep South resin making days…
Now that I am in California, I’ve been collecting resin from the Pepper Tree (an invasive tree) when I see some available on my urban walks. I’ve also been collecting some from a local Acacia species, Acacia redolens, that oozes quite a bit when the city workers cut it back. This resin, basically a ‘gum arabic,’ is not that fragrant…but is a good binder. The pepper tree definitely has a strong, aromatic resin, though.
For my recent kyphi incense, I used the local gum arabic (see pics above) as well as some powdered myrrh resin I had ordered for making tooth powder. I really shouldn’t have ordered myrrh resin as it is WAY OVER-HARVESTED and the trees that yield this resin are really struggling (as well as frankincense).
However, I did order the myrrh resin…and later regretted it. The myrrh resin I ordered was contaminated with a lot of bark from the tree (poor tree)…and not anything I would put in a tooth powder. I knew it would be good material for an incense though as all kinds of material can go in an incense blend (roots, berries, flowers, bark, cones, etc)…
Later, I actually ordered powdered gum arabic for my tooth powder. It is a GREAT powdered resin to use for tooth powders… There’s some research on its use in remineralizing teeth…and the BEST PART is that there is no shortage of Acacia species out there…plenty of gum arabic!
So, as the moon fully waxes this November, my kyphi incense is now drying so that I can break it up into little chunks later. To burn the incense, you place a pea-sized amount on a charcoal disc (yes, the kind you use in hookahs) that has been lit and nestled into a bowl of sand or on top of a ceramic dish…and take a deep inhale as it begins wafting through your home, ridding your home of pathogens and encouraging good bacteria.