The packaging of this incense is somewhat pedestrian, but don't be fooled - the contents are anything but. This incense is made from the bark, wood and roots of a group of native trees that grow abundantly in central Myanmar (Burma). A thanaka tree must be at least 35 years old before it is considered mature enough to yield good-quality cuttings. Thanaka in its natural state is sold as small logs individually or in bundles, and is then turned into a variety of products including powder, paste, incense, lotion and health drinks. It has a fragrant scent somewhat similar to sandalwood.
Our thanaka incense is sold in 9 g packets, containing 10 sticks per packet.
Why are thanaka products considered so special? With active ingredients coumarin and marmesin, thanaka provides a cooling sensation, acts as a sunblock, helps clear acne and promotes smooth skin. It is also a potent anti-fungal agent. Thanaka cream has been used by Burmese women for over 2000 years and thanaka incense has been used for longer as the principal, sacred incense of Burmese temples.
Logs of thanaka, in this case Mureaexotic sp, ready for processing into cosmetic and incense products. Photo credit: Serinde