Some incense and smoke cleansing herbs have been or are being harvested in the wild to threatened status. But but but I need that incense to do my spells!!! But I care about the environment!!! What am I to do?
Well, you can grow the plant the incenses or smoke bundles are made from!
Dragon’s blood: The dragon’s blood tree is over-harvested in its native land—and if we keep up the high demand for it, we might not have access to it anymore at all! So, why not start a renaissance of growing it at home and trading and selling home grown varieties? You can buy seeds for Dracaena Draco and grow it in a sunny window in your home 🙂 Its a happy house plant and it smells wonderful. I am planning to grow some this year for the first time.
White Sage/Sacred Sage: The ever popular smoke cleansing bundle, Sage in a Abalone Shell. This herb is so popular with new-agers that they have over-harvested it in the wild and it is contributing to it becoming threatened. There is no sensible reason for this. Anyone but those with the blackest of thumbs should be able to grow this herb. If you aren’t terrible confident growing from seed (though these are very easy to grow from seed!) then pick up a plant start at a local nursery and put it in a bigger pot. Water it when the soil gets dry and harvest it regularly to keep the plant from getting to stalky. You can use most any cotton thread to tie the leaves together and dry them in your rafters for your own smoke cleansing bundles.
Frankincense: okay not just any of us can grow this shrub, but if you live in the right climate you can. Arizona is the perfect place, and a few of you followers do live in that kind of climate. If you can grow this plant you could really contribute to its preservation by growing it. Here is an article on how: http://www.bendbulletin.com/news/1425262-151/turns-out-you-can-grow-frankincense-in-the# though it will take patience. In some places frankincense is endangered—so more home growers are vital to continued usage as an incense. I found seeds on ebay.
Myrrh: Myrrh is endangered in some areas as well. But you can get seeds and plants at one of my favorite nurseries! https://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=2996 Its another one to grow in desert climates like Arizona and Oregon High Desert. If you live in such a place, please consider cultivating this plant. I am sure you could handle making some money off your time investment selling the incense.
These guys are just the most popular. If you aren’t interested in growing incense variety plants, please look into what is abundant locally for you or find local growers rather than contribute to the threat to some of these over-harvested classic incense plants.