Joss powder also called Laha and Jigat is the powdered bark of the Litsea glutenosa tree that grows throughout Asia.
It is a traditional base, binder and “combustible” for preparing cone and stick incense.
Joss powder has been used for millennia in Nepal, India and Indonesia as a principal ingredient in making incense sticks, cones, coils and self but I g incense powders. It is a binder and a combustible used instead of other binders such as Gum Arabic and Gum Tragacanth.
Joss powder is used in the same Manner as Makko powder, the basic distinction being that of geography and culture.
The right proportion of Joss powder to powdered aromatics in a blend will allow the incense to burn evenly on its own without the need for charcoal pucks or electric burners.
Light and easy-burning aromatics need a relatively small amount of Joss powder to keep them burning, while a high % of resins such as Frankincense or Myrrh powders require a higher proportion of Joss powder. Sometimes up to 80% Joss powder.
Test for a continuous burn in your incense blend in its loose form before adding liquid and kneading. If it does not burn evenly in its powdered form, it will not burn evenly in its finished form. Adjust your formula before preparing your cones or sticks.
While there are infinite possible combinations one can experiment with, there are also many good formulas online for incense blends that incorporate Joss and Makko powder.
There are also some excellent Incense making courses online such as the “Listening to incense home study course” and “The traditional incense crafting course” offered by The Northwestern school of Aromatic medicine. You can find more information here-https://aromaticmedicineschool.com/programs.
And remember, whether you play, experiment or prepare incense from formulas, always take clear notes.
Your future self will thank you.