Can You Burn Cinnamon Sticks as Incense?

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Cinnamon is a herb that has been used across different cultures for generations since the beginning of time. The herb also has strong religious significance across cultures, in addition to the pleasant aroma the plant releases.

But can you burn cinnamon sticks as incense in your home without experiencing any trouble? After all, those cinnamon sticks look a lot like incense sticks!

The answer is: you can burn cinnamon sticks, but it’s not a great idea unless you use a fireplace. We’ll explain it all below.

Can You Burn Cinnamon Sticks As Incense?

Cinnamon Stick Embedded in Wax

You can burn cinnamon sticks as incense in your home if you want to make your living space more appealing and welcoming. The image above shows an cinnamon stick “candle” — a cinnamon stick embedded in wax with flowers and resin.

They work well and look pretty, but you may be happier using your cinnamon sticks for cooking and burning a pre-made cinnamon incense stick .

Why? The amount of smoke.

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During medieval times cinnamon incense was used for different religious rituals. People in ancient times believed that the leaf and its sticks had spiritual effects.

In fact, during the 1st and 2nd centuries, cinnamon trees were some of the most expensive traceable commodities. Some believed they could use it to stimulate the passion for achieving whatever goals they had in mind.

Others believed that burning cinnamon sticks raised a protective hedge around them and warded off evil. Triggering the right energies for success was also cited as one of the benefits of burning cinnamon sticks.

However, not everyone in modern times believes that burning a cinnamon stick as incense will protect them from evil or confer on their spiritual gifts – they just enjoy the lovely fragrance and the soothing effect on the senses.

What Happens When You Burn Cinnamon?

When you burn a cinnamon stick as incense, everyone in your home will enjoy its therapeutic effect. It calms the senses, relieves stress, and makes everyone cheerful. The effect of cinnamon incense is mostly positive, but it has downsides as well!

The Dark Side Of Burning Cinnamon

Despite the positive effects of cinnamon stick fragrance, there are issues you should be mindful of.

Smoke Smoke Smoke!

Cinnamon sticks are a bark, and are not produced in any way remotely similar to the ways regular incense sticks are made. The cinnamon bark itself is fragrant and tasty, and there is no inert wood support like bamboo to deal with.

This means that cinnamon will not behave like a nice slow-burning incense stick, and you’ll have to keep re-lighting it as it goes out. You’ll also likely get way more smoke than a usual stick, which will be a turn-off.

You’ll be hearing the sound of the smoke alarm while you’re supposed to be having a pleasant afternoon. Joy.

It’s also not going to produce the same cinnamon smell as an actual cinnamon incense would, or even a cinnamon-scented candle  would.

Breathing Difficulty

Burning cinnamon incense has a very strong smokey odor that takes a long time to go away. Too much of it in a confined space with little or no ventilation can cause exhaustion and breathing problems.

How To Burn Cinnamon As Incense

So how do you burn cinnamon sticks as cinnamon incense without jeopardizing your health?

1. Burn the powder

You can crush the incense sticks into tiny fragments and then throw them into a fire to burn into ash. This will release the fragrance into the atmosphere. This method will not pose any risk to your health even if you use cinnamon oil.

If you don’t have a chimney, you can throw some into your burner when cooking and let the fire burn it to extract the sweet scent.

2. In The Fireplace

If you have a fireplace in your home, this is the perfect spot to burn cinnamon sticks as incense. Just drop the sticks into the fire. While the smoke will escape through the chimney, the fragrance will permeate your home.

3. Direct Burning

Another method is to light one end of the stick and place the other end into a bowl of salt to burn out. Just remember that it’s not going to slowly burn like regular incense sticks, and it will be smokier.

4. Boil Your Cinnamon

You may also opt to boil cinnamon sticks if you don’t want to light the cinnamon on fire. It will smell great!

You can even add some red wine, and orange slices, star anise, cloves, and… wait what were we talking about?!


Can you burn cinnamon sticks as incense? Yes, you can burn cinnamon sticks. But it probably won’t work the way you imagine it would. It’s generally best to use pre-made cinnamon incense sticks, cinnamon essential oils, etc. rather than burn the cinnamon sticks in your kitchen.

You’ll get more scent, and have less smoke.