Nado Poizokhang incense powder burning

Bhutan Best kept wellness secret is making headline in UK

One of the oldest Buddhist arts, incense-making is a tradition following strict methods which are centuries old. Buddhists use incense as a sacred devotional offering. Incense is also used in Tibetan medicine, which is regarded as one of the “Four Great Traditional Medicines” in the world.

In Bhutan, a small factory called Nado Poizokhang is gaining fame far beyond borders for their Nado Happiness Incense. The formula which is only known by two people, Nado and his daughter is said to promote well-being and happiness. 

Even BBC Travel recently picked on it and released an article as part of their 50 reasons to love the world series.

In this secluded kingdom, a secret incense formula believed to promote healing and happiness is known by only two people.

Founder Mr Nado began making incense in the 1960s with the encouragement of his abbot, the Gelong Nerchendrep Tshering Dorji. As a result of his training, all Nado Poizokhang incense products are made in strict accordance to ancient Buddhist scripture governing the materials used and the method by which sticks and powders are made. 

The recipes – some of which date back over 700 years – incorporate flowers, barks, woods, leaves, fruit, and roots, all organically grown. Most Nado incense products use approximately 40 ingredients while some special ceremonial incenses use 108 natural ingredients – an auspicious number to Buddhists. Many of the natural products used grow above 4000 meters and are collected by yak herders and families who live high in the remote Himalayas.

The main ingredients of the incense include sandalwood, clove, red sandal, cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, agarwood, pure honey, cane sugar, gum dammar, spikenard, camphor and juniper powder. To these are also added a wide range of other Bhutanese herbs and plants. All Nado Zimpoe (Palace incense) have the same ingredients with Juniper used for the base. The higher the grade of the incense, the less juniper is used.

Nado works closely with the Community Based Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants Project whose mission is to educate collectors in the sustainable collection and cultivation of natural products.

One of the oldest Buddhist arts, incense-making is a tradition following strict methods which are centuries old. Buddhists use incense as a sacred devotional offering. Incense is also used in Tibetan medicine, which is regarded as one of the “Four Great Traditional Medicines” in the world.

But beyond the preciousness and purity of the incense what we, at Taste of Bhutan, love  the most about Nado Poizokhang is that it is a social business. The family run business is employing 12 uneducated women, who through their employment are gaining knowledge, money and fulfilment.

We can earn money and feel independent from our husbands and our families. The work has given us all greater self-esteem. We feel the benefit of Nado's kindness and are happy to know that all of the good deeds and positivity involved in the incense-making process will be passed on to the finished product and the people that burn it."

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