The sweet, evocative aromas of fragrant herbs will calm the spirit and clear the mind, so they have long been used to aid and enhance meditation and religious devotions. The aromas can come from sprigs or garlands of fresh herbs, from herb oils, from herb-scented candles, or from dried herbs sprinkled into a bowl of hot water, onto glowing charcoal, or as burned as incense.
The many varieties of basil have strong, uplifting scents. Holy basil, for example, has a clove-like aroma and is greatly valued as an aid to meditation in India, where it is frequently planted around Hindu shrines and rosaries made from its cut stems are used as meditation beads.
Calming, refreshing lavender soothes the mind and body, balances the emotions, and increases mental alertness, while thyme and rosemary will help to clear the mind and improve memory and concentration.