Xanthan gum is a natural product produced by bacteria and is a common thickener used in many foods. It is also used for making incense cones and sticks and produces a “smoother” finish than other gum binders, but it is equal in strength to others. A little goes a long way and a 5-dram bottle will make over 1,000 average-sized incense cones or sticks.
Gum binders, like Xanthan Gum, are the “glue” that holds many kinds of incense together. They can be used for making cones, joss sticks, masala sticks, coils, and cylinders.
For many incense blends, for every 2 teaspoons of incense powder (such as Frankincense powder, Benzoin, Myrrh powder, for example), add 1/8 teaspoon of gum binder.