For centuries, burning the resin of Boswellia tree has been a component in religious services. It’s said the aroma of Boswellia, otherwise called frankincense, contributes to greater spiritual exaltation. It comes up numerous times in ancient texts.
A team of scientists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Johns Hopkins University examined claims that frankincense has mysterious impacts on the human mind.
Researchers administered incensole acetate, which is the primary constituent to Boswellia resin, to mice. The team found that incensole acetate impacts the part of the brain that deals with regulating your emotions.
Specifically, it activates the TRPV3 protein that’s found within mammalian brains and is known to play a role in the perception of warmth.
The effect, altogether, is a soothing, anti-depressant type psychoactive one. It may be one of the most powerful, all natural anti-depressants you can find.
“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Boswellia had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, co-author of the findings. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”
The leading cause of disability in young Americans is major depressive disorder, impacting some 15 million Americans. 40 million suffer from anxiety, which is often associated with depression. It turns out, frankincense can play an important role in unwinding and soothing the depression of millions of people.
Of course, don’t give up any medicinal treatments you may be on. Burning a little frankincense definitely couldn’t hurt, but if you feel like your depression is out of control, please, see a physician.
- Moussaieff, Arieh, Neta Rimmerman, Tatiana Bregman, Alex Straiker, Christian C. Felder, Shai Shoham, Yoel Kashman, Susan M. Huang, Hyosang Lee, Esther Shohami, Ken Mackie, Michael J. Caterina, J. Michael Walker, Ester Fride, and Raphael Mechoulam. “Incensole Acetate, an Incense Component, Elicits Psychoactivity by Activating TRPV3 Channels in the Brain.” The FASEB Journal. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
- Siddiqui, M. Z. “Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Antiinflammatory Agent: An Overview.” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
- “The Story of Frankincense.” MEI.edu. Middle East Institute, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. “Burning Incense Is Psychoactive: New Class Of Antidepressants Might Be Right Under Our Noses.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2008. .