Saturday, July 05, 2008

Incense as an Antidepressant

"Inhaling the combustion products of frankincense - which is the resin of the Boswellia plant - may activate regions of the brain that can alleviate anxiety and depression, according to an international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The authors found that injecting incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, lowered anxiety in mice and led to behaviors typical of antidepressant drug administration, and they speculated that inhaling its combustion products may have a similar effect. The researchers also theorized that the burning of incense in religious ceremonies for millennia may not be a coincidence, since it does appear to have the effect of calming and cheering those who inhale it.

This is interesting news. The sense of smell is strongly linked to our limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions and motivations. Depression and anxiety affect nearly 60 million Americans. Inhaling diffused incense in moderation is low-risk, and certainly worth a try for those who suffer from these difficult conditions"

Is Incense an Antidepressant?
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  1. Well, this would be pretty bad news for the pharmacutical companies.

  2. valerie7:13 PM

    It would certainly spell trouble for pharmaceutical companies and prescription-happy physicians alike. Incense is more available to most anyone in terms of affordability. No prescription, no pharmaceutical markup, and no charge for a doctor's office visit. It is worth a shot. It just makes sense that smell would be a powerful healer in emotions. Who doesn't get the warm fuzzies from the smell of cookies baking in the oven, fresh-baked pie, or the intoxicating fragrance of flowers in the springtime?