Thursday, January 28, 2016

Frankincense is a Natural Anti-Depressant

Frankincense resin has been used in religious and ceremonial practices for literally thousands of years. There are many references to the burning of frankincense resin, and, its ability to achieve a spiritual state of being. Frankincense is still used in religious ceremonies today, and is often thought of as an aid to meditation.

Keep in mind that we are talking the burning of the resin, here, not the essential oil of frankincense.

Research scientists decided to look into these anecdotal effects, and see if there was any science behind the claims. Universities involved included Johns Hopkins University, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

To see if there was some truth to these historical assumptions, the researchers were able to isolate the main component of the frankincense resin, a compound called incensole acetate. Again, keep in mind that this compound is found in the resin, but not in the essential oil. They administered this compound to mice. They then determined that this compound, in mice, affected the area of the brain that helps in regulating emotions. On a more scientific level, it activates the protein TRP3. This protein is found in animal brains, and is known to play a role in how the skin perceives warmth. The affect on the mind, however, is a strong anti-depressant, and also lowers anxiety. It can be so dramatic that a person may feel incredibly relaxed and at peace. As an aid to meditation, it may leave one so simply at rest that a person could just be mindful of the world around them. A more or less meditative state!

In spite of such a long history of frankincense affecting the mind, not until now has anyone studied it's ability to do so scientifically. Depression is the largest cause of disability in the United States, and, an enormous number of people suffer from anxiety. Now that we know a compound in frankincense resin has promise in improving these disorders, we can hope that a natural treatment will follow.

If that weren't enough, it seems that frankincense can also play a role in reducing nausea, lowering fever and high blood pressure, minimizing coughs, and even repelling some insects.

What a find!

To read the entire article, click here: