Frankincense is obtained from the resin of Boswellia tree which is then made into oils. The burning of frankincense has been critical part of religious and cultural ceremonies for thousands of years, and many spiritual practices still use it to present -day.
Mind Soothing Effects
To study its effects on the mind, a team of researchers used the resin from Boswellia tree known as incensole acetate on mice. It was shown that it affected the area of the brain where emotions are situated.
Incense acetate affects a protein in the brain called TRPV3. While it is already known that this protein has an effect on our ability to feel warm sensations on the skin, it differently affects the mind.
Coming into contact with frankincense leaves the person relaxed and open due to its anti-depressant and anxiolytic effect. When the mind is relaxed and able to rest, it is easier to enjoy without any tension and stress.
Used to Balance the Mind and Soul
Having a calm mind is ideal for most spiritual practices, so it`s not surprising that it is used in many different rituals worldwide. In fact, even a home meditation could benefit from the calming effects of this miraculous ingredient.
Imagine meditating with a calm mind and being able to reflect on all the past situations calmly and clearly. Many religions burn frankincense particularly for this purpose- to help everyone present feel calm.
In Ancient Times
In ancient times, Boswellia resin was considered as a precious item in the Middle East. It was brought from the Sub-Sahara region and it was used to honor gods, serve as a sign of gratification, and used as a gift for a king.
“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Boswellia had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam from the study.
“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.”
Frankincense is gradually regaining its role as a healer in modern times, particularly for those suffering from depression or anxiety. According to the National Institutes of Health, major depression is the leading cause of disability for those 15-44 years old. It is estimated that depression affects about 15 million Americans.
Nearly 3 million Americans suffer from severe depression while 40 million people are struggling with some form of anxiety. Very often these conditions overlap, but no matter which one you are facing, going back to a state of balance is critical.
Although there are many different treatments for depression and anxiety available, a great deal of the drugs on the market are associated with a wide range of side effects. Among them are:
- Erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
Even though most of these drugs are designed to offer a temporary boost, many people end up taking them for years.
Using Insense to help Heal the Mind
Given that our sense of smell is connected to the limbic system, aromatherapies indeed help motivate, calm, and balance our emotions. When it comes to frankincense, experts recommend using a diffuser which will put the calming aroma into the air.
In case you are taking psychoactive medications, consult your health care provider about adding frankincense to your treatment.