For over a millennium many cultures have used frankincense oil burning in a number of religious and cultural ceremonies. The oil and incense is made from a Boswellia tree resin and has been used for medicinal purposes as well as for spiritual ones.
Many ancient manuscripts, including the Bible, refer to the frankincense oil as having powerful mystical properties and even today many spiritual rituals include the burning of this oil or incense as a way to reach higher spiritual awareness.
Seeing the potential this oil has, researchers from John Hopkins and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem teamed up to discover the exact effect frankincense has on the human mind. Their findings were mind blowing.
Mind Soothing Effects
The researchers conducted an experiment, using the resin from the Boswellia tree known as incensole acetate and giving it to mice. Their experiment demonstrated that this resin affects the part of the brain responsible for emotions.
The frankincense incense directly affects a protein in the brain known as TRPV3. Even though it was already known that TRPV3 affects our ability to feel warm sensations on our skin, it has a different warming effect on the mind.
Frankincense has a strong anxiolytic and antidepressant effect on the organism. It makes you feel relaxed and open, with a soothing sensation. Your mind can unwind and relax, leaving you with a sense of comfort.
Balance of the Mind and Soul
When it comes to spiritual practices, the key to all beginners is to achieve a calm and open mind. One of the best ways to achieve this is through meditation, and its calming effects can be further enhanced by the use of frankincense during the ritual.
Many religions practice frankincense burning during their ceremonies and meetings to make everyone present feel calm and balanced. It’s an excellent way to aid people feel calm and happy while providing them with a stress-free place to recharge their batteries.
Since Ancient Times
In the ancient times, the Boswellia resin was a very precious commodity in the Middle East. Back in the day, traveling caravans brought the powerful resin from the Sub-Sahara region and to this day it’s still one of their major exports.
Believed to be a gift well-suited for a king, the ancient Greeks would often give frankincense to the Egyptians. The ancient civilizations also used it to honor the gods and show them their gratitude.
Frankincense is used in Christian as well as Jewish religions, from the ancient times and still today.
Raphael Mechoulam, a member of the research team said:
“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity.”
“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 in modern medicine
Recently frankincense has started regaining its place in modern medicine as an excellent remedy for anxiety and depression. According to the US National Institute of Health depression is the leading cause of disability especially for people 15-44 years old. In the US alone, around 15 million people currently suffer from this debilitating condition.
Officially, 3 million people Americans are struggling with severe depression and more than 40 million people suffer from some form of anxiety. These numbers are only for the US but can you imagine how many people struggle with these conditions across the globe.
Sometimes depression and anxiety can even overlap and be an even more serious cause for concern. Whatever the case, the main objective for all of these people is restoring their sense of emotional balance and ease of mind.
Conventional medicine offers a wide array of anti-anxiety and anti-depression treatments but most of them have a number of adverse effects, like:
- increased appetite and weight gain.
- loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm.
- fatigue and drowsiness.
- feeling of dryness in the mouth
- blurred vision
The antidepressant drugs usually prescribed for depression and anxiety are not intended to be consumed on the long run, but just temporarily until the patient gets back on his feet and achieve balance in life. But unfortunately, many people end up taking them for years and deal with the unpleasant side-effects.
The best course of treatment for these conditions are quite simple actually, and do not involve the use of any drugs. Start paying more attention to yourself, take charge of your life, try meditation and yoga, spend more time in nature and be around people who’ll help you heal and feel better. Positive thoughts are the key to a positive life!
Using Insense to encourage mind healing
Our sense of smell is directly linked to our limbic system and we can use this to our advantage. Aromatherapies are an excellent way to stimulate the limbic system and inspire emotional balance and calmness of mind. Frankincense is an excellent scent for this purpose and it has virtually no adverse effects. It can only make you feel better.
For patients receiving a psychoactive treatment it’s advised to consult with their doctor for any contraindications.