The History of Frankincense
Frankincense has been used since ancient times and was mentioned in many ancient texts, including the Old and New Testament. It is a product of the resin of the Boswellia tree and it was used as a part of religious and other cultural ceremonies for centuries. It was commonly burnt as incense as it was believed that reveals powerful mystical properties helping the soul to reach spiritual exaltation.
At ancient times Frankincense was a precious commodity in the Middle East and was literally worth its weight in gold. It was brought in from the sub-Saharan regions on the traveling caravans, and even today is one of their major exports.
The reason for such great value was due to its mystical properties and because of that was burnt as incense so that the floating scent reached to God. Plus, it was considered a great tool for abolishing negative energies or for holding evil spirits at bay. Various gods were honored with frankincense like the Jewish and Christian religions. The Ancient Greeks used it as a sign of gratification and often gave it to Egyptians as a gift.
Frankincense as a Natural Anti-depressive
According to a conducted study frankincense has the ability to lower anxiety and treat depression.
Raphael Mechoulam, the co-author of the study stated that despite the data from “ancient texts, the components of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity. Their research showed that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, reduced anxiety in mice and caused antidepressive-like behavior.”
The researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem worked together to determine the psychoactive effects of frankincense. The resin from the Boswellia tree was analyzed by the scientists and its constituent known as incensole acetate was administrated to mice. Mice received small amount of it and after its use researchers found out that it affected the brain areas which regulate emotions.
Specifically, its use activated the protein TRPV3, accountable for experiencing warm sensations on the skin. The researchers have come to the conclusion that frankincensereveals powerful anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects. Plus, having the ability to relax and soothe the body which contributes to the relief of build-up stress.
Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, said that Marx was probably right when he called religion the opium of the people. Considering the fact that many drugs were used in religious ceremonies like morphine, cannabinoids, and LSD it proves the statement of Marx. The discovery of the effects of incensole acetate coming from frankincense clarifies the experiences of millennia-old spiritual practices that have existed through centuries. When used in religious ceremonies, the believers felt relaxed, balanced and stress-free.
Nonetheless, this is a great breakthrough as now it can help researchers to better understand the diseases of the nervous system. Its use calms the mind and helps you to clearly reflect on the important things in life.
Nowadays, frankincense is used as a natural treatment of anxiety and depression, mental conditions that affect over 60 million people in the U.S. If it is used moderately, inhaling diffused incense is an effective way to calm the mind and alleviate stress and anxiety. It is effective as our sense of smell is directly linked to the limbic system in the brain, responsible for emotion regulation and motivation.
In this hectic modern world any natural alternative is highly welcomed opposed to the use of pharmaceutical drugs that reveal numerous adverse effects. If it is used moderately and in combination with yoga, meditation, and proper nutrition, then we shall experience great mental health. In addition to this it is very beneficial for conditions like fever, nausea, hypertension, and chest coughs. Not to forget the fact that it is a powerful insect repellent allowing you to enjoy hot summer nights.