Thursday, August 28, 2014

Burning Incense is Psychoactive

"Religious leaders have contended for millennia that burning incense is good for the soul. Now, biologists have learned that it is good for our brains too. An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.


"In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity," said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study's co-authors. "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.""


Read more at sciencedaily.com

I would like to add that in the Orthodox Church the use of incense is seen as representative of the prayer of the saints being lifted up to heaven before God:

Psalm 140:2 - "Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."

Revelation 5:8 - "Now when He has taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

Revelation 8:4 - "And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand."

And traditionally the Church does make use of frankincense.
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