Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Science Proves: Incense is Good for You

Fr. Barry Jeffries censes the people at a Hierarchical (Western Rite Orthodox, ROCOR) Liturgy in London, 2007.

No visitor to either Eastern nor Western Rite fails to notice the presence of incense in our services, frequently in profuse abundance. Scientists have now confirmed: incense is good for your emotional health. An otherwise sarcastic article on MSN Health entitled "Frankincense and Mirth" reports:

Scientific papers aren’t usually tagged with very exciting titles, but recently I came across a real barn burner: Incensole Acetate, an Incense Component, Elicits Psychoactivity by Activating TRPV3 Channels in the Brain.

Whoa.

Reading between the lines of lab-coat lingo, I realized the report was saying that frankincense—the incense traditionally burned in religious ceremonies—can act on the brain to lower anxiety and diminish depression.

As it turns out: "Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Hebrew University administered incensole acetate, a component of frankincense, to lab mice and learned that it lit up areas of their little mouse brains that control emotion, including nerve circuits affecting anxiety and depression."

So, breathe deep, relax, and worship the Holy Trinity.

Again, the wisdom of our spiritual Fathers — Eastern, Western, or from the Old Testament Church — shines forth.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Benedictus said...

I'm not much of a t-shirt wearing guy (dress a little more formally every day than most), but if I were to design one, it would have a picture of a smoky incense censor, with this caption: "Smoky Churches Are Happy Churches" ;-)

4:04 PM  

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