Do incense have an anti-depressant effect?

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Do incense have an anti-depressant effect?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:35 am

I won't pretend to understand the details of this article, but apparently incense might have some interesting neurological side effects.

All the more reason to make incense offerings. :anjali:


Frankincense has been shown to cause antidepressive behavior in mice. It activated the poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety and depression.

http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstr ... 7-101865v1

Burning of Boswellia resin as incense has been part of religious and cultural ceremonies for millennia and is believed to contribute to the spiritual exaltation associated with such events. Transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) 3 is an ion channel implicated in the perception of warmth in the skin. TRPV3 mRNA has also been found in neurons throughout the brain; however, the role of TRPV3 channels there remains unknown. Here we show that incensole acetate (IA), a Boswellia resin constituent, is a potent TRPV3 agonist that causes anxiolytic-like and antidepressive-like behavioral effects in wild-type (WT) mice with concomitant changes in c-Fos activation in the brain. These behavioral effects were not noted in TRPV3-/- mice, suggesting that they are mediated via TRPV3 channels. IA activated TRPV3 channels stably expressed in HEK293 cells and in keratinocytes from TRPV3+/+ mice. It had no effect on keratinocytes from TRPV3-/- mice and showed modest or no effect on TRPV1, TRPV2, and TRPV4, as well as on 24 other receptors, ion channels, and transport proteins. Our results imply that TRPV3 channels in the brain may play a role in emotional regulation. Furthermore, the biochemical and pharmacological effects of IA may provide a biological basis for deeply rooted cultural and religious traditions.—Moussaieff, A., Rimmerman, N., Bregman, T., Straiker, A., Felder, C. C., Shoham, S., Kashman, Y., Huang, S. M., Lee, H., Shohami, E., Mackie, K., Caterina, M. J., Walker, J. M., Fride, E., Mechoulam, R. Incensole acetate, an incense component, elicits psychoactivity by activating TRPV3 channels in the brain.
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Re: Do incense have an anti-depressant effect?

Postby plwk » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:43 am

:tongue: I used to burn some Nepalese frankincense sticks during chants and loved its woody lemony scent but never knew abt this part...probably why it was such a highly prized and priced incense in the Middle East huh?
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Re: Do incense have an anti-depressant effect?

Postby catmoon » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:34 am

Interesting. I use Nepalese stick incense, and I find it as pleasing as a good meal. Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a bit of opium in it.
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Re: Do incense have an anti-depressant effect?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:59 am

Anyone know if incense have a medicinal quality according to Indian, Tibetan or Chinese medicine systems?
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