Everyone gets a little stressed once in awhile, but it’s how you cope with that stress that makes a difference in your long-term health. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication may work short-term, but they can cause a wide variety of health problems, including jitteriness, decreased sexual desire, nausea, weight gain, and insomnia (1).
It’s no wonder that people are increasingly attracted towards natural solutions like yoga, meditation, and tea. According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Frankincense, an age-old incense, may have some healing abilities when it comes to managing a restless mind.
Frankincense is the dried resin of Boswellia trees. It originates from Northeastern Africa, near the Red Sea.
As far as its medicinal use goes, it has been used for millennia to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, protect the kidneys and liver against damage, and relieve pain.
It even has anti-cancer and chemopreventive properties capable of reversing breast cancer brain metastases (2). Frankincense oil fights cancer and alleviates cancer symptoms by reducing inflammation and by boosting the immune system, which increases the production of white blood cells.
But that’s not all, Frankincense has the ability to activate poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression (3).
It contains a chemical compound called incensole acetate that affects a protein in the brain known as TRPV3. This protein affects your body’s ability to perceive warmth on the skin. This may explain its ability to balance emotions and relax the mind.
Frankincense’s anti-inflammatory properties can help counter inflammation caused by chronic stress, which is linked to depression and other mood-related conditions.
How To Use Frankincense To Lift Your Mood
You may have noticed that certain smells instantly improve your mood, and there’s good reason for it too: scents stimulate your olfactory bulb, which runs from your nose and into your brain.
The bulb is then directly connected to the amygdala and hippocampus, the centers in charge of emotions and memories. Your sense of smell is the only sense directly linked to these systems. (4)
Therefore, the best way to use frankincense would be add some to your diffuser.
If you take any psychoactive medication or other strong prescription medication, talk to your doctor before using Frankincense.
In addition, the resin can help improve fever, hypertension, chest coughs and even nausea. You can even diffuse the oil on your porch to keep mosquitoes and other bugs at bay!
More research is currently underway to confirm how the substance works and to find out what other applications it may have in modern medicine.
Since major depression is the number 1 cause of disability especially for people 15-44 years old in the United States, Frankincense may be a promising alternative to antidepressants for the 50+ million Americans suffering from depression, chronic stress, and anxiety.