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The Biological Boon Behind Incense May 20, 2008

Posted by Sarah Todd in General, Meditation, News, Random Notes.

A new study reveals one reason why incense and spiritualism go together like zendos and zafus. Beyond the symbolic tradition of burning incense lies a biological benefit: it can help ease anxiety and depression. When scientists administered incensole acetate, a compound found in incense, to mice, the compound affected them in “brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs.” Adds Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion–burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!” Read all about it over in Science Daily.


1. Rick Woods - May 21, 2008

hmmm….every time you burn something it screws up the enviroment.

2. Paresh - May 24, 2008

Incense may contain hydrocarbons and bioorganic polymers which when burned or combusted have hazardous properties. One is reminded how Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche succumbed to fumes from incense, during his healer methods in India in the 1960/70’s. He now suffers from poor respiratory problems which he and others accept may have been due to the excessive inhalation of incense.

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