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.

In a new study…an international team of scientists…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…

“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!”

And if you feel warm and tingly it must be good for you. Right?

  1. QB says:

    Hey man, have you ever really looked at your chasuble? I mean, like, REALLY looked your chasuble? Duuude….

  2. rcopeh says:

    “This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses…”

    I can’t believe it. It’s absolutely crazy and a complete disregard for anything even remotely sane.

    That a scientist can look at something that religious people do and find good in it must surely break some code of conduct among the neolibs! No doubt, the scientifict community will kick him out for saying something nice about the evil people who cause wars every Sunday.

    What is the world coming to!?

  3. pagon says:

    It looks like our Native Americans aren’t the only ones using mind altering substances for religious purposes.

    Peyote, frankincense – who cares? Have at it.

    It’s hard(er) to start a war when you’re feeling mellow.

  4. Stick that in your bong and smoke it …

  5. chuck says:

    Everyone knows that Ganja is the one true religion.

  6. JimD says:

    Hey, and Jesus was a MAGIC MUSHROOM !!! We been tryin’ to tellya !!!

  7. DieFundie says:

    Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Mmmkay.

  8. I guess if people are feeling all tingly in church it’s easier to convince them they are experiencing something from above. High on religion! That’s some holy good shit. Pass it around! Can we roll frankincense?

  9. Glenn E. says:

    Shouldn’t this incense be FDA approved then? I quess this will be another case of a grandfathered substance, like tobacco. As long as the a strong enough lobby behind its use, it’s safe. I believe that the earliest reason for incense use by the church was to deoderize the congregation. And it may still be, it some parts of the world.

  10. James Hill says:

    Is this a plan to get the left back in the church?

  11. fulanoche says:

    Why do you think they call it HIGH Mass?

  12. . says:

    These guys will do anything to make the little boys more submissive.

  13. moss says:

    Now, James – we know how sensitive you are about the number of times you were “left back”.


  14. Angel H. Wong says:

    That explains why the altar boys cry rape once the priest doesn’t let them swing that incense bowl anymore.

  15. RTaylor says:

    I burn frankincense while meditating. It does seem to help in relaxation.

  16. drben says:


    Let’s leave the altar boys out of it! Other faiths besides RC’s use incense. Let’s see, the Buddhists, the Episcopalians (my church) Hindus, are there others?

  17. QB says:

    fulanoche, you win…

  18. hhopper says:

    I always thought the “swingin’ smoke” was cool.

  19. Rick Cain says:

    That crap stinks, its one of the unenviable roles of the catholic…to smell the priest’s incense.

    I didn’t mean it THAT way you perv.

  20. a real nun says:

    The cheap church incense is cut with sawdust. (No kidding. Would a nun lie?) The good stuff is pure resin. It’s marketed as “chokeless” incense.

    All I know is that just the sight of the thurible (The vessel with the charcoal briquet on which the incense is burned) makes people cough.

    Too funny, tho, about incense getting you all mellow. I’d rather just leave it about like potpurri instead of buring it. Would that be like freebasing it??


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