Saturday, July 12, 2008

Can Solemn Masses make you happier than Low Masses?

Got a letter from my friend, the brewmeister, about a recent Johns Hopkins study on a chemical in incense.

"...the report was saying that frankincense—the incense traditionally burned in religious ceremonies—can act on the brain to lower anxiety and diminish depression.

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."


Their observation that frankincense smoke “augments the euphoric feeling produced during religious functions” is likely to resonate with many among the faithful.

“There was a strong visual and olfactory effect, and I liked being around it,” says Vince Corso, a New Jersey-based priest with a degree in divinity. “I don’t know if it aligned those parts of my brain to the magic and mystery of the experience, but I was entranced by it.”

Whole article here:

Frankincense and Mirt: Is that psychoactive smoke wafting through the pews?

Ah, so that's why the aging hippy set who threw out the incense are so bitter and hateful towards tradition.



Anonymous said...

Woah! Duuuude! Pass the incense! :)

celogomama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
celogomama said...

Heh. Bout time we had us some good science backing up centuries of instinct and intuition!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

one of the few advantages of the NO, Incesne at any time.