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Feeling Blue? Light Some Incense

The next time you’re in a funk, try lighting some incense.

Religious and spiritual leaders have hailed the soothing benefits of incense for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that science discovered why incense is so therapeutic.

Smelling frankincense unlocks and commands specific ion channels in the brain to squelch feelings of depression and anxiety. It also triggers a perception of warmth on the skin, which could explain the “warm and tingly” sensations some people feel when they’re in a relaxed, spiritual setting. In fact, the researchers say “an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.” If that comes to fruition, who knows, maybe “smell therapy” will follow!

Does incense lighten your mood? Do other scents and smells affect how you feel? [Medical News Today]

Posted: 5/23/08