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Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Word to the Wise T.I. - Ditching Depression with Frankincense

Photo: Frankincense resin.
You can win the battle against OS&EH induced depression by using a combination of ancient Eastern wisdom and cutting edge Western scientific research.

Frankincense (Boswellia) – Used in India’s Ayurvedic Medicine for over 4,000 years (1) and Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 2,000, (2) the resin/sap of the Boswellia tree has been integral to the world’s religions for over 5 millennia, (3) but its depression ditching capacity was only scientifically explained (in western terms) last year when a combined US-Israeli bio research team found that incensole acetate, a constituent of frankincense, is a potent anxiolitic (anti-anxiety) and anti-depressive agent. It achieves this by activating TRPV3 channels in the brain, the same neural pathways used by prescription anti-depressants. (4)

Frankincense is easy to buy and use. Here’s the run down:

Frankincense Essential Oil – is usually sold in tiny, highly portable, 0.5 fl oz bottles, available from herb and health food stores, and online. Note: “Perfume Oils”, “Fragrant Oils”, or any "Aromatherapy Oils" that do not specifically say “100% Essential Oils” are not pure and are either adulterated with other ingredients, or are synthetic. (5) Dab behind ears as you would a perfume. Advantages: breathe in this emotion uplifting oil all day. Disadvantages: your workplace may be a “scent-free” environment. Warning: Though toxic to cats, with a little common sense essential oils can be used safely around pets. (6) In general, the following passive diffusers are the safest and cheapest methods for delivering essential oils.

Aromatherapy Pendent – These can be plain for Men (look at the wooden ones at the bottom of this link) and worn or kept in shirt breast pocket. More ornate ones are available for Women. If an open fillegre pendent is used, wear it up high on the neck choker style so it can be as close to the nose as possible. If a closed vial type pendent is used, the length of chain is up to you. Tip: With fillegre styles, make sure reusable felt pads come with it or cut your own from a piece of felt. Dab oil onto felt pad and place inside pendent. Advantages: enjoy the protective powers of frankincense all day. Remove and seal in a Zip-Lock bag when you enter a “scent-free” environment. There are so many styles, so if you don't like those, there are...
Terra Cotta Pendents – made from kiln-fired terra-cotta clay and rock hard yet light weight. The edges are smooth, so you don't have to worry about being scratched. They frequently come with waxed cotton, leather, or cloth neck cords. Tip: Lay the pendant flat and apply one drop of essential oil. Allow the oil time to become completely absorbed into the clay. When the oil is completely absorbed, it is ready to wear. Clasp the pendant around your neck, and you're ready to feel wonderful all day long! Here is another vendor.

Aromatherapy Earrings – perform the same function as the pendent. Advantages: odor has less distance to travel to your nose. Remove and seal in a Zip-Lock bag when you enter a “scent-free” environment.

Tissue or String Diffusion – Place 3-4 drops on tissue or string and hang near you. Advantages: inexpensive. Can be used anywhere. Disadvantages: not very effective. Warning: cats like to play with strings and you don't want your to get this in his mouth.

Mini Terra Cotta Aroma-Stone Diffusers – available online and from herb and health food stores. Add 1 or 2 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend onto the impression. When the terra cotta stone absorbs the oil, hang it near you. Re-scent as needed. Advantages: works in the car or office, place dresser draws, hang on walls.

Bottle Method – Just keep the original diminutive bottle (or put in this kind) with you all day to dab on from, or take whiff from throughout the day. Advantages: can be taken to work and kept closed except when inhaling. Can inhale quickly at desk or in bathroom so as not to offend coworkers or breaking “scent-free zone” rules. Disadvantages: occasional whiffs are less effective than continual inhalation.

Pocket Inhaler – same as with bottle method.

THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT RECOMMENDED! General Warning – active diffusers are not safe around dogs and cats. Most designs are easily knocked over by wagging dog tails or leaping cats. Candle powered models can cause fires. Essential oils are toxic to cats and if knocked over, your cat will try to lick oil off of its fur.

Electric Nebulizer – Fan blows drops into air. Disadvantages: Expensively priced. Uses costly electricity. Warning: Fan spews the oil into the air, essential oils are toxic to cats and if a drop lands on a cat, cat will lick it off and ingest.

Candle DiffuserDisadvantages: a lit candle is a potential fire hazard. You should never leave a room with a lit candle in it, or go to sleep with a candle burning. Also, the jury is still out on whether heat destroys vital molecular structure in the oil. Warning: Especially **NOT** safe around dogs and cats: most designs are easily knocked over by wagging dog tails or leaping cats. Also, when knocked over, your cat may have to lick oil off of its fur.

Frankincense Resin or PowderDisadvantages: The resin nuggets appear uncomfortably similar to certain illicit drugs and there is a high potential of something being planted in with your resin in order to set you up for a police bust. Warning: the charcoal used to burn the resin or powder is a fire hazard.

And may A Word to the Wise T.I. be sufficient.

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Special thanks to Debbie Newhook for finding and sharing this video.