Been busy, busy so been a while since I posted …
Those of you who know Jimmy, virtually here or in the real world (I’ll leave the implications of the blurring boundary between online & offline reality to someone with more time & less fun in their lives to sort that philosophical hot potato out), will know that he burns enough incense to make the environmental effects of slash & burn cocaine farming in the Amazon basin look like small change. Not my thing, but each to their own, & least it covers some of his more, er, manly smells.
I always thought its soothing powers were just more smoke & mirrors from the enlightened elements in society, if anything just got up my nose & made me more upset than any supposed stress-relief. Well turns out that it isn’t simply some hokum to extract yet more money from the monied gullible (you’ll never see a poor incense dealer – always the ones tootling around in their Porsches, etc.).
In a recent scientific paper published in the FASEB Journal an active component of incense, incensole acetate, was shown to have anxiolytic (reducing anxiousness) & anti-depressant-like activity in mice. The usual caveats of animal models & their use for human conditions still apply, particularly in higher cognitive processes such as emotions (anxiety, depression), but intriguing ideas about the potential pharmacological effects of incense nonetheless & quoting the paper authors:
‘ Furthermore, the biochemical and pharmacological effects of IA [incensole acetate] may provide a biological basis for deeply rooted cultural and religious traditions ‘
So, maybe with all my busy-busying I should chillax with some pyschoactive incense? Maybe.