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Weeding Out Vaccine Toxins: MMR, Glyphosate, and the Health of a Generation

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By Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT, printed here with permission from The World Mercury Project.

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Glyphosate, often sold under the brand name “Roundup,” is the most widely used weed killer in the U.S. Glyphosate is a “non-selective herbicide,” which means it kills many plants, not just weeds. It kills them by interfering with the production of critical proteins necessary for growth.

In commercial agriculture, Roundup is used on “Roundup Ready” crops—crops that have been genetically modified to resist the powerful toxic effects of glyphosate. The list of Roundup Ready crops includes soy, corn, canola and sugar beets. It is important to remember that, while these plants have been modified to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate, the people and animals that eat them have not.

It is important to remember that, while these plants have been modified to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate, the people and animals that eat them have not.

In a series of articles, my colleague Anthony Samsel and I have been exploring the connection between glyphosate and a number of diseases, including multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. In our most recent article, “Glyphosate Pathways to Modern Diseases VI: Prions, Amyloidoses and Autoimmune Neurological Diseases,” we present evidence that glyphosate has made its way into several widely used vaccines. We describe how the glyphosate residue contained in vaccines might induce the kind of autoimmune responses typically observed in autism.

Interestingly, of all the vaccines we tested, MMR stood out as consistently having the highest level of glyphosate contamination. This fact may help explain why the MMR vaccine, which contains neither mercury nor aluminum, has been implicated so often in vaccine injury and autism.

How Might Glyphosate Make Its Way into Vaccines?

Vaccines can become contaminated in many ways. One potential source of contamination is the animal tissue (chicken embryo, fetal bovine serum, monkey kidney, etc.) that is used as a culture medium to grow the viruses contained in vaccines. The measles virus for the MMR is grown on gelatin made from the bones and ligaments of commercially raised cows and pigs, animals that have been fed a steady diet of Roundup Ready corn and soy feed. Gelatin is also used as a stabilizer in vaccines, creating another possible route of contamination.

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As Roundup producer Monsanto itself has reported, the residue from glyphosate tends to accumulate in the bones, marrow, and collagen-rich ligaments of animals. Anthony Samsel confirmed this finding in his own study of the bones, marrow, and other parts of pigs and cows, as well as the derived bovine gelatin.

To provide additional evidence that gelatin is the source of glyphosate contamination in vaccines, Samsel looked at a number of gelatin-based products, including Jell-O, gummi vitamins, and protein powders. He also looked at digestive enzymes such as trypsin and lipase. He found significant glyphosate residue in all of them. It should come as no surprise, then, that all of the vaccines that list gelatin and bovine serum as ingredients tested positive for glyphosate, while those that contained neither of these ingredients tested negative.

Glyphosate may be contributing to another source of vaccine contamination. In a recentstudy published in the International Journal of Vaccines and Vaccination, researchers were shocked to discover a variety of toxic metals in a number of common vaccines. Platinum, silver, bismuth, iron, and chromium all showed up in the MMR vaccine. The source of these contaminants is considered to be a mystery. It is interesting to note in this context that glyphosate was first patented as a pipe cleaner due to its remarkable ability to chelate metals. It may be the case that glyphosate is playing a role in extracting metals from containers during the manufacture of vaccines.

My research leads me to believe that synergistic toxicity between glyphosate and vaccines, particularly MMR, is a major factor in the growing autism epidemic. The severity of MMR-related adverse events, as reflected in the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, has increased steadily in recent years—along with the use of glyphosate on corn and soy crops in the U.S. Some of the reactions that have become significantly more common after 2002 compared to before 2002 are seizures, anaphylactic shock, asthma, autism, eczema, irregular heart rate, and ear infection. Of course, correlation does not prove causation; it is important to understand how glyphosate residues might disrupt the body’s immune system.

How Might the Glyphosate in Vaccines Cause Autism?

In our recent article, Samsel and I describe how the measles virus in the MMR, which is grown on nutrients contaminated with glyphosate, could incorporate this glyphosate into its own proteins, as a coding error, in place of the amino acid glycine. Glyphosate is a glycine molecule with an additional methyl phosphonyl group attached to the nitrogen atom, and we have argued that a key mechanism of its insidious cumulative toxicity is its ability to substitute for glycine by mistake during protein synthesis.

Haemagglutinin is the main antigen produced by the measles virus that is responsible for inducing an antibody response to the vaccine. A glyphosate-contaminated haemagglutinin molecule from a measles virus will be much more allergenic than one that is free of glyphosate. When the measles virus from the vaccine gains access to the brain, the brain’s immune system acquires antibodies to this abnormal haemagglutinin molecule, and then, through molecular mimicry, these antibodies become autoantibodies to myelin basic protein, a basic component of the myelin sheath. This autoimmune attack on the nerve fibers in the brain disrupts neuronal communication channels, causing the symptoms of autism.

Vijendra K. Singh and his colleagues at Utah State University have published multiple papers, dating back to the 1990s, proposing that an autoimmune attack on the myelin sheath due to a viral infection may be a causative factor in autism. In their 2002 paper,“Abnormal Measles-Mumps-Rubella Antibodies and CNS Autoimmunity in Children with Autism,” they concluded that “an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.” A paperpublished by Dr. William Shaw in 2017 discussed a set of triplets—two boys with autism and a girl with a seizure disorder—all of whom had high levels of glyphosate in their urine and a disrupted gut microbiome, which he proposed was a causative factor.

Gut Dysbiosis: a Primary Factor

Not all children will respond to a glyphosate-contaminated vaccine in the same way. A key factor that increases susceptibility of the brain to damage is an unhealthy gut microbiome, which leads to a leaky gut barrier and subsequently a leaky brain barrier, via a tight communication channel between the gut microbes and the brain. Prior chronic exposure to high levels of dietary glyphosate can set a child up for a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, together with many colleagues, published a seminal articlein the Lancet in 1998 on a case study of twelve children, all of whom had a gut disorder and all of whom suffered onset of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms following MMR vaccine, with regression into an autism-like syndrome.” Parents of eight of the children cited MMR as the trigger for their child’s decline. Wakefield was among the first scientists to recognize the important role of a disrupted gut microbiome in the etiology of autism. Unfortunately, the Lancet paper was later retracted and other researchers were very slow to follow up on this important lead, although finally today an unhealthy gut is recognized as a key feature linked to autism.

Dr. Wakefield recognized that the children in his study suffered from a leaky gut barrier, as a consequence of damage to the lining of the small intestine. This lining is covered with millions of small projections called villi, creating a huge surface area for the absorption of nutrients. The cells that form these villi, called enterocytes, begin life as an undifferentiated stem cell in the “crypt” area of the intestines. From there, they proliferate and mature as they migrate up the walls of the crypt, and then settle in on the surface of the villi, where they absorb nutrients before dying and getting replaced by new arrivals in a constant renewal process, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Glyphosate, as an amino acid, is actively imported into cells along L-type amino acid transporters. Cells that proliferate, like enterocytes, express high levels of these transporters, and therefore preferentially take up glyphosate. In Celiac disease (gluten intolerance), the enterocytes are destroyed more quickly due to exposure to glyphosate and other toxic chemicals. This damage causes the cells to proliferate more quickly, in order to replace destroyed cells. Increased proliferation causes an increase in the uptake of glyphosate, creating a downward spiral.

Thus, glyphosate residue in food sets a child up to fail following an MMR vaccine. Wheat, barley, oats, chick peas, lentils, and sugar cane are not glyphosate resistant, but glyphosate is frequently used as a desiccant or ripening agent for them right before harvest, and it is actively taken up by the seed. Some of the highest levels of glyphosate have been found as a contaminant in these non-GMO foods, so eating “non-GMO” is not adequate for glyphosate avoidance. Glyphosate is not allowed in organic agriculture, so buying USDA certified organic foods is the best option. Children with autism often suffer from gluten intolerance, and I believe glyphosate is a major causative factor in both conditions.

Figure 1: Schematic of the enterocytes in the villi lining the walls of the small intestine, which migrate upward from the crypt to the villus as they mature into functioning enterocytes from initial stem cells. These cells are especially vulnerable to glyphosate toxicity, leading to a leaky gut syndrome.

A Lost Generation

We have been misled for far too long by the claim that vaccines are “safe and effective.” It is not at all clear that inducing specific antibodies to a small set of infective agents, such as the measles virus, while weakening the immune system’s ability to fight off all the other infective agents in the environment, is the best way to deal with infectious disease. As we have seen, antibodies can become autoantibodies and attack the body’s own tissues, leading to chronic diseases that are often worse than the infectious diseases they protect from. Vaccinated children suffer from many debilitating neurological and autoimmune diseases in far greater numbers than unvaccinated children. The manufacture of vaccines is a tricky process, and along with the acknowledged toxic ingredients like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde, they also have been found to contain contaminants like glyphosate and toxic metals that may well be the biggest contributors to severe adverse reactions.

As we have seen, antibodies can become autoantibodies and attack the body’s own tissues, leading to chronic diseases that are often worse than the infectious diseases they protect from.

Children today may already be a lost generation, but several policy changes need to take place in the immediate future to save subsequent generations from a similar fate. We need to repeal the 1986 legislation that protects pharmaceutical companies from liability when a child’s life is ruined by a vaccine. This will surely pressure them to try harder to keep impurities out of vaccines. We need to eliminate laws such as California’s SB277 that prevents unvaccinated children from enrolling in public or private schools, and be vigilant to ensure other states don’t follow suit. Then parents will be empowered to make decisions about the best path towards building a strong immune system in their child. Part of that program needs to be a switch to a 100 percent USDA certified organic diet, in order to protect children from the dangers posed by toxic herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Finally, we need to insist that our elected representatives pass laws that protect consumers from products like glyphosate, which are designed to disrupt processes that support life.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER: Exposure to glyphosate may play an important role in the development of autism.

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Glyphosate Exposure

1. Glyphosate is a “Probable” Carcinogen
In March of 2015, scientists at the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans and to cancer in laboratory animals, and indicated it can cause “DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells.”

2. Glyphosate is a Patented Antimicrobial Agent
Glyphosate disrupts the gut microbiome leading to the overgrowth of pathogens and inflammatory bowel disease.

3. Glyphosate Negatively Impacts the Brain
According to the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University (NPIC), glyphosate exposure has been linked to developmental effects when administered to pregnant rats in high doses.

4. Glyphosate May Disrupt the Reproductive System

The Western world faces an epidemic in declining sperm quality.  The NPIC links high dose exposure in rats to negative reproductive effects.

5. Glyphosate May Be a Critical Factor the Autism Epidemic

Much evidence supports this, including disruption of the gut microbiome, chelation of important minerals like manganese and zinc, and extremely high correlations between time trends in autism and in the use of glyphosate on core crops.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She has a BS degree from MIT in biology and MS, EE and PhD degrees from MIT in electrical engineering and computer science.  She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings. Her recent interests have focused on the role of toxic chemicals and micronutrient deficiencies in health and disease, with a special emphasis on the pervasive herbicide, Roundup, and the mineral, sulfur.  She has authored over thirty peer-reviewed journal papers over the past few years on these topics, and has delivered numerous slide presentations around the world.

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Alternative News

Soft Drink Companies Caught Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Lure Young Children

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Documents obtained by researchers clearly outline the unethical and immoral actions Tobacco companies used to 'hook' kids onto sugary drinks. They use the same tactics they did for smoking.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do and have our federal health regulatory agencies allow such products to be approved as safe for consumption when they are clearly linked to a variety of diseases, like cancer?

Many moves made by multiple big corporations are extremely unethical, immoral, and downright shocking. These corporations have completely compromised our federal health regulatory agencies, and it’s quite clear that they do not care about the health of the human race and will do anything when it comes to the success of the products they manufacture, including taking illegal and/or immoral actions.

One of the more recent examples comes from the tobacco industry. Companies within the industry used colors, flavors, and marketing techniques to lure and entice children as potential future smokers. They actually used and applied these same strategies to sweetened beverages starting as early as 1963, according to a study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

As the Sugar Scientists point out:

The study, which draws from a cache of previously secret documents from the tobacco industry that is part of the UCSF Industry Documents Library tracked the acquisition and subsequent marketing campaigns of sweetened drink brands by two leading tobacco companies: R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. It found that as tobacco was facing increased scrutiny from health authorities, its executives transferred the same products and tactics to peddle soft drinks. The study was published in the March 2019 issue of BMJ.

“Executives in the two largest U.S.-based tobacco companies had developed colors and flavors as additives for cigarettes and used them to build major children’s beverage product lines, including Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, Tang and Capri Sun,” said senior author Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Even after the tobacco companies sold these brands to food and beverage corporations, many of the product lines and marketing techniques designed to attract kids are still in use today.” (source)

The new papers, which are available in the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, a subset of the UCSF Industry Documents Library, reveal the close and tight knit relationships between the big tobacco and big food industries. In fact, in the 60s and 70s, these companies conducted taste tests with mothers and their children to evaluate sweetness, colors and flavors for Hawaiian Punch product line extensions. The children’s preferences were prioritized.

Kool-Aid Joins Marlboro

Meanwhile, tobacco competitor Philip Morris had acquired Kool-Aid, via General Foods, in 1985. The company flipped its marketing audience from families to children, created its “Kool-Aid Man” mascot, and launched collaborations with branded toys, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. It also developed a children’s Kool-Aid loyalty program described as “our version of the Marlboro Country Store,” a cigarette incentives program. (source)

“The Wacky Wild Kool-Aid style campaign had tremendous reach and impact,” said first author Kim Nguyen, ScD, MPH, who is also with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Lots of kids in the ’80s dreamed of getting swag from the Wacky Warehouse. What is really ‘wacky’ is that the Kool-Aid kid program was modeled after a tobacco marketing strategy designed to build allegiance with smokers.”

The tobacco giant also acquired Capri Sun and Tang, and used similar child-focused integrated marketing strategies to drive those sales.

“The industry claims that these tobacco-inspired marketing strategies are not actually targeting children and should be excluded from these industry-led agreements,” said Schmidt. “But the evidence cited in our research shows that these product lines and marketing techniques were specifically designed for and tested on children.” (source)

The UCSF Industry Documents Library was launched in 2002 as a digital portal for tobacco documents. Today, the library includes close to 15 million internal tobacco, drug, chemical and food industry documents used by scientists, policymakers, journalists and community members in their efforts to improve and protect the health of the public.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that government health authorities and the corporations we buy our food from, among other things, really don’t care about us. This has become extremely evident, as they are responsible for the sharp rise in numerous diseases. It’s not uncommon to see parents buy their children products similar to the ones listed above, and that’s due to mass brainwashing and the fact that we’ve been made to feel that these products are actually safe. This is why awareness is so critical.

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Awareness

Why A Growing Number of People Are Abstaining From Porn & Masturbation

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They are known as “fapstronauts,” and they are part of a growing community of hundreds of thousands of men and women who are abstaining from masturbation to internet pornography.

Their community is called “NoFap,” and its founder, Alexander Rhodes, is a man on a mission to educate and inspire the world about the damaging effects of masturbating to porn.

What could possibly be wrong with harmless masturbation, you might wonder? Aren’t we meant to enjoy the simple pleasure centres of our bodies?

According to Rhodes, masturbating to porn isn’t harmless at all. In fact, it is a silent epidemic of disastrous proportion.

“The emergence of internet pornography has changed the landscape of sexual development and relationships in a way never-before-seen in human history,” he said during his speech at the Out of the Shadows national press conference. “As a result, countless people are having their sexual tastes shaped by porn producers rather than real, human, experiences. These days, exposure to pornography seems to be a virtual certainty and young men [and women] are therefore automatically ‘opted-in’ to potential addiction, relational difficulty, porn-induced erectile dysfunction, and more,” he continued.

During his speech, Rhodes discusses the idea that porn is a relatively new variable in human evolution, and we are only beginning to see the repercussions of its use arise in the current generation of men and women.

He says exposure to porn is so rampant that it is practically mandatory for children to come into contact with some image or video before puberty. He quotes an Australian study which asked 258 male participants about their exposure to porn. Only one reported they’d never been exposed. Even more concerning, the median age of first exposure was 13 for males and 16 for females.

In this way, Rhodes says, kids are learning about sexuality through porn before their first kiss.

Frequent masturbation to porn is causing erectile dysfunction in a generation of men.

Today, a large community of “fapstronauts” is coming forward to talk about the impact this exposure has had on their lives. They report heavy reliance on porn and masturbation is manifesting in disturbing ways­ — erectile dysfunction (ED) and anorgasmia, the inability to orgasm during partnered sex, being a few of them.

According to a Kinsey report, in 1948 less than 1% of men under 30 had ED. In 2012, Swiss researchers found this number at 30%.

And the effects of watching porn span far beyond the physical, says Rhodes.

“Different studies on porn users are showing associations with sexual dysfunction, brain hypofrontality, desensitization, sensitization to porn cues, increased stress, less motivation, relationship problems, decreased sexual satisfaction, and other life-altering detriments.”
(For an extensive list of research articles on the effects of porn, click here.)

Numerous scientific studies have found that excessive porn use has biological and behavioural ramifications.

Rhodes also stresses that he and the NoFap community are in no way ‘sex negative’:

Being skeptical of pornography is not the same thing as being sex negative – there’s a huge difference between pornography and sex. In porn, the viewer is a voyeur, rather than a participant. It is on a screen. It is available in virtually endless amounts and pirated all over porn tube sites without monetary cost. It is always accessible, just a tap or click away. To our brain’s reward system, this can be an especially enticing quick and repeatable path to an orgasm, compared to partnered sex. In fact, many people who are quitting porn are doing so in the pursuit of better sex. Quitting porn is sex positive.

He notes many NoFap community members are there to improve their interpersonal relationships, whether it be for a marriage, a relationship, or single life. For others, it is simply a challenge of willpower — to seize control of your sexuality and turn it into superpowers.

“There are many, many different reasons to join but we’re all on NoFap with one goal – to help each other abstain from PMO (porn/masturbation/orgasm).”

Men And Women Report Incredible Life Shifts After Quitting Porn and Masturbation

Within the many pages of the NoFap forums, whether directly on the NoFap website or within the large and fast-growing Reddit community, it is easy to see the profound shifts taking place for people who’ve succeeded in the NoFap challenge, which consists of setting an intention to abstain from masturbation and watching porn for a certain amount of time and then riding it out.

The NoFap community is growing at a rapid pace.

Participants report diverse and overwhelmingly positive results from their efforts, like increased confidence, reduced anxiety, improved focus and memory, increased concentration, improved social skills, deeper sleeps, enhanced abilities to feel emotions, less brain fog, and even seemingly being more attractive to females.

While some might say these are rather normal powers, fapstronauts say that after years of feeling depressed, scattered. and unmotivated, the onset of these new changes feel as incredible as real ‘ superpowers‘ would.

One user, “borninthenorthwest,” said committing to NoFap altered his attitudes toward sex and women entirely:

My relationship with porn began at the age of 13 with nude Playboy photos of Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. This was in the days of dial-up Internet, and I was initiated by my childhood best friend at the time. Although this did not seem pornographic, relative to what my peers were beginning to look at, I now see that this was the beginning. It began a cycle where every woman I met was judged by these photogenic standards, and felt no real attraction towards most girls in high school, despite being popular and well-liked for my prowess on the guitar.

He explained his warped attitude toward women posed issues in his sex life.

“None of the girls I met in college could compare to the standards in my own mind. What few girls I was attracted to, I felt incapable of asking out for a date, and often would simply fantasize about them instead.”

He admits he developed an addiction to porn, and at 31 he discovered the NoFap community.

“Since then my relationship with both pornography and far more innocent triggers is vastly different. I no longer use porn at all, and no longer place the celebrity notion of beauty on the pedestal either, and am interested in real life and real people, slowly but surely engaging in reality.”

“Fapstronauts” claim that abstaining from porn and masturbation improves their overall confidence and sex lives.

Here is what a few other fapstronauts had to say.

Thesexymountainman:

“Went to a dance last night and asked a bunch of girls to dance. Felt like a boss. A few months ago I would have been sweating and shaking doing that. I would’ve been looking at the floor with my head down like a whipped puppy trying to ask a girl to dance. Stay strong everybody! There’s life after PMO, and it’s awesome af!”

Amadadado:

“Today I am walking around with random erections all day long, like a teenager. I am in my 40s, so this feels strange.”

IronWide:

“Life is amazing and it’s only been two weeks! I have found out how much more confident I am in public, and how much more secure I feel about myself.”

TheGaurdian97:

“I finished a 300 page book in one sitting today. Before I would fall asleep or procrastinate and play on my phone. Now I can read and actually remember what I read.” 

The Most Important Takeaway

Today, Rhode’s mission is to get the message out to parents so that healthy conversations can start happening at an early age.

Educating children about sexuality and the effects of watching porn is a crucial component in preventing porn addiction and porn related side effects.

“Families need to educate their children about pornography – and they need to do so before the porn producers do, since right now minors are getting hooked on porn long before they are made aware of the potential negative effects.”

And for the ones currently suffering from porn related side effects, he offers that the treatment to these symptoms simply comes down to one thing— removing porn from their lives:

We simply want people to ask themselves the question, how is porn impacting my life and relationships? And if they do not know how porn is impacting them, they can simply take a quick break, changing one variable in a self experiment, to see what impact it might have on their lives and their relationships. Already, thousands have made the personal decision to leave porn in the past, and have gone on to live more fulfilling lives with improved interpersonal relationships. It’s time we think about and openly discuss our heavy usage of pornography. In the meantime more and more people around the world will continue to declare their autonomy and reclaim their sexualities from the porn production companies.

If you are struggling with porn addiction, or are simply curious about what others are reporting from abstaining from masturbation, join the NoFap communities through their website or on Reddit. NoFap offers many resources as well as a global support network to help you transition away from the addictive influence of porn.

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Awareness

Frankincense Can Help Alleviate Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies have proven the psychoactive effects the scent of frankincense has on the brain, alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Reflect On:

    With all the man-made chemical pharmaceutical drugs out there, perhaps solutions to what ails us are more simple than we may realize.

Gold and frankincense and myrrh… sound familiar? These were the gifts that were allegedly brought by the three kings when Jesus Christ was born. We all know that gold is valuable, but what about the others? Frankincense has long been touted as a magical, mystical medicine and has been regarded as such for millennia within many ancient cultures of the world. The same goes for myrrh, but for the purpose of this article we are going to stick to the medicinal properties of frankincense.

Frankincense starts out as a type of resinous sap that is found inside a special family of trees called Boswellia, which grow almost exclusively in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. When it is harvested at specific times of the year, the trees are cut carefully with special knives and the sap seeps out. This special sap is then dried in the sun until it is ready for use. More commonly, frankincense is burned simply as sweet smelling incense, but it has many other uses as well including the following…

Historical Uses Of Frankincense

  • As a part of ritual or religious ceremonies
  • Was used extensively during burial rituals as an embalming material to help mask the odor of the deceased body
  • Smoke from burnt incense can effectively drive away mosquitoes and other pests

Frankincense has also been used medicinally, treating various ailments such as arthritis (it has strong anti-inflammatory properties), gut disorders (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), asthma, and maintenance of oral health.

And perhaps the most intriguing quality for our westernized modern culture is the psychoactive effects of this special resin, as studies have shown that burning frankincense can trigger an effect that can aid and even alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Research

One study in particular, conducted by a team of researchers form John Hopkins University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, explains how burning the resin from the Boswellia plant (frankincense) activates certain previously misunderstood ion channels in the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. This might explain why Roman emperor Nero once burned an entire year’s harvest of frankincense at his favorite mistress’ funeral.

“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study’s co-authors. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”

The researchers administered incensole acetate to mice in order to determine its psychoactive effects. This compound they found drastically impacted the parts of the brain that generate emotions and the nerve circuits that have responded positively to current drugs used for depression and anxiety. The incensole that was administered activated a protein called TRPV3, which is connected to the ability to perceive warmth of the skin.

“Perhaps Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. 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!”

Can This Work For You?

Sure, this study was conducted using mice, which certainly aren’t the same as humans. However, many religious texts claim that this special resin had uplifting effects on the brain. So, the good thing is that if used appropriately, it really can’t hurt to try. You can typically buy the resin at health food stores and more commonly at stores that sell incense, crystals, sage and those sorts of spiritual ceremonial tools. It can also be found as an essential oil. I like to diffuse it in a diffuser, and sometimes I’ll burn the resin on charcoal pucks as well.

At the very least, you’ll get a nice and pleasant smelling aroma, and at best it can help turn that frown upside down, increase your mood, reduce your anxiety and maybe even put a smile on your face. Perhaps those three wise men were as wise as they’ve been made out to be, and frankincense really is as special as it’s been believed to be for millennia.

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