I've been considering a brief write-up on several topics as of late, about the intersection of science and magic. So here goes:
Today, I ran across an article about frankincense. It talks about studies on how frankincense affects certain regions of the brain, leaving a person, "in an almost vulnerable state of relaxation where one can lay their mind to rest and simply perceive" -- a form of psychoactivity.
The article also mentions the medical applications of the resin, as a possible help with some types of anxiety and depression, as well as, "nausea, fever, chest coughs, hypertension, as well as driving away mesquitos and other harmful insects."
Frankincense, being a precious resin, has a long history of being used for sacred ceremony in many religions.
So what do I take from this? It's another case of, "I did some rituals involving chanting while burning frankincense. Now I feel a lot better." Even though the practitioner may credit the involved deity or entity, research is now helping to discover that frankincense resin may have more effects than we think in making these changes. Magic! (and no, that is not in any way sarcastic). The use of frankincense in its various forms can cause a change according to its properties, as the user may intend -- even though for thousands of years, we did not understand exactly why.
Science and magic