The ancient practice of burning powerful herbal material may be much much more than just a primitive belief. Recent research has revealed that burning certain plant matter actually clears harmful bacteria.
One of the studies found that burning a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs reduced the aerial bacterial population by 94%.
“This study represents a comprehensive analysis and scientific validation of our ancient knowledge about the effect of ethnopharmacological aspects of natural products’ smoke for therapy and health care on airborne bacterial composition and dynamics, using the Biolog microplate panels and Microlog database. We have observed that 1h treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri=material used in oblation to fire all over India), on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24h in the closed room. Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonas syringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment. We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”