Understanding All of the Benefits of this Ancient Tradition
Using the smoke from sacred fires, or burning herbs or incense as a purification ceremony or ritual has been a common practice amongst many traditions throughout the ages. The smoke of medicinal plants and natural substances has been used extensively in many cultures for cleansing and healing. The most common smoke-purification ritual used in Native American tradition is a technique called smudging. It is seen as a bridge to the higher realms; a way to clear spiritual and emotional negativity that has built up in a space or a person. Smudging is often done before a ceremony or special gathering, or even after an argument to clear the air. Although the spiritual benefits of these practices might be viewed with scepticism, the health benefits are proven. As it turns out, this ancient practice literally does clear the air, as burning sage and other herbs neutralises positive charge and releases negative ions, and has antiseptic, bacteria-killing properties.
Exploring the Science
In 2006, a scientific paper titled Medicinal Smokes was published. The research reviewed information from 50 countries over 5 continents and found that, dating back to ancient times, smoke administered medicinally is typically used to aid lung, brain and skin function. In addition, it was found that the passive fumes doubled as an air purifier. A follow-up paper examining the air purifying potentials of smoke-based remedies was published in 2007, in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. It concluded that, in addition to health benefits, smudging was a powerful antiseptic.
The researchers observed that a one-hour treatment of medicinal smoke (Havana Sámagri) in a closed room reduced airborne bacterial counts by over ninety-four percent. In India, most rituals include a sacred fire to which medicinal herbs and other materials are added as an offering. Havana sámagri is a mixture of wood and odoriferous and medicinal herbs burnt in the fire, accompanied by the chanting of Vedic mantras. For thousands of years, the rishis (saints) performed ceremonies or yagnas to purify the environment. The medicinal smoke, together with the vibrations that the mantras produce, creates positive effects in the surrounding atmosphere.
This research has shown that the smoke from a variety of herbs is highly effective in reducing airborne bacteria. The smoke’s ability to purify and disinfect the air was maintained up to twenty-four hours. Many of the pathogenic bacteria had not returned to the same room, even after 30 days….
Continued via… Source: The Science Behind Smudging