In short, burning medicinal herbs cleared airborne bacterial populations by 94%, and the space was still found to be disinfected a day later. What’s more, a month after smudging, much of the pathogens originally found were still undetectable.
This has profound implications, as modern air quality in the developed and undeveloped world is atrocious, containing up to 1800 bacterial types, many of them pathogenic. With an increasing deadly array of antibacterial-resistant strains, we’ll need all the help we can get.
The practice of smudging dates back to prehistoric times, and is still very much in use today worldwide for cleansing everything from dwellings to human spirits. Howeverrecent research has shed light on the popularity of this activity, revealing that burning certain plant matter actually clears harmful bacteria.
All Western use of burning herbs and plants for spiritual purposes aside, the activity rests firmly in the sensibilities of ancient cultures in that, historically, smudging was believed to put forth the spirits of various ‘allies’ to provide ease and balance to an individual or group.
In this way, the practice was used to clear spiritual and emotional negativity that has built up in a body or a space.
Of course, there are skeptics who belittle the practice as unscientific and akin to magic.
The practice has a negative association to a form of cultural imperialism, where traditions of dwindling indigenous…
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