Monday, August 17, 2009

Havan (Homam) for bacteria-free homes, says National Botanical Institute Study

Press Trust of India

Lucknow, August 17

Want to lead a healthy life and free your home from bacteria? Perform 'havan' at regular intervals.

A study carried out by a team of scientists at National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) here has claimed that smoke emitted during havans reduces airborne bacteria to a large extent, minimising possibility of infectious diseases.  "Burning wood and medicinal herbs, better known as 'havan samagri' (mixture of wood and odoriferous and medicinal herbs), can effectively reduce pathogens in the air," NBRI's senior scientist, Prof. Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal, told PTI.

The study had already been published and accepted by Science Direct, a journal of ethnopharmacology.  "As described in Rigvedas, saints used to perform agnihotra-yagnas to purify the environment by sublimating the havan samgri in fire," he said.

In a bid to study the actual impact of havans, an indoor study was carried out by the NBRI team including Prof Nautiyal, Mr Puneet Singh Chauhan and a fellow of Asian Agri-History Foundation Yeshwant Laxman Nene.  A complex mixture of over five dozen odoriferous and medical herbs was obtained from Gurukul Kangri Pharmacy in Haridwar and burnt in an indoor environment to study its impact on the environment.

"Air sampling before and after performing havan was done to ascertain its impact on the environment,'' Prof Nautiyal said.  "After the experiment it was observed that though there was was no reduction in the number of bacteria by burning of wood alone, smoke emanating from herbs led to over 94 per cent reduction in aerial bacteria,'' he claimed.
"Absence of pathogenic bacteria in the open room even after 30 days was indicative of the bacterial potential of the medicinal smoke treatment,'' he said.
Technorati Tags: , , ,