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 Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal said.
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, 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.