Smoking ceremony

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A smoking ceremony is an ancient custom among Indigenous Australians that involves burning various native plants to produce smoke, which is believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.[1]

Although the 'smoking ceremony' is now thought of[by whom?] as purely symbolic or spiritual, traditional smoke fumigation modalities achieved positive therapeutic outcomes that were conceptualised as an 'exorcism' or 'cleansing'.

Recent scientific research at the University of New England (Armidale, NSW Australia) has demonstrated that biologically active smoke artefacts are created during the heating process, using leaves from Eremophila longifolia (Emu Bush), which was one of the most widely employed plants for such smoking ceremonies.[2]


  1. ^ "Birth Smoking Ceremony". December 3, 2003. 
  2. ^ Sadgrove, NJ; Jones, GL; Greatrex, BW. "Isolation and characterisation of (-)-genifuranal: the principal antimicrobial component in traditional smoking applications of Eremophila longifolia (Scrophulariaceae) by Australian aboriginal peoples.". J Ethnopharmacol. 154: 758–66. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2014.05.003. PMID 24837304.