Smoking ceremony

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A Smoking Ceremony practiced by an Indigenous Australian

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 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]

Today smoking ceremonies are performed at major events, such as births and deaths.[3]


  1. "Birth Smoking Ceremony". December 3, 2003.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Isolation and characterisation of (-)-genifuranal: the principal antimicrobial component in traditional smoking applications of Eremophila longifolia (Scrophulariaceae) by Australian aboriginal peoples".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Smoking Ceremony".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>