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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-12

Effect of smoke from medicinal herbs on the nosocomial infections in ENT outpatient department


1 Department of ENT, GMC, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Microbiology, GMC, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication24-May-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T U Samanth
Room No. 702, PG-Hostel-3, Sir T. Hospital Campus, Bhavnagar - 364 001, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/indianjotol.INDIANJOTOL_143_16

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  Abstract 


Introduction: From time immemorial, human beings have used smoke of medicinal plants for curing disorders. Smoke produced from natural substances has been used extensively in many cultures, and famous ancient physicians have described and recommended such use. Aim and Objective: To reduce the nosocomial infections at the ENT outpatient department. Materials and Methods: Air sampling is done by set plate method. Air sampling of the medicinal smoke arising after burning a mixture of wood of mango or pipal tree andmedicinal herbs (obtained from shantikunj haridwar ) with rituals in an indoor environment. Results: Medicinal smoke caused over 95% reduction of aerial bacterial counts by 60 min. Conclusion: We have observed that 1 h treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri = material used in oblation to fire all over India) on aerial bacterial population caused over 95% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min.

Keywords: Havan, medicinal smoke, nosocomial infections


How to cite this article:
Samanth T U, Jha SG, Sinha V, Patel S, Desai KJ. Effect of smoke from medicinal herbs on the nosocomial infections in ENT outpatient department. Indian J Otol 2018;24:9-12

How to cite this URL:
Samanth T U, Jha SG, Sinha V, Patel S, Desai KJ. Effect of smoke from medicinal herbs on the nosocomial infections in ENT outpatient department. Indian J Otol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Oct 19];24:9-12. Available from: http://www.indianjotol.org/text.asp?2018/24/1/9/233125




  Introduction Top


A nosocomial infection is defined as an infection that is not present or incubating when the patient is admitted to hospital or other health-care facility.[1] The infection in the hospital is a major health problem in the world and the prevalence is 2–3-fold higher in developing countries compared to Europe or the USA.[2] Nosocomial infections cause an increase in crude mortality and duration of hospital stay.[3] Sometimes, medicolegal issues also arise due to the patient's families blaming the hospital staff for infection.[4] Furthermore, an effective program for nosocomial infection surveillance causes the infection rates to be reduced by approximately one-third.

In 2002, the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health began funding clinical trials into the effectiveness of herbal medicine.[5] In a 2010 survey of 1000 plants, 356 had clinical trials published evaluating their “pharmacological activities and therapeutic applications” while 12% of the plants, although available in the Western market, had “no substantial studies” of their properties.[6] A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health focused on who used complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), what was used, and why it was used. The survey was limited to adults, aged 18 years and over during 2002, living in the United States. According to this survey, herbal therapy, or use of natural products other than vitamins and minerals, was the most commonly used CAM therapy (18.9%) when all use of prayer was excluded.[7]

We have used a very simple method to reduce the nosocomial infections. The havan samagri contains many important materials, details of many are beyond the scope of this article but few have been explained. Camphor purifies the air in the atmosphere and attains various medicinal benefits when we inhale. It acts as a germ killer, mosquito and fly repellent and limits spreading of the virus in that place. The main ingredient in havan is mango wood which when burnt releases formic aldehyde a gas which kills harmful bacteria thus purifies the atmosphere. The jaggery burnt in the havan also releases the formic aldehyde gas. The cow's ghee the very important ingredient of havan has been referred as an antidote to the poison in vedas. Its fragrance purifies the physical atmosphere. The aromatic herbs when burnt remove the foul odor in the atmosphere by their fragrance.

From time immemorial, human beings have used smoke of medicinal plants for curing disorders. Smoke produced from natural substances has been used extensively in many cultures and famous ancient physicians have described and recommended such use. Under the continuous Saraswati–Indus civilization going back to 7500 BC (Nigam and Hashimi, 2002),[8] the great rishis (saints) used to perform agnihotra-yagnas to purify the environment by sublimating the havan sámagri (mixture of wood and odoriferous and medicinal herbs) in the fire accompanied by the chanting of Vedic mantras described in Rigveda – the most ancient compilation of knowledge on earth.[9] The fumigation of an operating room with fumes of mustard, butter, and salt might be considered an early form of “antisepsis” of the air, although it was also used to get rid of evil spirits.[10] Throughout the medieval period, including the terrible years of the bubonic plague caused by the causal bacterium  Yersinia More Details pestis, the main prophylactic measure against infectious diseases was fumigation by burning incense, herbs, and aromatic essences.[10] Recently, mono- and multi-ingredient herbal and nonherbal remedies administered as smoke from 50 countries across the 5 continents are reviewed.[11]

In this study, we see the antibacterial activity of the medicinal smoke during the treatment of a room with the medicinal smoke, emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri, i.e., material for oblation to fire), by generating it within confined spaces so as to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner.

Aims and objectives

To reduce the nosocomial infections at the ENT outpatient department (OPD).


  Materials and Methods Top


Air sampling is done by set plate method. Medicinal smoke after burning a mixture of wood of mango or Pipal tree and medicinal herbs (obtained from shantikunj haridwar) with rituals in an indoor environment. Constituents of havan samagri: wood of mango or pipal tree, kapoor kachari – kaempferia cheer guli, jaggery, nagarmotha – cypriol, bakuchi – psoralea seeds, chandan chura – sandalwood powder, kapoor – camphor, erandel tel – castor oil, bel gooda – wood apple, giloy – gulancha tinospora guggulu – Indian bdellium, joo – barley, cow's ghee, eucalyptus leaf, raktachandan – red sandalwood, and sugandh kokila – berry oil. Air sampling to be done after OPD hours at 1.00 pm once before havan, and the next sampling is done 1 h after completion of havan.

Sample collection

Air sampling is performed to determine the Index of Microbial Air Contamination. This index corresponds to the number of colony-forming unit (cfu) counted on a  Petri dish More Details with a diameter of 9 cm placed according to the 1/1/1 scheme (for 1 h, 1 m above the floor, about 1 m away from walls, or any major obstacles). Nutrient agar and blood agar plates were placed in the room for 1 h. 500 g mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs on the burning Mangifera indica wood are added and air sampling is performed after havan to elucidate the effect of medicinal smoke on aerial bacteria in the closed room. This same procedure is repeated for the next 15 days.

Sample processing

Culture: For primary isolation, following media were used: A. Nutrient agar and b. Blood Agar. These were taken as standard media for primary isolation. Cultures were incubated at 37°c. The growth was observed within 48 h. With help of hand glass, the number of cfu were counted on a Petri dish. Identification is based on the gross morphology of the colony (texture, color, size) on both media and microscopic characterization of colony seen by Gram stain. Further identification was also be done by various biochemical tests.

Study analysis

Antibacterial activity of the medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri) against the aerial bacteria strains.


  Results Top


From ancient times, human beings have been studying the relationship between ill health and medicine. All cultures have strong traditions of folk medicine that include the use of plants, animals, and minerals. The ancient cultures are known for their systematic collection of information on herbs and their rich and well-defined herbal pharmacopoeias. Medicinal plant therapy is based on the empirical findings of hundreds and thousands of years. In this light, the present report attains importance as we observed that medicinal smoke emanated from havan sámagri on aerial bacterial population showed very interesting inhibition effects on the aerial bacterial population.

Medicinal smoke caused over 95% reduction of aerial bacterial counts by 60 min [Figure 1], [Figure 2] and [Table 1].
Figure 1: Percentage of reduction of colony-forming unit after medicinal havan on blood agar

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Figure 2: Percentage of reduction of colony-forming unit after medicinal havan on nutrient agar

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Table 1: Report of air sampling by set plate method

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  Discussion Top


In this study, we have demonstrated that 1 h treatment of medicinal smoke produced by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs resulted into almost complete elimination of bacteria.

Airborne transmission is known to be a route of infection for diseases. About 15 million (>25%) of 57 million annual deaths worldwide are estimated to be related directly to infectious diseases (World Health Organization, 2004). One most interesting aspect of the work of great applied significance is the ability of the medicinal smoke to completely eliminate human pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum causing urinary tract infection (Nebreda-Mayoral et al., 1994),[11]  Kocuria rosea Scientific Name Search sing catheter-related bacteremia (Altuntas et al., 2004),[12]  Staphylococcus lentus Scientific Name Search plenic abscess (Karachalios et al., 2006),  Staphylococcus xylosus Scientific Name Search acute pyelonephritis (Tselenis-Kotsowilis et al., 1982),[13]  Tsukamurella inchonensis Scientific Name Search using acute myelogenous leukemia (Yassin et al., 1995),  Enterobacter aerogenes Scientific Name Search bsiella mobilis) causing nosocomial infections (Peres-Bota et al., 2003),[14]  Sphingobacterium spiritivorum Scientific Name Search ng extrinsic allergic alveolitis (Sato et al., 1996),[15] and  Sphingomonas sanguinis Scientific Name Search ing nosocomial nonlife-threatening infections (Li et al., 2004).[16]

This study represents a comprehensive analysis and scientific validation of the effect of ethnopharmacological aspects of natural product's smoke on airborne bacterial composition and dynamics. In particular, it highlights the fact that we must think well beyond the physical aspects of smoke on plants in natural habitats and it also impacts heavily on our understanding of fire as a driving force involution. We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke, it is possible to contain diverse pathogenic bacteria of the air we breathe. The work also highlights the fact about medicinal smoke and that a lot of natural products have the potential for use as medicine in the smoke form as a form of drug delivery. It is a promising source of new active natural ingredients for containing indoor airborne infections within confined spaces used for storage of agriculture commodities. The dynamic chemical and biological interactions occurring in the atmosphere are much more complex than previously realized. The findings warrant a need for further evaluation of various ingredients present in the complex mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs, individually and in various combinations to identify the active principles involved in the bactericidal property of the medicinal smoke, applied in the above-discussed fashions.


  Conclusion Top


We have observed that 1 h treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri = material used in oblation to fire all over India) on aerial bacterial population caused over 95% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Peres-Bota D, Rodriguez H, Dimopoulos G, DaRos A, Mélot C, Struelens MJ, et al. Are infections due to resistant pathogens associated with a worse outcome in critically ill patients? J Infect 2003;47:307-16.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

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