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Esfand not only means the 8th solar month of the Persian has a strong presence in every Afghan/Persian house and cultural rituals. Afghans & Persians believe that this dried herb has the magical power to stave off harm and avert the negative vibes. Burning Esfand is a supernatural protector against negativity and bad luck. Esfand is the seeds and dried fruits of Garden Rue or Peganum harmala. This short evergreen plant is endemic to the Mediterranean and the Middle East regions. When the flowers of Rue get dried, in the middle of the petals, there is a tiny three-chamber pale yellow fruit. The fruit has many tiny blackish-brown seeds that have magical and medicinal usages.
In different regions, people use Esfand’s extract, oil, or crushed seeds for medical purposes. The seeds of this herb are hot in nature and help to balance the body system.
It has antispasmodic effects to heal stomach cramps and to expel parasitic worms. It is antibacterial and is efficient in curing algae or moulds. This herb can treat throat diseases and the flu because of its strong disinfectant property.
Esfand is also effective in treating vomit and diuretic problems.
Burning Esfand and releasing its warm herbal aroma stimulate the mind, soothe the senses and cast down negative moods.

To burn Esfand, you simply need to 
Sprinkle Esfand seeds in a frying pan on high heat &hear the exciting popping sound. It gives somehow a sacred sense to the place when its light smoke and warm herb scent fill the air. As the popping begins to dwindle, take it off the heat and walk around your home to have the smoke fill your house.

To protect you from “Cheshm Zakhm” or being jinxed, the smoke of burning seeds should be circled around your head or carried around the house several times.
While moving the burner around, it is common to say Salawats, a special Arabic salutation upon the prophet of Islam, Muhammad and his family.


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