No, incense sticks do not ward off Covid-19

No, incense sticks do not ward off Covid-19

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A popular YouTube channel claims that smouldering incense sticks can ward off coronavirus and that there is no need to get vaccinated for coronavirus as the positive energy from incense sticks can cure Covid-19. The claim is false and has no scientific evidence.

By Tej Kumar

A YouTube video with over a hundred views claims that “there is no need to take vaccine; Agarbatti (Incense sticks) is enough to ward off coronavirus”. However, this is not true. The Youtube channel has over 4 lakh subscribers and the person in the video being interviewed claims himself as a scientist and goes on to explain that “coronavirus is now spreading because of negative energy. To stop this, we can introduce positive energy and curb coronavirus.”

He further highlighted that “recently I did an experiment where I lighted Ambica's incense sticks in my house and corona was gone. So, one can save themselves by lightning at least 9-10 incense sticks in the morning and evening."

In Indian mythology negative energy is seen as disease and positive energy is seen as a cure or remedy for that disease. Particularly, fragrance of incense sticks is associated with positive energy which relaxes body and mind. But there is no scientific evidence that incense sticks give out positive energy.

Long term use of incense sticks can affect human body and its fumes contain hazardous particulates.  According to research led by Rong Zhou of the South China University of Technology and the China Tobacco Guangdong Industrial Company in China, “incense smoke is potentially toxic and was found to be mutagenic, meaning that it contains chemical properties that could potentially change genetic material such as DNA, and therefore cause mutations.”

We further asked Dr Mantha Srinivas, Research Consultant & Anaesthesiologist, Mantha Heart Clinic, Hyderabad about using incense sticks and its association with positive energy. He said, “There is no scientific evidence that positive energy can heal viral infections like coronavirus.” “Most of the claims are anecdotal. Also it is wrong to say that there is no need for coronavirus vaccine.”

“Vaccine improves the immunity and prevents complications of the disease. Vaccine also provides herd immunity and prevents community transmission of virus especially when about 65-70% of the population is immune”, Dr. Srinivas added.

Vaccines don't just work on an individual level, they protect entire populations. Once enough people are immunised, opportunities for an outbreak of disease become low.

As of December 15, 2020, there is no proven cure for Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has compiled information which debunks misleading claims about alleged coronavirus “cures”.

At a time, when vaccination programmes for Covid-19 are in progress around the world, a lot of misinformation on vaccines is spreading at a rapid rate. We have previously debunked many claims which can be read herehere and here.