Espand - Or Ispand 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. A must have in any Persian kitchen and for Persian new year festive.
Iranians traditionally considered Esfand as a sacred herb. They believed in the magical power of this herb to protect you and your place from evils and curses. Burning Esfand is a Zoroastrian tradition that Iranians brought to the Islamic era. They strongly believed that Esfand can protect the ones exposed to its smoke in the safe hand.