What is sage?
Sage is a plant native to the regions of northwestern Mexico and southern California. It is widely used for culinary and spiritual reasons and one of the most common ways to use sage is by burning it in bundles.
A bundle of sage is made by cutting the stems and wrapping them together with a cotton string. Afterwards, the bundle is left to dry and is ready to burn.
What is smudging?
For centuries, Native Americans and other indigenous communities have burned sage to perform spiritual rituals, channel wisdom, and promote healing. It is traditionally referred to as smudging.
The act of smudging creates a connection between the individual and a higher power to achieve spiritual protection and good health. The smoke purifies the body and soul. Smudging holds strong cultural significance to the native american community, therefore it should be respected.
To avoid appropriation of the communities that consider this a sacred practice, a person can adopt the act of burning sage through smoke cleansing.
What are the benefits of smoke cleansing?
Smoke cleansing is the act of burning powdered incense, bundles of wood, or bundles of herbs to cleanse a particular space or artifact. Sage in specific, holds many potent properties that can increase an individual’s quality of life. Here are 5 of the most well-known benefits that come with burning sage:
- It can purify your home
Sage clears up to 90% of airborne bacteria. Poor air quality can be a factor in poor health, so having fresh air in your home is very important.
- It can help ease insomnia and anxiety
Sage smoke releases negative ions into the air. Exposure to negative ions is linked to reduced depression, lower anxiety levels, and better sleep.
- It is a potent meditation tool
Burning sage can be a starting point to establish a positive environment for meditation. Entering a meditative state can be hard to achieve, and burning sage can be a powerful tool to help an individual relax and focus on the present.
- It can disperse negative energy
Everything in life is energy. We are capable of bringing energy back into our homes, whether it’s positive or negative. Spiritualists use sage as a tool to clear off negative energy. Sage will help neutralize your space by eradicating energies that provoke negativity for your soul.
- It can cleanse or charge objects
Burn sage to cleanse personal items that carry a lot meaning to you. I personally enjoy cleansing my crystals. Simply rotate the object through the smoke.
How to perform a cleanse in your home
Now that you know the top benefits of burning sage, it is important to know how to do it properly in your home. Ideally, perform a cleanse once a week or right after having visitors over.
- Open a window or door in your home. The energy you are trying to clear from your home needs a way out.
- Light up. Grab your sage bundle, a bowl for the ashes, and a lighter. Light up your sage bundle for 10 seconds and watch as the sage burns. Thick smoke should come out of it. Keep the bowl with you for the ashes.
- Set an intention. Be grateful for your space and think of the energy you want to clear in your home. Maybe you had an argument recently or you are having problems at work.
- The act. Walk slowly and calmly around your home while holding the lit bundle. Hit the high traffic areas like the kitchen and living room for longer periods of time.
- Burn out. When finished, burn out the bundle on a fire-proof surface. This can be earth, a shell, or a natural ceramic plate. Keep your smoke cleansing materials on a high shelf and open space.
What are some alternatives to sage?
Herbal trade, including sage trade, has become more accessible online due to its rising popularity. Unfortunately, a lot of this sage is poor quality and not ethically cultivated.
Purchase ethical and high-quality sage from websites such as Shaman’s Market, Taos Herb or Sage Valley Herbs. You should also try to purchase sage in your local market. Ideally, the person selling it also cultivates the sage through responsible harvesting.
If you prefer not to contribute to the rising popularity of sage, you can buy floral bundles as an alternative. The floral bundles I photographed for this post come from responsible harvesters in the United States. You can purchase flower bundles from Stead fast Flowers on Etsy and cleanse your home with these fragrant and powerful wands.
For more wellness tips that you can easily do at home, make sure to read about my sugar lip scrub recipe.