The Ancient Art Of Smudging

What Is Smudging?

The modern-day practice of burning sage & dried herbs in personal smudging rituals and ceremonies is based on a combination of the spiritual, medicinal, herbal and cultural teachings of the past.

Essentially, a smudge ritual or a smudge ceremony is performed to correct the energy in a home, in an office, in an object, or even in a person. This is accomplished by burning sage or sage and a combination of herbs, in a focused, intentional way to cleanse out negative energy and to replenish positive, healing energy.

You need to be clear about your intent and focus on what you are trying to accomplish. The actual smudge burning can consist of using as little as a few herbs placed in a burning fireplace, or as much as several wands of different herbs burnt until the energy feels right. There must always, however, be intent and focus in order for the clearing to take place.

Smudging your sacred space, your home or office, or even your body with sage is like taking an energetic shower, or doing a deep metaphysical cleansing. The smoke from dried sage actually changes the ionic composition of the air, and can have a direct effect on reducing our stress response.

Smudging is ritual alchemy — changing and shifting the air element, and transforming our current experience to a mystical one.

The use of incense and other smoke and vapor to connect humans to the spirit world, can be easily traced throughout the East in parts of Asia and even dating as far back to Ancient Greece.

The use of dried white sage however, is a 2,000 year old Indigenous American practice. The shamans used dried sage plants on their fires as a ritual of calling upon ancestral spirits. Any conflict, anger, illness or evil was absorbed by the sage smoke to be released or cleansed from the energy field of a person.

This ancient shamanic mystical ritual is a simple one to incorporate into your daily or weekly routine, or any time you feel like you might need a little aura polishing. You can never really smudge too much!

What are the scientific benefits of Smudging?

Due to the spiritual nature of smudging, science cannot empirically determine if burning incense actually gets rid of negative energy (that’s up to you to decide!). However, there are a few scientifically backed benefits of medicinal smokes that are pretty interesting!

A 2006 study titled “Medicinal Smokes” examined both herbal and non-herbal remedies administered as smoke, and found that smoke is commonly used worldwide to address the pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%), and dermatological (8.1%) organ systems. When remedies are prescribed in the form of smoke, they are rapidly delivered to the brain efficiently absorbed by the body. The study concluded that medicinal smoke should be further studied, as several natural products have potential to be used as medicine in smoke form.

Medicinal smoke clears airborne bacteria
Smudging has been scientifically proven to get rid of pathogenic bacteria in the air. A 2007 study titled “Medicinal smoke reduces airborne bacteria“found that burning medicinal herbs for one hour in a confined space reduced the bacterial air population by 94%, and the clean air was maintained for 24 hours post treatment. Even a month later, several strains of previously present airborne bacteria remained undetected. The study concluded that medicinal smoke can completely eliminate diverse airborne bacteria within a confined space.

Burning herbs is a form of Aromatherapy
Smudging and burning incense are effective forms of aromatherapy. During inhalation, molecules enter through nasal passages where they stimulate olfactory sensory neurons and communicate with the limbic portion of the brain. The limbic system is responsible for emotions, memory, and learning. It’s directly connected to parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone regulation. Because of this relationship, aromas can trigger profound emotional and physiological responses in the body.

You can also burn loose sprigs of dried herbs for a “single use” smudge, allowing you to choose exactly which herb you want to burn, depending on your purpose. 

When Do You Smudge?

Some ideal (or necessary) times to smudge your aura and/or space would be:

              ~ When you move into a new living space              

              ~ When you begin a new job or start your own business              

              ~   Before and after a guest enters your home              

               ~ Before and after a yoga or healing session              

               ~ Before meditation              

               ~ After an argument or any illness              

               ~ Upon returning home from crowded situations 

How Do You Smudge?

And here is a simple 3-step sage smudging ritual to try:

1. Open a window or door to allow all negativity to leave your space. 

2. Add 2 TB of loose dried white sage, sage bundle/wand or a combination of loose herbs. (Smudging Bundles Here)Then place it on any heat-proof burning surface like a Smudging Bowl. Light the bundle by holding a flame to it until it begins to smoke. If a true flame appears, shake the bundle gently or blow until it is just embers and smoke. I often find that I have to re-light my bundles a few times during the ritual process.

3. Once you have a nice smoke going, use your hand or a Smudging Feather to direct the smoke over your body from your feet up to your head, then back down again. As you do this, visualize the smoke taking away with it any negative emotions.

If you feel comfortable with this incantation, repeat the following:

“Air, fire, water, earth. Cleanse, dismiss, dispel.” 

The sage ceremony lifts the veil between the everyday and the sacred. As you say your incantation, you are shifting energy at will.

Once you have smudged your body, begin to move through your space. Wave the smoke into all corners, across doorways and closets. To maintain the atmosphere of ritual, keep repeating the incantation in your mind as you diffuse the smoke.

Once your space is cleared, allow the Smudging Bundle to burn out. You can even bury the remaining smudge in your garden to really feel the completeness of the cleansing ritual. Once buried, the sage has done its work in completing the elemental cycle.

Smudging Herb’s Currently In Stock On & Properties:

Cedar Properties: 

Cedar is an ancient tree, one of the oldest beings still thriving on the Earth. Cedar trees look much the same as they did when dinosaurs roamed the land. Back when other trees were trying out those newfangled “leaves,” Cedar said “I’m good” and stayed with the tried and true.

The smell of Cedar is woodsy and fresh. It recalls ancient forests, and invokes their protection and wisdom. Both the wood (in the form of chips or shavings) and the foliage make effective smudges.

Cedar smudges carry a medicine of protection. Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences.

Along with Rosemary and White Sage, Cedar is one of the most aggressively cleansing smudges you can choose.

Juniper Properties:

Juniper has a sweet and spicy “Christmas tree” fragrance and abundant blue berries.  Like Cedar, Juniper is probably one of the most ancient plants. Juniper is said to have a masculine, protective energy, and is used in spells of cleansing and prosperity.

Juniper berries are popular in good luck charms, while the leaves are often used for smudging. Juniper is best used for blessing a new venture or dwelling, and inviting in abundance. Juniper is an excellent addition for Smudging. Most smudges are designed to clear negative energy and White Sage is a POWER HOUSE!! Juniper does this as well, but Juniper can also create a safe, protective, positive healing space when the negative energy is removed by White Sage. 

Juniper is energetically & physically detoxifying as well as centering.

Rosemary Properties:

A culinary herb with an assertive fragrance, this woody perennial may also be used for smudging. It clears negativity, inspires confidence, and invigorates the mind and body.

Rosemary is an Old World herb with a long history of use in incenses and smudging.

White Sage Properties: 

Named the best herb for protection and purification during smudging. White sage is known for its antibacterial properties as well as the traditional value, used by Native Americans for centuries for clearing negative energies of spaces, people or objects.

Lavender Properties: 

Lavender is known to help encourage a restful night’s sleep as well as peace of mind, relaxation and happiness. Lavender is unique cleansing tool, actually, when you burn lavender petals along with the stems, the lavender scent is simply increased as it burns.

Rose Properties:

Roses produce a heavy, warm, aromatic scent with just a hint of sharpness and scent lasts a long time after burning. Excellent for meditation, divination, increasing psychic abilities, contacting powers and beings in other dimensions ad psychic communication. Also traditionally associated with attracting love, conferring peace, stimulating sexual appetites and enhancing beauty.

Black Eyed Susan Properties:

Black Eyed Susans allows the old habit and well-worn emotions to meet the light of transformation and change. This flower assists in the release of old habits and negative behaviors.  Other ways in which Black-eyed Susan assists us are by giving us the ability to move forward with grace and decisiveness; giving you that extra drive to get things down and move ahead. Forget about procrastination, lethargy & being stuck in abusive patterns. Black Eyed Susan’s are powerful catalyst for confronting parts of the personality or traumatic episodes from the past that have been kept locked away. They assist in calming and balancing allowing one to center and tune into their intuitive self.

Marshmallow Properties: 

Marshmallow is used for protection and psychic powers. 

Yarrow Properties: 

Yarrow is know for eliminating toxins from the body.

Garden Sage Properties: 

Sage isn’t just known for being an antibacterial, the smoke from sage to use to cleanse, bless and heal, remove negativity from an object or person being cleansed. Sage is unique because of the many different types and scents . From White Sage, Common Sage to Desert Sage and for those who may dislike the scent of White Sage, Desert and Loaded sage mixes are the best alternative for the hints of woody and sweet scents which is for Cleansing, Balance, Strengthening.


Mullein is mildly relaxing, helps to promote calm feelings, and fights against anxiety. Mullein burns slowly and steadily, with thick plumes of white smoke that’s soothing to the throat.

Sunflower Petals:

Sunflowers are a bringers of happiness, eases depression, have strong solar qualities and assists with protection.

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