11 Benefits of Burning Sage, How to Get Started, and More

share on Pinterest Where did the practice originate ? Burning sage — besides known as smudging — is an ancient spiritual ritual.

Smudging has been well established as a native american cultural or tribal rehearse, although it isn ’ metric ton practiced by all groups. We have the traditions of many native american peoples to thank for its use. This includes the Lakota, Chumash, Cahuilla, among others. many other cultures around the global share like rituals. Read on to learn more about the benefits of burning sage and how you can use it to improve your overall wellbeing.

1. It may be purifying

The most-used types of sage have disinfectant properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. White prairie sage ( Artemisia ludoviciana ) is both antimicrobial and antibacterial. White sage ( Salvia apiana ) is besides disinfectant. And both have been shown to repel insects .

Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects have been cardinal to the commit of smudging .

2. It may help relieve the symptoms of some conditions

It turns out that sage may help clear the air of lots more than bugs and bacteria. Though scientifically unproved, burning sage is thought to release minus ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions. park positive ions are allergens like :

  • pet dander
  • pollution
  • dust
  • mold

If this is the lawsuit, burning sage may be a consecrate for those with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. But inhaling the smoke during the smear can aggravate any respiratory condition. Wait until the smoke clears before going into the board.

3. It can be a spiritual tool

Smudging has hanker been used to connect to the spiritual kingdom or enhance intuition. For healers and laypeople in traditional cultures, burning sage is used to achieve a healing state — or to solve or reflect upon spiritual dilemma. This may have some scientific basis, besides. Certain types of sage, including sage sages and egg white prairie sage, contain thujone. research shows that thujone is mildly psychoactive. It ’ s actually found in many plants used in cultural spiritual rituals to enhance intuition .

4. It may help dispel negative energy

Smudging may besides be used as a ritual tool to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity. This includes past injury, bad experiences, or negative energies from others. This may help you establish a positive environment for meditation or another ritual. Choosing to sit and let go of negative thoughts in a ritual like this sets your purpose and commitment to self-improvement. Choosing to engage in ritual can be the begin of your change in mentality .

5. It can cleanse or empower specific objects

Burning sage creates fragrant roll of tobacco central to smudging ’ south benefits. You can use this incense to smudge yourself or specific spaces. Or according to some sources, you can smudge specific objects. This can be useful with new purchases, gifts, or secondhand items. however, any detail can be smudged. If you have any business with negative history or department of energy attached to a new or unfamiliar object, smudging may help bring peace of mind and make the object more sacred to you.

6. It may help improve your mood

tradition suggests that smudging can literally lift one ’ s spirits to banish negativity. Some research supports this. A 2014 study documented white prairie sage ( besides known as estafiate ) as an authoritative traditional remedy for treating anxiety, depression, and climate disorders in certain cultures .

7. It may help soothe stress

If burn sage can lift one ’ randomness mood, it could besides be a big ally against stress. A 2016 research stick out for the University of Mississippi established that white sage ( Salvia apiana ) is rich people in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating climate levels, reducing stress, and flush alleviating annoyance.

8. It may improve the quality of your sleep

Smudging has been traditionally used to safeguard against negativity that could interfere with sleep. Some research suggests that sage contains compounds that could help ease insomnia. classical garden sage ( Salvia officinalis ) is sometimes burned like white sage. It ’ s besides been used to improve sleep and soothe anxiety.

9. It may help boost cognition

In addition to dissipating negative energy, improving mood, and strengthening intuition, smudging with sage might improve your memory and focus. A 2016 review of studies noted that evidence for Salvia ’ s cognitive-enhancing benefits are promising — possibly to treat dementia and Alzheimer ’ s disease. distillery, more research is needed.

10. It may help boost your energy levels

Ridding the torso, objects, and spaces of bad energy can help welcome in modern, fresh, and more positive energies. In a way, this could have an stimulate effect and help oneself with tire. Some sagelike species closely related to white prairie sage are besides used for smudging. many have documented antifatigue uses .

11. It can create an uplifting fragrance

For some, this may be the best of all benefits : sage is a cover girl infuriate with a divine olfactory property, saturated and simple. It besides works bang-up as a chemical-free air travel freshener or olfactory property control.

What you need

The practice of burning sage or smear is fairly elementary, with few necessity tools. basic tools include :

  • a sage bundle (or smudge stick)
  • some recommend a seashell or bowl of ceramic, clay, or glass to hold burning sage or capture ash
  • some recommend matches over a manufactured lighter
  • optional feather or fan for fanning smoke

There are many types of sage useable for smudging. traditional examples include :

  • white sage (Salvia apiana)
  • other Salvia species
  • white prairie sage or estafiate (Artemisia ludoviciana)
  • other Artemisia species

To support and respect the cultures that developed the practice, purchase sage from native gatherers, crafters, and artists .

How to prepare for a smudge

Before burning sage, some recommend setting intentions if smudging for religious, energetic, and electronegativity clear up purposes. Remove animals or people from the board. It ’ s besides significant to leave a window open ahead, during, and after smudging. This allows smoke to escape. Some believe smoke besides takes impurities and negative energy with it — so don ’ thymine hop this step.

How to smudge your living space, an object, and more

These steps apply whether you ’ rhenium smudging yourself, your home, or an object. You can smudge any of these a frequently as you ’ d like .

  1. Light the end of a sage bundle with a match. Blow out quickly if it catches on fire.
  2. The tips of the leaves should smolder slowly, releasing thick smoke. Direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other.
  3. Allow the incense to linger on the areas of your body or surroundings you’d like to focus on. Using a fan or feather can also help direct the smoke, though this is optional.
  4. Allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl or shell.

Smudge your home or living space

In this exemplify, send sage smoke over all surfaces and spaces in your home plate or living area. Be thorough. Some recommend working in a clockwise direction around your home, ending back where you started, particularly for spiritual purposes. Others recommend counterclockwise. Do what feels best for your situation and follow your intuition .

Smudge an object

mastermind smoke around and over the object of your choice. This can be done to a new item, such as jewelry, furniture, or dress, to protect or dispel it of negative energy. Items related to negative experiences or memories may besides be smudged. Some people burn sage over particular objects, to acknowledge the object with consecrated meaning .


You can besides light and burn sage to improve olfactory property, bouquet, and temper. Simply waft sage fume in and around your home. You can place the package in a fireproof bowl or burner and allow it to smoke for a while .

What to do after a smudge

Make sure your smudge adhere is wholly extinguished. You can do this by dabbing the ignite end into a humble bowl of ash or sandpaper. Check the end close to make certain there are no more embers burning. Once it ’ randomness wholly put out, store it in a dependable, dry place out of the sunlight.

Are there any side effects or risks?

When done correctly and respectfully, smudging is wholly safe and the effects last after the pot clears. Be careful with sage when it ’ s fall. If you aren ’ triiodothyronine careful, burns and even fire is possible. Have urine nearby. never leave burning sage unattended. Make certain to put your sage bundle out completely after every practice. Setting off smoke alarms is common. Consider this if smear in a public build up. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be more sensitive to the smoke and have adverse reactions. Always leave a window open while smudging. Inhaling smoke can be hazardous to your health.

The bottom line

Burning sage has many benefits as a spiritual drill. Some research supports sealed health benefits of sage, such as antimicrobial properties and enhanced alertness, but more research is needed. There is identical little inquiry on smudging as a commit beyond the cultural practice of the ritual. Keep in mind : Burning sage is a sacred religious rehearse in some native american cultures. Treat the ritual with obedience .

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