Aromatic Herb Smudging

Using herbal smoke.

Herbs have a long history.  Many cultures have used dried herbs as incense for spiritual work, affect emotional states, health and sanitary purposes.  We see use of smudge sticks, usually white sage leaves, bound and burned to clear energy from a place and from the human energy field.

Using herbal smoke can also help to clear pathogens in the air.  This is not to say it guarantees a complete Lysol effect on the air you breathe. I cannot claim it destroys bacteria and sanitizes. Sage is one herb that does have antiseptic properties. The chemical change from burning releases the active constituents to combat airborne bacteria.

I love white sage leaves because they are easier to control the burn than a bundle, for me at least. One leaf or a partial leaf works for me.

NOTE: White sage (Salvia apiana) is different from the species of sage (salvia officinalis) that is a culinary spice and should not be used in cooking or medicine.

How to:

Light the leaf. Blow out the flame.  The leaf should glow and smoke rises.  You can fan the smoke around, take it around the house to get each room.  Let the leaf burn (it may self-extinguish if you set it down).  Once you are satisfied with your smudge, you can extinguish the leaf.

White sage is the most popular. I also like my palo santo stick and, yes, an organic cinnamon stick.  Palo santo wood is aromatic on its own or when burning. The essence given off is reminiscent of an ancient sacred temple. Burning the cinnamon makes the house smell like very brown French toast.  It also has antibacterial and may help to repel mosquitoes.  Mugwort, sweetgrass, and cedar are also popular herbs for burning.

Abalone shells are beautiful and quite popular to burn herbs and smudge sticks on. I don’t have one.  I go pretty inventive and burn on foil that is over a candle holder.  [pictures below] Loose herbs can be placed on a hot charcoal disk in a censor— careful, it does get hot.   For loose herbs, I sometimes place chamomile, rose petals, lavender buds, and rosemary on the foil above a tea light.  This turned out to be an effective way to burn resins.

A 3×4” bag of white sage leaves is available for $2 each.   Palo santo sticks, about 3 inches long, are $3 each. Contact me  for more information.

Burning palo santo stick, cinnamon stick, and white sage leaves.
As a warning:

Asthmatics are advised to avoid use of herbal smoke.

Do not burn an herb that you have an allergy to.

Do not burn herbs in the presence of oxygen therapy. Always burn herbs on a heat-proof dish/ material and on a stable safe surface that is attended.

Burning resin incense at Christmas.

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How To Smudge Your House in 5 Easy Steps – The Spruce

8 Reasons You Should Try Smudging & How To Do It At Home

How Burning Herbs Cleanse Your Space—No, Really. They Can Kill Bacteria

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