Burning or infusing herbs is an age old tradition known as smudging and it can be used to cleanse you and your home of negative and stagnant energy – it’s like an energetic shower. But, why is it so important? Well think about how you feel when you’ve been in the company of uplifting positive people or at an event where everyone is enjoying themselves – have you felt that energetic shift that has you smiling for days?
The same can be said for the energy within buildings, how many of us choose a home that feels right after wandering around so many others that didn’t.
So it makes sense that we all carry energy – both our own and fragments of other people’s and we take this with us into our life, work and home every day. This energy isn’t always as positive as we’d like and over time it can accumulate and stagnate, which can lead to low moods, exhaustion, a feeling of being stuck and even cause difficulties with health.
Smudging is ideal for clearing the air on an energetic level, but it also has a few other practical uses. It releases negative ions that fight against things like airborne dust and pollution. Research has also shown that it can clear 94% of bacteria (for up to 24hrs) which is why it’s great to use when you’ve not been feeling well or to support those with allergies.
And, there’s no absolutely right or wrong way do this, you can create your own smudging ritual and it can be as simple or spiritual as you’d like. It is a very calming ritual so please try and find at least 15-20 minutes to enjoy it.
So, what do I need?
- Smudge Stick/ spray/ loose leaf: There are many different herbs to use so do your research or see our list below and pick one that feels right for you. Small businesses really make an investment in this and from experience I have found their smudge so much more effective. Click here to check out our range.
- Fireproof container; a bowl or plate that you do not mind getting a little stained and is 100% fireproof.
- Candle/matches; I prefer to carefully light my sage from a match but lighting it by any means is just as good.
- Way to extinguish: You can let it burn out or use a bowl of sand, earth or simply press the stick into the fireproof container until it has been extinguished.
Should I say anything?
Setting an intention whilst you cleanse your space enhances your healing tenfold! Connect to your smudge and word something that resonates with your needs. Something simple like ‘Please cleanse my home of any energy or negativity that does not support me and my family’ works just fine but the more connected you are the deeper the healing.
How do I get started?
Open a few windows and doors to help any smoke and negative energy leave easily.
Light your smudge bundle until a small flame has caught. While holding your sage over the bowl lightly blow on the flame until it goes out. The sage will then smoke gently like incense. Remember that it’s the smoke that does the work and so the stick does not have to remain lit.
If you have a spray, Shake gently and lightly spray the area or space which you feel needs clearing and in which you would like to have positive energy and feelings. You can also lightly spray yourself from about a foot away from the body as well. Do not spray directly in face. I recommend a light misting at arm’s length.
Walk around your home clockwise, carefully Using your hands or a feather to waft the smoke into all areas of your space. Include all small spaces that collect negative energy like corners, windows and behind doors. It’s also good to open cupboards and wardrobes because they can also hold stagnant energy.
Remember that the goal is to allow a light amount of smoke to move around your space there’s no need to create a thick cloud of smoke!
You may need to relight the sage stick to make it around the whole house – simply relight it over your flameproof bowl and lightly blow it out as before. Then carry on where you left off.
When you have finished it is important to show your gratitude for what has just happened. It is a lovely way to close your ceremony and I usually say something similar to “thank you for clearing my space, I now fill it up with positive loving energy.
How often do I smoke cleanse my home?
Smudging can be done whenever you like, there’s no need to wait for a certain day or moon cycle – I use it daily but weekly or monthly is just fine too. Just like everything in life, trust your intuition and you can’t go wrong. Enjoy!
A note on cleansing respectfully.
Last but not least, the practice of burning sage is sacred in many communities and deserves our respect. The ancient practice of burning dried sage for cleansing has roots in Native American tradition. Shamans burned sage over a fire to cleanse people of negativity and promote healing, wisdom, and longevity. It’s something we should always be doing with intention, reverence, and deep gratitude to those who did it before us.
A Smudging Prayer
May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.
May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.
And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.
Different herbs for smudging
Aspen – traditionally used for protection and the essential oils in the leaves work as a type of anxiety reducer. Aspen burns quickly.
Balsam Fir Smudge – The Balsam fir tree has many uses, and using the needles of this great plant as a smudge is just one of them. The properties as a smudge are calming and relaxing energies. The smoke is useful in detoxifying the respiratory system. This fir is the most common type of tree used as a Christmas tree, so for many the scent evokes a happy time.
Basil – Has a variety of benefits which includes bringing about happiness, steadies the mind and peace within your sacred space.
Bay Leaves – Smudging is known to work as a mood booster. The Bay leaf has multiple uses from Protection, Healing and Calming to Success, victory and being an anxiety reducer.
Calendula – Traditionally used for purification and ceremonial uses.
Catnip – A therapeutic herb to use for smudging. Traditionally speaking, Catnip was burned for love, beauty, and happiness within the home or sacred space
Cedar Smudge – Cedar is another great option for smudging. While the cleansing effect of Cedar is not quite as intense as White Sage, Cedar has other great properties. The cedar tree is a sacred tree believed to have healing properties. This makes Cedar a must use for healing and for ceremonial purposes. Cedar smoke has a friendly and healing energy that is a good alternative for those who have an aversion to sage.
Cinnamon – Increases energy and motivation and it even aids in healing, Burning cinnamon is best used if you have a cold or flu.
Clove – Used to drive away hostile, negative forces. This herb is known as the Psychic enhancer. It is also used to produce spiritual vibrations and to purify the area.
Copal Resin – Copal unites the energizing force of the sun with the grounding, transmuting properties of earth. This resin is a great and gentle healer. Copal works by bringing out Negative energies and transmuting them into positive energies. This resin also aids in all sorts of healing – physical, emotional and environmental, which makes it great to use in a healing or sickroom . Copal also is great for opening and cleaning all the Chakras. Copal is a highly protective energy which aids in manifestation.
Dandelion – is associated with the elements of the air, Dandelion is used for divination, spirit calling, traditionally.
Dragon’s Blood Resin -Dragon’s blood is a great resin with many uses. Dragon’s blood will remove negativity from a space, and our smudge is a base of white sage to increase its potency. Dragon’s blood also has a great Psychic, Magic, and Spiritual energizing property. Dragon’s blood is said to increase the potency of magical workings. A side benefit to this resin is the claim that is assists in enhancing health, virility and cures impotence.
Eucalyptus – Smudging with eucalyptus is for protection, health boosting as well as being energizing for cleansings.
Frankinsence – Used for cleansing and reducing stress, easing tension and reducing headache.
Garden Sage: The most-used type of sage in the UK. Clears negative energy and enhances intuition. Soothes stress and improves mood. Has antimicrobial properties that means it keeps infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. Burning sage is thought to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions such as pet dander, pollution, dust and mould.
Ginger – A powerful protective ingredient that can be found almost in every kitchen. The herb is used for protection.
Juniper Smudge- Juniper is an excellent choice for use instead of a more standard smudge. Not only does Juniper clear negative energy like other smudges, Juniper can also create a safe, protective, positive, healing space when the negative energy is removed. Juniper is energetically and physically detoxifying as well as centering.
Lavender Smudge – lavender is used as a smudge to bring out the powers of calming and cleansing. Lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system. Lavender brings a clean positive energy, opens the heart chakra and calms situations. Magically it can be used for protection and for love as well. Some traditions maintain the scent of Lavender wards off evil.
Lemongrass – Purifying and cleansing, Lemongrass’s scent encourages Clarity and Focus
Mugwort ( Black Sage) – Black Sage is also known as Mugwort. This herb is often used to protect one against evil spirits. Mugwort is well known as an aid to astral travel and dream Magic. Mugwort also is used to dispel fatigue and aid in divination. This Smudge is often used before or during a divination working for this reason.
Mullein – cleansing sickrooms + heals/improves respiratory function.
Palo Santo “Holy wood” – best when used for deep healing and clearing energy. Its benefits include relieving the symptoms of headaches, inflammation, emotional trauma, stress, colds and much more. Palo Santo has a citrus- like scent.
Peppermint – healing + protection.
Pine Smudge – Pine smudge is a great stand alone smudge for several types of rituals in addition to using to purify a space. Pine is known to reverse hex or curses upon the recipient. During times of loss the burning of Pine is known to lift the spirits of those in mourning. Pine also helps with concentration.
Rosemary Smudge – Is soothing and encourages a sense of peace within your environment. Rosemary also removes negative energy from places and spaces.
Rose Petals – meditation + calming + attracts love.
Sweetgrass Smudge – Sweetgrass is a traditional Native American herb that is also sometimes burned for smudging. Sweet grass holds an energy of blessing with some cleansing properties. Sweetgrass should ideally be used after smudging with sage, to bring in positive energy after negativity has been released. Sweet grass comes in a long braided strand rather than as a smudge stick.
Thyme – is an excellent herb for removing obstacles, mind blocks, negative feelings and it works as a memory booster.
White Sage – Is considered one of the best herbs for protection and purification. It is known for its antibacterial properties as well as the clearing of negative energies from spaces, people or objects. White sage has great properties for removing negativity, cleansing, and protection. A Great property of Sage smoke it is beneficial to breathe as it has many antimicrobial properties.
Yarrow – eliminates toxins from the body.
Yerba Santa – Yerba Santa smudge sticks are made from an herb that translates into ‘Holy Herb’. This is a great smudge to use when you are looking to start a meditation as it aids in finding your innermost self. Yerba is also great for burning before starting a spiritual journey. This smudge is also great for spiritual cleansing rites. The burning of Yerba can give one encouragement and courage to face what needs to be done.
Hope this aids you in your search for the perfect smudge!