Complete Guide to Smudging
Smudging is a popular native American ritual used to cleanse negative energy and promote a positive environment. It is an ancient ritual still performed today that is thought to improve one’s health and wellbeing. There have also been some medical studies showing that this ritual actually cleanses bacteria and viruses out of the air.
The most popular herb used in smudging practices is typically sage. The herb sage, also known as salvia plant, is an herb highly regarded in Native American culture and is also used for natural remedies, food flavorings and herbal teas.
Below is a list of the most popular types of mediums for smudging.
- Blue Sage- Commonly referred to as “Grandmother Sage.” It is easily identifiable by its beautiful, bright blue flowers, and is similar to Lavender. This plant is thought to have a powerful impact on negative energy and was used in the most intense of Native American spiritual ceremonies, including exorcisms. Blue Sage is believed to be strong enough to drive out even the darkest of energies.
- Cedar- Typically used along with white sage, Cedar is a potent scented compound used by Native American cultures to cultivate new beginnings, protection from evil and spiritual grounding.
- Palo Santo- This plant is a popular choice during smudging ceremonies because of its rich scent of citrus, pine, mint and lemon. It is a tree that is considered part of the citrus family. It is used as a healing remedy due to its high concentration of D-Limonen, which has been shown to treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) symptoms. In smudging ceremonies, it is believed to create a feeling of calm and promote spiritual balance.
- Yerba Santa- Spanish for “holy weed” or “holy herb.” This herb’s leaves are used for many herbal remedies to treat respiratory sicknesses such as colds, dry cough and allergies. It is also used as a topical salve to treat poison ivy and skin rashes. When used in smudging rituals, it is thought to summon protection, consecration and love.
- Sweet Grass- In Native American cultures, many tribes regard sweet grass as a sacred plant and burn it in smudging ceremonies. The sweet scent of this grass is believed to attract good spirits and is used during prayer to help connect with the Great Spirit and also ancestors. The roots of sweetgrass contain coumarin which is considered a carcinogenic and should not be taken internally. It should only be used for aromatic purposes.
- Mugwort- This plant is also referred to as Black Sage, though it is actually not a type of sage but is an herb believed to strengthen intuitive abilities, bring peace and clear negative energy.
Once you’ve chosen your smudging medium, you can properly perform a smudging ceremony with the instructions below.
How to Perform a Smudging Ceremony
- Get a bundle of your medium of choice. Many items from the list above can be found at health food stores, local greenhouses or can even be ordered online.
- Open the windows in your home to allow for ventilation and to let negative energy leave.
- Safely light the sage stick or other smudging medium with a match.
- Be mindful of smoke detectors.
- Be careful to not inhale the smoke created from the smudging medium directly.
- Do not get smoke in eyes or mouth.
- Be mindful that your smudging medium is on fire and do not get it near fabrics or anything flammable.
- Use caution if you have any respiratory issues such as asthma or COPD.
- Verbally cast away any negative forces while waving the smudge stick around your home.
- You can also verbally cast away anything specific you want removed from your house such as bad memories, negative energies, dark forces or spiritual strongholds.
- Be sure to mentally and spiritually cleanse yourself with prayer or meditation to prevent negative energy from entering your spirit after you perform your smudging ritual.
Smudging can be a great way to renew the energy in your home!