Eucalyptus as a smudge is used for protection, cleansing, promoting relaxation and boosting energy.
The power of herbal smoke cleanses spaces, facilitates ritual, and even heals physical ailments. It can also be a transcendental medium to alter mood and allow us to engage in shadow and dream work.
It’s no wonder then that the burning of herbs has become so popular. However when anything becomes mainstream, we must always remember to look at where these traditions actually come from so that we may use them in a respectful and sustainable way.
Burning sage is an ancient spiritual ritual. Smoke Cleansing has been well established as a Native American cultural or tribal practice, although it isn’t 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 world share similar rituals.
Traditionally used in rituals, ceremonies and for spiritual purification, house blessings and spiritual cleansing. The smoke is believed by many to cleanse either a space or the body and aura, drive away negative energy and help reconnect with mother earth.
Make sure the room where you are smoke cleansing is well ventilated.
Open all the doors and windows. This is essential to not only drive out the negative energies (provide them with a route out) but also as a health precaution.
Do not use if you suffer from Asthma or have respiratory issues.
Do not use near infants or young children or anyone who is or may be pregnant.
Do not leave burning herbs unattended!
If you are just starting out with smoke cleansing don't be too worried about which instructions are 'correct' or 'work best'. Do what works best for you and 'feels right’ for you. Your 'intention' is a key component of the ritual so be clear on what you want to achieve and keep that in mind as you perform the ritual. At the end of the ceremony make sure the stick is extinguished. You can crush the end in sand or dirt, place the cover of the pot over it or simply place the stick in the open water container. Just be sure the stick is extinguished before it is left.
1. It may be purifying The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial 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 also antimicrobial. And both have been shown to repel insects. Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects have been fundamental to the practice 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 unproven, burning sage is thought to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions. Common positive ions are allergens like: pet dander pollution dust mold If this is the case, burning sage may be a blessing for those with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. But inhaling the smoke during the smoke cleansing can aggravate any respiratory condition. Wait until the smoke clears before going into the room.
3. It can be a spiritual tool Smoke cleansing has long been used to connect to the spiritual realm 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 dilemmas. This may have some scientific basis, too. Certain types of sage, including salvia sages and 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 Smoke cleansing may also be used as a ritual tool to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity. This includes past traumas, 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 intention and dedication to self-improvement. Choosing to engage in ritual can be the beginning of your change in mindset.
5. It can cleanse or empower specific objects Burning sage creates fragrant smoke central to smudging’s benefits. You can use this incense to smoke cleanse 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 item can be smudged. If you have any concern with negative history or 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 (also known as estafiate) as an important traditional remedy for treating anxiety, depression, and mood disorders in certain cultures.
7. It may help soothe stress If burning sage can lift one’s mood, it could also be a great ally against stress. A 2016 research project for the University of Mississippi established that white sage (Salvia apiana) is rich in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood levels, reducing stress, and even alleviating pain.
8. It may improve the quality of your sleep Smoke cleansing 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. Classic garden sage (Salvia officinalis) is sometimes burned like white sage. It’s also 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 Trusted Source noted that evidence for Salvia’s cognitive-enhancing benefits are promising — perhaps to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Still, more research is needed.
10. It may help boost your energy levels Ridding the body, objects, and spaces of bad energy can help welcome in newer, fresher, and more positive energies. In a way, this could have an energizing effect and help with fatigue. Some sagelike species closely related to white prairie sage are also used for smudging. Many have documented anti fatigue uses.
11. It can create an uplifting fragrance For some, this may be the best of all benefits: Sage is a lovely incense with a divine aroma, pure and simple. It also works great as a chemical-free air freshener or odor controller.