Smudging, or burning herbs and
incense, is an honored age old
tradition. White sage can be used
to cleanse and purify, dispel any
negative energies, create sacred
space, relax and rejuvenate, call in
guides, and raise the vibration.
T H E S M U D G E
Smudging, or the burning of herbs and incense, is an age-old tradition. White sage can be used to: relax and rejuvenate; cleanse and purify your home, physical body, and energy field (aura); create sacred space; call in your spirit guides; dispel any negative energies.
While its ceremonial use dates back to the ancient Babylonians, white sage still has an important role in Native American traditions, and has made its way into modern new age, metaphysical, spiritual and holistic practices.
Before smudging, it’s customary to:
> Ask for guidance, protection and support.
> State your intentions.
> Say a blessing, prayer, and/or make gratitude statement.
The sage, feather, smoke, shell, and sand embody the elements earth, air, fire, water, and spirit, and the “medicine” (energy) of Mother Earth, which assists in grounding, healing and manifesting. The spirit of the plant purifies whatever is being smudged. For cleansing, ask that all negative energies be cleared, and anything not serving your highest good be released. State that any unwelcome entities must leave or be removed. Envision your space filled with light and positive energy!
S A G E G U I D A N C E
White sage is often burned in a shell. If you put a little sand in first it will both protect the shell and keep the bottom from getting hot. Feather fans, or smudge wands, are often used to gently stoke and direct the smoke. When it's time, allow the sage to burn out on it’s own, or extinguish it by burying the tips in the sand. (Only use water if necessary for safety reasons.)
You can also make a small pile with any broken leaves and pieces that didn’t burn. If you do, light the pile from underneath using matches (not a lighter). It’s best to store sage in a glass container with a lid.
A little sage goes a long way…
Break off a leaf or two, close to the stem. Light the tips and let them burn a few seconds. If they don’t extinguish on their own, blow them out. You want smoke not flame. Next, stick or place the leaves in or on the sand. Make sure the leaves are completely inside the shell. When smudging room-to-room, always move slowly so nothing blows out of the shell. If you’re not seeing smoke, GENTLY blow on the sage, or fan it with a feather. (Don’t get too close to the shell to avoid getting ash or sand in your eyes.)
Clusters for ceremonial smudging…
Whole clusters should typically be burned outdoors during ceremony, or when a group of people are taking turns being smudged. Always use caution, as hot embers could be floating around and can be flammable.
To “bathe” yourself with sage, use your hands to guide the smoke towards you, as if splashing water on your face, then up and over to the back of your head. This practice is very calming and relaxing.
M E D I C I N A L H E R B
White sage has been used throughout the ages by ancient healers and medicine people who understood how to use plants on many levels, and could even communicate with them through the spirit world and living language of nature.
A versatile medicinal herb, white sage has been known to cure everything from colds to snakebites. The plant's natural antibacterial and decongestant agents help boost the immune system, reduce mucus secretion in the respiratory system, and rid the body of infection. It’s no surprise that the botanical word for sage, Salvia, comes from the Latin word meaning “to feel well and healthy”, and “salvation.”
Currently, the herb is being studied for its ability to aid the body in managing insulin levels, which could be a huge victory in the battle against diabetes. In addition, having confirmed centuries-old theories that salvia can improve memory, medical scientists are now investigating if it could be used to treat Alzheimer's disease. It has even been approved by the USDA as a natural cure for eczema and other similar skin conditions.
Although it has a pungent acquired taste, in tea form, white sage is a soothing remedy for indigestion, constipation, sore throats, headaches, ulcers, arthritis, sweat reduction, and bringing down fever. Historically, new mothers drank sage tea to encourage healing and strength after childbirth, and to decrease lactation production. It has also been effective in lessening the painful effects of heavy menstruation. Served cold, salvia tea cools the body and can help with menopausal hot flashes.
P R A C T I C A L U S E S
There are many practical uses for white sage.
In the kitchen...
White Sage is also a terrific culinary herb with a savory taste. It’s used to season meats, stews, breads and more, and will add immune boosting vitamins and minerals to your dish.
Around the home...
When the dried leaves are crushed and sprinkled around plants and windows, white sage is a natural ladybug repellent. The same goes for keeping cats out of your garden or large indoor plants.
For the body and soul...
Sage oil can be added to shampoos and conditioners to help with dandruff and oily hair, and moisturizers to slow down the signs of aging. It’s used in body products (such as soap) to add fragrance, and in aromatherapy to stimulate the mind and address mental fatigue and depression.
Throughout the ages, white sage
was used by medicine people
and healers who understood how
to use plants on many different
levels, and could communicate
with them through spirit. The sage
entity is known to be very wise.