What is sage and smudging?
Sage or garden sage is an aromatic herb widely cultivated for adding flavour to cuisines all over the world. The scientific name of this evergreen plant is Salvia officinalis, and it’s a member of the mint family. It has natural healing properties and has served as remedial medication for stomach problems, headaches, and also for mood disorders.
Today sage is more popular for its cleansing properties. It’s widely used for smudging, the ritual of burning sage to remove negative energy from homes and offices. Burning sage is believed to release its healing benefits, unlocking positive vibes within living space, purifying air, soothing mind and improving cognitive functioning. Smudging reminds us of letting go of things (stagnant energy) that no longer serve us and connects us deeper with ourselves. It helps us to work on our intuition for smudging, releasing its healing vibes and cleansing properties.
Benefits of smudging
Burning sage at home or in office (if possible) presents a range of benefits from filling the space with healing energy to some health benefits.
Here are some potential benefits of burning sage.
Natural air purifier – Most sage, used for smudging, has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It helps to keep bacteria, viruses, fungi and other infectious microbials away from your living space.
Remove negative energy – Burning sage is a ritual practised by many cultures (Egyptian, Ancient Romans and Native Americans) to clear negative energy. Indulge in the ritual of smudging to enhance positive energy, boost mood and calm the mind.
Insect repellent – Sage has natural essential oils that repels insects and other bugs. Burning sage will refresh your home, but its scent is unpleasant and repelling to most species of insects.
De-stress – Smudging lifts the mood and helps in reducing stress and anxiety naturally. Studies reveal that white prairie sage (estafiate) has been used for treating mood disorders, anxiety and mild depression in many traditional cultures. It also improves the quality of sleep.
Natural fragrance for rooms – Sage burning offers chemical-free room freshener option. It has a woody aroma, removing any lingering scent with clean and pure fragrance.
Cognitive benefit – Burning sage may improve cognitive functions and focus. Studies have revealed that Ancient Romans used sage to enhance their cognitive abilities.
Things needed for smudging
The ritual of smudging requires a few items (essentially) listed below.
- A sage bundle
- Fire-proof bowl
- A lighter or matchstick
Additionally, it’s preferable to have an open mind and open heart.
How to cleanse with sage?
Burning sage is an ancient ritual that has been practised with reverence by many cultures. It’s best to be present in the moment to get optimum benefit from the tradition.
Follow the steps below to cleanse your home using sage.
Create exit route – Gather the things needed (mentioned above) for smudging. Plan an exit route for the negative energy through a window or a door, before lighting the sage sticks.
Say an intension – Have an intension that can be recited mentally as you go about smudging your home. Mantras like – “Negative energy be removed from my home” or “Bless my home with positive vibes.” – call upon the reason for the ritual, and strengthen the healing energy. Intention of the ritual is a vital part of saging and needs to be practised in a positive way. It’s best to stick to personal intention with an approach of respect and gratitude.
Light the sage – Light the end of the sage bundle using a matchstick or lighter. Put off the flame when the bundle is on fire. The sage bundle’s end glows red and begins to smoke.
Smudge – Start moving gently around the rooms and spaces you feel the need to cleanse. Wave it around corners, entrance door, hallways and foyers to remove negative energy. Recite the intension as you go about smudging your living space. Remember to guide the smoke out of the exit route, cleansing your home of negativity.
Breathe deeply – Take few deep breaths when you are ready to end the smudging. The step is important to fill your home with healing vibes, initiated for the wellbeing of your home.
Extinguish the sage – Be mindful to extinguish the lit sage by pressing the tip into the bowl until there is no more smoke. Avoid dipping it in water to snuff out the lit end as it will not light up easily the next time. It can be used again when you feel the need to remove negativity from your home. Smudging has no right or wrong way of doing it. But ensure that you follow safety measures like putting out any embers that fall out, and do not breathe in the smoke directly too long. The ritual of burning sage is a simple cleansing ritual that can be done whenever you are ready to bring in some positive energy into your home.