Burning sage is a traditional practice in Native American culture. With metaphysical practices and new age energy theories in place, it’s hard to know if burning sage, or smudging, is beneficial or not. Some people consider smudging to be a trend, an alternative practice that has no history, science, or meaning behind it. To each his own, but there are many benefits of misting or burning sage in your home.
Before your hippie aunt introduced you to burning sage, a practice she picked up in the 1960s, the Native Americans burned sage in Southwestern United States. Native American tribes typically burned white sage in purification rituals for centuries. In more recent years, sage has become the go-to plant for cleansing a space of negative energy. The theory is that it helps to expel bad vibes and create a more harmonious, calm space.
Does Smudging Really Work?
People belong to two camps when it comes to smudging: those who believe and those who don’t. Your belief is yours and we can’t take that away from you, but maybe we can shed some light on the benefits of smudging. According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacol, burning sage helped reduce bacteria in the air. In addition to refreshing your energy and spirit, sage also helps to purify and cleanse the air. Additionally, sage is an effective antibacterial agent, so it works to reduce the effects of pollen, mold, or dust in the home. This is great for anyone who suffers from allergies.
What Is Sage Spray?
This is obviously not the same thing as burning a bundle of dried sage. The recipe in this article is a more modern way of smudging, harnessing the cleansing powers of sage without leaving a trail of smoke throughout your home. Sage spray is excellent for people with respiratory problems, or those who are sensitive to smoke. Using sage leaves or sage essential oil, you spritz the sage spray around the home, or in a specific room, to cleanse the space. After you spray your home, you may find that you help to improve mental clarity and improve intention.
When Should You Sage?
Is there a “best time” to sage your home? Some argue that there’s never a bad time to do it. The most common time for smudging is when you move into a new space, be it a home or office. The idea behind this is to clear the previous inhabitant’s energy from the space, allowing you to set your own intention for your new space. Sometimes people want to reset the energy in their homes, or they simply want to promote calm and relaxation. For these reasons, smudging can be done at any time. Lastly, it’s very beneficial to smudge a space after the loss of a loved one.
DIY Sage Spray
- 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 glass spray bottle (with a capacity of 2 cups)
- Break up the sage leaves to release their essential oils, and then add them to the glass spray bottle.
- Pour the hot water (not boiling) into the glass bottle with the sage leaves.
- Add the vinegar and salt to the bottle and store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 12 hours.
- After this waiting/steeping period, the spray is ready to use. Spritz around your home as you please.
- The sage leaves will turn brown after a day or so, but don’t worry because this is completely natural. It means the plant is breaking down in the vinegar.