Owner of Spicy Health and With Ceremonie, our friend Ceren teaches us about what Sage is used for, and how to burn it.
You may be used to seeing sage in herbal teas or in pasta sauces but actually there is another magical way to use it and it’s not related to food & beverage.
Sage has been used in Native American cultures for hundreds of years as a smudge. Smudging is defined as “the process of burning dried plants or other natural elements and then using the smoke to cleanse the body, objects, or even places,” by Rosalyn LaPier, Ph.D., an award-winning Indigenous writer and ethnobotanist.
Before rituals and spiritual practices tribal people burned sage to neutralise the energy of the space. What sage actually does is, it purifies the air. Sage has antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, thus it can kill the bacteria, microbes, fungi and even the little insects, chemicals from wall paint or toxins from the cleaning products that are polluting the air.
Smudging is also practiced with objects and on yourself. You can have a little sage bath on your body when you feel moody or lack of energy. Sage will uplift your mood and bring you to the moment with its lovely aroma.
Smell is the only sense that does not directly go to thalamus, where the information is processed in the conscious mind, instead it first visits the areas in our brain about memory and emotion. That’s how we can get easily influenced by a smell and remind of a moment or a space in an instant and that’s why it’s usually burnt before meditation and mindfulness practices. It brings you to the moment and signals your body that it’s time to calm down.
I usually burn sage before my daily morning meditation as a cue to calm my mind and it really helps. You also can give your objects or new furniture a fresh start by smudging them and especially when you buy some crystal stone such as amethyst or rose quartz smudging the easiest way to neutralise their energy too.
I highly recommend to smudge your space when you’re starting a new project, moving to a new house or after your closet cleaning. Even after someone that you do not really enjoy visited your place, it’s great to clear their energy off the room by burning some sage when they leave.
Here's the guidelines on how to do it;
First we want to make sure that negative energy or bacteria has a way out so start with opening your window.
Then, set your intention. It could be something you want to invite to your life or to your space.
Hold the end of the smudge stick in the flame of a burning candle, or use a matchstick.
Allow the flame to sit for a few seconds, then blow it out gently. Let the fume flow and spread around the space, let it flow through every little corner of your room.
If you are smudging an object move it through the smoke to make sure the fume touches every part.
Once done with your ritual or space cleansing be sure to stub out the burning end of the sage and do not leave unattended.
Finally, if the smell of sage is not your favourite or if you want to spice it a little bit, there are other herbs such as lavander, pine, rosemary, thyme and rose which are great for smudging. They all have different qualities and will add different healing properties to the smudge stick. By combining different herbs you can make your own bespoke smudge according to your intention.
Words by @spicyhealth.uk