Sage Advice: Benefits of Smudging

It is so good to be back, fam! I’m sorry I’ve been away but I have so much to share with y’all! Let’s start off on the right foot, in the right frame of mind with a little clarity. When I need to refocus myself and find my center, which is often as an INFJ, I like to first make sure I’m not holding onto any negativity in my life. For anyone who’s ever fought to move forward in this world, it’s incredibly difficult to do so while still holding onto the past and the things that weigh us down. This post is about learning to let go of those things and focus on forward momentum with a little bit of help from an unexpected place. Sometimes drawing a line between what’s good in our lives and what’s bad isn’t so easy. Sometimes things aren’t so black and white, but rather a bit gray or smudged around the edges. And that’s okay. 

A little smudging now and then can be healthy…

For those of you new to sage burning or smudging, here’s a bit of background: Sage is a plant that is native to North America and has been used by indigenous people since prehistoric times in various aspects of everyday life from cooking, cleansing, medicinal healing, and ritual. Though it was used more heavily in sweat lodges, this plant has been hailed throughout the ages for its health benefits. Sage is a great natural remedy to aid with digestive problems, heartburn, overproduction of perspiration/saliva, depression, memory loss… the list goes on and on.

In “Medicinal Smokes,” a 2006 review published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, burning sage was administered as medicinal smoke to treat pulmonary, neurological, and dermatological organ systems in “50 countries across 5 continents” and was found to have an air purifying effect (for more check out How cool is that? Smudging not only helps improve your mindset but can literally help you fight germs. While there are different types of sage used for different things, in this post I’m talking specifically about white sage or Salvia Apiana which is most commonly used for smudging. Smudging is the act of cleansing or purifying the body, mind, and/or surroundings by wafting or inhaling the smoke from a lit bundle of sage (and other materials, sometimes other herbs or flowers such as cedar, sweet grass, and/or lavender). 


Bundles can vary in size and material so I try to make sure I know what I’m looking for before I purchase. If you’re not sure where to start, maybe choose a small smudgestick or try a variety to really get a feel for the different types that are available. Make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable company or from a site that stands by their customer so that you’re getting a quality product, especially with something like this because you’re potentially breathing it in and/or exposing your loved ones to it. I buy local from vendors at the Renaissance Faire that we frequent in the spring/summer or from farmer’s markets, but I have seen these available on Amazon and at local wholistic shops as well.

As you can see, my first bundle is a bit smaller than my newer smudgestick. When it started out it was nearly as long as the other one so you can really get a sense of just how much I’ve used it. I enjoy the smell of sage, cedar, lavender etc. so the smell of the smoke is very soothing to me. I don’t do it super often, so a good-sized bundle like this will last a really long time in my house. I don’t really wait for any specific time to smudge, either. Just whenever the mood strikes. I will say though that I try to make a habit of smudging before company comes over. I feel bettter doing this like my home is ready to receive good people and good times. Just me?

So when I smudge, I typically just light the end a bit and waft the smoke over myself from head to toe focusing on healing and cleansing, bringing in the good and letting go of the bad. Then I go around my house and smudge each room repeating this action with the same mantra. Inhale the good, exhale the bad. It may seem or feel a little silly but honestly, it’s no magic trick. You get out of it what you’re willing to put in, like anything in this world. It’s a mindset. 

A bit of truth: you’ll miss out on so many of the good this world has to offer if you’re too busy worrying about how you look or what others will think of you. Consider this a personal challenge, tribe. Go out today and do something new, maybe something a little scary or outside of your comfort zone. Do something good for yourself or someone else with an open mind and an open heart and let go of the concern and the inhibitions you have about your appearance or perception. I’d love to read about your adventures so comment below or send me a message chronicling your challenge. I can’t wait to read them! If you’re new here be sure to click “Follow” to subscribe and be part of the Miles Tribe family. Wishing you all good things, always. Xo


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