Now Might Be The Perfect Time To Burn Sage.

Burning sage or smudging may be new to your Instagram feed, but it has been practiced among indigenous cultures for thousands of years. The act of smudging or burning sage is exactly how it sounds. Sage is bundled together, sometimes with other herbs, plants or flowers, and it is then lit and allowed to burn slowly. There are so many different processes when it comes to burning sage, it differs for everyone. Some people chant or pray while others open windows, hoping to get rid of negative energy. People burn sage for a number of reasons, although spiritual reasons seem to be the most popular. Burning sage can be beneficial on so many levels but if you think burning sage is just a spiritual experience, some studies show that there may be more to it than that alone. Burning sage has had a positive affect on my life for years and there isn’t a better time to start than now. With everything that’s going on, sage might be what we all need. 

photo of sage beside palo santo
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

When I was growing up, one of my aunts was really into spirituality and art work across the diaspora. She kept incense, essential oils, as well as sage like most people stock toilet tissue (well, prior to coronavirus). She was one of the most influential presence in my life that allowed me to explore a part of our culture. Since childhood, I’ve always gravitated towards the esoteric—from the artist I’ve listened to, spiritual leaders and members of my family. I’ve always been drawn to or had a calling when it came to alternative healing. Sage is one example of how alternative healing has improved my life.

I have been burning sage over the last few years and it has worked wonders for me and my family. For one, it has helped me mentality feel more focused and relaxed. It has also helped reduce the number of doctor visits for my son’s allergies. Like I mentioned, sage has wonders beyond the spiritual realm. Yes, it’s relaxing and an honored ritual for some, but if you think it’s just smoke, there may be more to it than just that. Sage, when lit and allowed to smolder, has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. According to Healthline, “The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay.” Although it isn’t scientifically proven, it’s believed that the thick smoke releases negative ions in the air which neutralizes positive ions, such as dust mold and pet dander. My son has severe allergies that can turn into upper respiratory complications. So, after I clean and dust, I sage. I open a window before, during and after smudging as the direct smoke itself can irritate those with allergies and respiratory issues. I believe it has been beneficial during flu and allergy season.

photo of sage beside wood piece
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Additionally I use sage to cleanse energy from items and places. While it clears negative energy, it also clears all energy. I use it to clear energy from rooms and items like crystals. I can feel the difference after I sage my home. According to Healthline, “Smudging has long been used to connect to the spiritual realm or enhance intuition. For healers and laypeople in traditional cultures, burning sage is used to achieve a healing state — or to solve or reflect upon spiritual dilemmas. This may have some scientific basis, too. Certain types of sage, including salvia sages and white prairie sage, contain thujone. Research shows that thujone is mildly psychoactive. It’s actually found in many plants used in cultural spiritual rituals to enhance intuition.”

photo of sage
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

So, whether you’re using sage for spiritual reasons like cleansing your home or energy or for health reasons like allergies, it’s definitely something I’d recommend. It’s important to note, there is some evidence that smudging may improve certain conditions but there still needs to be more research done overall. But, personally,  I’ve noticed changes in my overall mood and focus. I’ve benefited from burning sage, and I believe others can too. Whether you’re interested in the spiritual aspect, medicinal purposes or maybe cleansing your home because of quarantine, I highly recommend you give it a try. What better time than now to banish negative energy and maybe even cleanse our homes?

More resources:

How to burn sage:

The benefits of burning sage:

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