Distinct from cleansing, smudging has been well established as a Native American cultural or tribal practice, although it isn’t practiced by all groups.
We have the traditions of many Native American peoples to thank for its use. This includes the Lakota, Chumash, Cahuilla, among others.
Many other cultures around the world share similar rituals.
The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay.
White prairie sage (which is technically a species of mugwort, Artemisia ludoviciana) is both antimicrobial and antibacterialTrusted Source. White sage (an actual sage, Salvia apiana) is also antimicrobial. And both have been shown to repel insects.Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects have been fundamental to the practice.
GENERAL HEALTH BENEFITS!
It turns out that sage may help clear the air of lots more than bugs and bacteria.
Though scientifically unproven, burning sage is thought to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions.
Common positive ions are allergens like:
If this is the case, burning sage may be a blessing for those with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. But inhaling the smoke during the cleansing can aggravate any respiratory condition. Wait until the smoke clears before going into the room.
Burning sage 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.
Burning sage may also be used as a ritual tool to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity. This includes past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others.
This may help you establish a positive environment for meditation or another ritual. Choosing to sit and let go of negative thoughts in a ritual like this sets your intention and dedication to self-improvement. Choosing to engage in ritual can be the beginning of your change in mindset.
- Sage has been used for centuries by indigenous cultures for its purifying and cleansing properties.
- Sage can be used to clear negative energy from a space or person, helping to create a peaceful and balanced environment.
- Sage can be used in rituals and spiritual practices to bring clarity and focus to the mind and spirit.
- Sage can help to protect a space and create a sense of safety and security.
- Sage has a pleasant aroma and can be used to create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.