Preparing White Sage For Smudging

Sage Smudge Stick

Sage Smudge Stick

There are many uses for the leaves of the white sage plant, some of which are  medicinal. The leaf florets are the ones often dried and used for making smudge sticks for burning. Lay the leaves out and once dried, wrap them in a bundle using a natural fiber such as cotton and tie it in a knot… then take the twine and wrap it around the bundle from top to bottom. Make sure it isn’t so tight that the sage won’t burn or so loose that it will come apart.

In Native American cultures, preparing the sage for smudging is a ritual itself. First permission is asked to cut the stem… and a bit of another herb or a piece of hair is placed at the base of the plant as an offering in return. The prepared smudgesticks are placed in a bowl and lit. As the smoke swirls around an area, chanting is done to focus positive energy and cleansing for all around it.

The leaves are also used in cooking (the drier the sage leaves, the stronger the flavor) and are made into teas and medicines for colds and upset stomachs especially.

Smudging with White Sage

Smudging with White Sage

White sage used to grow wild all throughout the desert regions of the United States. Commercial property along with overuse and mismanagement of the plants that once grew in abundance have made the white sage plant endangered. If more people grow their own sage plants and nurture them well… we could have a shot at bringing back a plant that has many positive benefits.

Smudging with sage, particularly white sage or salvia apiana, has been a practice of the many nations indigenous to the United States for centuries.

It is believed that the smoke from the sage as it burns is effective in cleansing any negative energy around. Many philosophies and religions still believe in its effects today. It is often used to cleanse a home upon moving in to clear out any negative energy… and as protection against anything evil.

It is not as commonly found anymore in the United States, due to city development moving in and destroying its habitat. It does grow in plant communities in Southern California, and the seeds can be purchases online or in specialty herb shops.

Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2010

Also see – How to Grow Your Own White Sage:

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