Of all the new and upcoming trends in the health and wellness space, Sage Smudging is one you’ve perhaps not heard of. As a unique way to use sage, the practice of smudging has been around for hundreds of years. Ceren Tosun, founder of Spicy Health, dentist, yoga teacher and aromatherapist tells us all about the ritual.
You may be used to seeing sage in herbal teas or in pasta sauces but actually there is another way to use sage and it’s not related to food & beverage.
While studying in dental school, the more I advanced in the human body, the more I realised that it is a more perfect system that we knew. Thus I studied Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy while exploring different traditions of yoga & meditation practices, healing therapies and wellness modalities in NYC. In this piece, I introduce you to the practice of smudging.
What is smudging?
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 purifying the air. Sage has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, these molecules 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, but for pets it’s not really recommended. You can have a little sage bath on your body when you feel moody or lack energy. Sage will uplift your mood and bring you to the moment with it’s lovely aroma.
The power of smell
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 meditations and mindfulness practices. I especially use sage before my daily morning meditations as a cue to calm my mind and it really helps. You can also 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.
How to get started
Here are some guidelines for you to follow:
- First we want to make sure that negative energy or bacteria has a way out so open your windows. Then, set your intention. 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, and prepare for a fresh start and positive vibes. If you are smudging an object move it through the smoke 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 your favourite or if you want to spice it a little bit, there are other herbs such as lavender, pine, rosemary, thyme and rose which are great for smudging and with different healing properties. You can combine them and even make your own smudge according to your intention.
You can smudge your space especially 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 like visited your place, it’s great to clear their energy off the room by burning some sage when they leave.
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Ceren is a dentist, yoga teacher, aromatherapist and the founder of Spicy Health. She offers health coaching for individuals & organisations and curates custom made wellbeing focused events for groups where she combines different aspects of wellness in a day: https://www.instagram.com/spicyhealth.uk/