As the much of the world continues to fill with pollution and plastic, and as we essentially choke ourselves with our own clever creations, there is a solution… We’re also re-discovering ancient techniques that can naturally health the environment, and ourselves.
Sage smudging is a Native American practice of burning certain plants and herbs, in order to help clear negative energy from a space, and bring about an altered state of mind to those who choose to surround themselves with it.
Traditionally, sage is burned for ritualistic ceremonies, and to clear the energy of a room or a person. Sage smudging is often used to clear the energy of rooms and houses, at the beginning of a new season or even a new week, and can also be used to ‘cleanse’ certain objects and even ourselves.
Whilst this can all sound a little ‘woo-woo’ and ‘new–age’, and is often referred to as ‘spiritual house cleaning’, there is real scientific evidence to back it up, and it could just be the key to helping clean and clear our own environment.
From the Latin word salvia, which literally means ‘healthy’ or ‘to heal’, the medicinal smoke from sage and other herbs can actually help clear 94% of bacteria in the air after an hour of burning. A study from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that in 50 countries across 5 continents, smoke from cedar, sage, sweetgrass and palo santo has also been primarily used to treat issues with the pulmonary, neurological, and dermatological systems. The ‘ambient smoke’ – from burning incense or sage – is also a well known air purifier in these parts of the world.
When the atmosphere around us is ‘negative’, positive ions are released into the pace around us, causing tension, low mood levels, anxiety, and a generally unhappy atmosphere. When sage is burned, negative ions are released, which have been closely linked to creating a positive mood. (No matter how confusing that may seem….)
Whether you’ve been sage smudging for years, you recently saw it in Vogue (yes, really), or if you can’t stand anything to do with herbs and natural health, this could genuinely be worth a try, and as some parts of London have already surpassed their annual pollution limit for 2017 in just five days, we could really use all the help we can get!
How To Sage Smudge
If you’re able to obtain fresh sage and bundle it yourself, then do so, but otherwise, purchase fresh sage from a natural health store or get your own bundle of white sage from Chant Malas. You can even get 15% off all orders from the lovely Helen at Chant Malas with the unique code emmayoga15
Set alight to the tip of the sage bundle, if it starts to flame, gently blow it out until the sage starts to produce quite large amounts of smoke
Begin by cleansing yourself: pass the sage along the body from the feet up to the head, and circle around the top of the head. The same can be done if you’re cleansing an object.
If you’re cleansing a room, walk around the room clockwise with the sage, paying special attention to openings in the room such as windows and doors. Whilst you’re walking around, visualise positivity and clear energy coming into the room, or chant a mantra to clear the energy if you’re familiar with one.
When you’re done, safely stub out the sage bundle until you’re ready to use again, and keep in a safe place.