Ancient healers used the power of plants to heal both physical and spiritual ailments thousands of years ago.
Today, the ancient practice of smudging is still widely used for such things as feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even depressed.
Benefits of Smudging
Smudging, or burning of plants has various benefits, such as:
– Reducing stress
– Helping you wake energized, confident, and hopeful
– Invigorating sleep, allowing you do get into the world of sweet dreams
– Helping you move on and leave old relationships behind
– Helping you feel more centered and protected from the world
– Clearing away negative energy in a space
The Smudging Process
Plants that are used for smudging are:
– Sagebrush (in treating colds, headaches and wounds),
– Sage (clearing the negative energy),
– Cedar leaf (for purification and cleansing),
– Pine needles (for purification and cleansing),
– Balsam fir (for purification and cleansing),
– Sweetgrass (for purification and healing and to bring positive energy),
– Mugwort (for calming, purification and lucid dreaming),
– Juniper (for purification and cleansing),
– Holy basil (for calming and purification),
– Rosemary (for protection),
– Lavender (for calming),
– Mullein (for improving the respiratory function and cleansing sickrooms),
– Rose petals (for calming and meditation and it attracts love),
– Desert chaparral ( for calming, protection and clearing negative energy),
– Peppermint (for protection and healing),
– Yarrow (helps to eliminate the toxins from the body),
– Lemon balm (for calming and spiritual cleansing).
It is really amazing that almost every plant of these grow near us.
How to Make Smudge Sticks
First, cut the branches of the plants. They should be around 7-10 inch lengths. Then, take a cotton or hemp and wrap up the branches together with it. Next, wrap the cord around the bundle and when you reach the end, go through the base. Finally, tie the ends of the cord at the base. If the plants are dry skip the following step, but if they aren’t dry set the smudge sticks aside for 7-10 days to air dry.
How to Smudge
You can either use a smudge stick, which is a bundle of herbs that are dried and braided into a stick or you can use loose herbs.
Before you start, start your music and open a window or door to avoid setting off your fire alarm. Place the smudge stick or loose herbs in the abalone shell, or a clay bowl, and light them. Set alight, and gently blow out the flame to allow the material to continue to smolder.
Next, metaphorically cleanse, brush or wash your hands in the smoke. Bring the smoke over your eyes, ears, mouth, hands, heart, and body. Some people will also brush it over their backs, to “lighten their troubles.” Walk from room to room, fanning the smoke with the feather to thoroughly cleanse your home of any negative or stagnant energy. Be careful not to drop the ashes.
When you have finished cleansing your home, let the herbs burn out. Since Native Americans believe the negative energy must go somewhere, it’s best to dispose of them outside and give them back to the Earth.