Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people or space. While Native American sage burning is the most commonly recognized form of it today, it has nevertheless been a shared practice in other cultures too.
Sage is a member of the mint family. The word sage stems from the Latin word salvia, which translates to “healthy” or “to heal.”
Sage, as a herb, is antimicrobial, boosts memory and mental clarity, and can improve air quality, according to science.
Research has proven that burning sage removes a whopping 94% of bacteria in the air. The best method for this is called “smudging.” You take a bunch of dried sage, twist it into a stick shape, then light one end of the “stick” on fire and then blow it out. The resulting smoke “smudges” the air in the room and the properties in the smoke kill most of the existing bacteria in the air. After burning sage researchers tested the air 24 hours later, it was still clean!
There are many reasons why people are concerned about the air quality in their homes. The primary reason is health related. Poor air quality can cause:
So why is cleaner air important? According to Irina Logman, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, getting rid of airborne pathogens can prevent you from getting sick. Sage “has both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties” that keep viruses, bacteria, and even insects away.
“Because of the ritualistic nature of burning sage, it can also help people to achieve a sense of calm and clear-headedness as would meditation. It can enhance your concentration, stimulate creativity, and heighten sexual desire. It is said that burning sage can clear a space of negative energy as well.
To effectively burn sage, you hold a tightly wound bundle at a 45-degree angle and light it with a match or candle. Let it burn for about 20 seconds before gently blowing it out. You can move around the room with the sage now allowing the smoke to travel through the space. You may need to gently blow on the embers to continue producing smoke. Make sure that you carry the sage over a fireproof surface to catch embers that may fall. When you are done moving the sage around the room you need to lay the bundle in the fireproof holder you are using and let it burn out on its own.
Sage can be an amazing addition to your wellness routine. It can help you stay focused, balance and calm you, clean the air around you and remove negative energy. Simple yet so powerful.