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I was lucky enough to have a friend at one point in my life that was Native American. She told me a little bit about what her culture was like, but the biggest thing that she taught me about was Smudging. It is now something that I do regularly when I am feeling extra stressed or just want to clear the house of negative energy.
Smudging is basically the practice of using the smoke of certain herbs to help purify the air and cleanse negative energies. The main herbs used are white sage and/or cedar. Many people smudge their homes when major changes happen in their life (new baby, new home, loss of a family member, job change, etc), at the change of seasons, or especially when we are ringing in a New Year. It has also been used to help spirits leave your home if you feel like you have an issue with that (which is exactly what prompted me to start smudging regularly).
The Science on Smudging:
There has actually been a Pubmed study done on the effectiveness of smudging. They looked at 265 herbs in 50 different countries and found that “this review argues in favor of medicinal smoke extended use in modern medicine as a form of drug delivery and as a promising source of new active natural ingredients”.
There has also been an experiment with smudging where they determined that an hour of burning the herbs made a 94% reduction in the bacteria in the air, a result that ended up lasting for a whole month! (Source)
So why smudging may seem like a simple concept, it has truly remarkable and powerful healing potential!
How to Smudge:
I like to start at the front door with the smudge stick, and work my way around the whole house. Make sure you have the windows open! Some people pray, some just ask for the negative energy to attach to the smoke and leave the home, and others like to smudge in silence. Be mindful of the ashes as you are going around- I like to carry a glass bowl with me.
Once I am done, I leave the stick in the glass bowl to continue to smoke until it puts itself out. I tend to clean the whole house first before smudging, and I shower after I am done smudging as a sort of total cleansing ritual.
You can find smudge sticks in nearly every health food store, or you can order them on Amazon.
Do you Smudge? Let’s talk about it in the comments!