The Ancient Native Art of Smudging’s Proven Health and Spiritual Benefits Will Surprise You
Smudging is an ancient art, used in healing and to clear spiritual or emotional negativity. It consists of burning herbs or plant resins, and can be tremendously beneficial for you if you give it a chance.
Check out these great reasons to consider smudging:
1) It can clear the air, literally. Some more recent studies have suggested that medicinal smoke, or smudging, can clear up to 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours.
2) Some practitioners say this is because sage and other herbs release negatively charged ions that help neutralize positive ions that leave us feeling sluggish, fatigue, or burnt out. As a result, smudging can help us feel lighter, and more energetic.
3) Some practitioners also note that a build up of positive ions, often as a result of stress, anger, or tension, can result in the kind of palpable energy you can feel, and may say things like “you can cut the tension with a knife” in reference to. That stagnant energy, however, can be remedied with smudging if the parties involved are willing.
4) Smudging as a long history, as well. Many Native American tribes and other indigenous groups, for instance, still practice smudging regularly as part of various rituals.
6) Many practitioners of smudging believe the resulting smoke may heighten the sensitivity of healers, for instance, so they are better able to treat their patients.
7) And burning herbs is common in many religions. Catholics, for instance, may be familiar with the burning of frankincense; many Buddhist temples burn incense. Historically, Incas burned palo santo wood.
8) Additionally, smudging may have medicinal benefits for those who are affected by poor air quality, which means it can help those who suffer from asthma, headaches, lung problems and respiratory issues, as well as general coughs and colds.
But how do you smudge? Let’s consider how you might smudge with sage, for instance.
Some say burning sage increases clarity and awareness, heightens wisdom, improves moods and enhances the memory and quickens the senses.
Bundled white sage is the easiest to smudge with, and can be readily found online or in most local herb or health stores.
It’s important that when we smudge, we keep our intentions in mind. If there’s an energy we want to erase, for instance, we need to focus our attention on that energy.
When we light the sage, a flame is possible. If that happens, simply blow gently on the flame so you just have smoking embers, rather than open flame. You want the sage to leave a smoky trail, as the smoke is what changes the energy. You may need to relight the sage several times; this is natural.
Once the sage is smoking, we smudge by waving the smoky sage around our body. We start at the floor, then bring it up over our head and around our body in circles. When we have done this, we may choose to place the sage (burning side down) in a fireproof bowl. Our intentions should guide the smoke, so it’s important we focus on that.
As we move the sage around our body or around the room, it’s important we listen to our intuition. We may naturally feel the impulse to pause or linger in certain places; we shouldn’t fight that urge, but rather pay attention to it.
Many practitioners recommend smudging at the start of new times, such as the beginning of a week or month, on a solstice or equinox, or at the start of a new situation.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.
Written by Matt S.