Native Americans posess a profound
respect for mother earth and for using the gifts of the earth
on their path for physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.
Native Americans use fragrant natural herbs like sage, sweetgrass,
juniper, cedar and pine/pinon needles to help cleanse and
clear the air of negative influences and attract positive
Native Americans find that
sage, when properly burned, helps to rid a space of negative
energy. Native Americans tightly tie and dry sage into bundles
known as smudge sticks. Though a different technique
is needed to burn and keep smudge sticks burning, smudge sticks
are considered a form of incense.
The process of burning the smudge stick is known as smudging.
Lavender, Sweetgrass, Juniper Needles and Cedar Leaves
can also be combined into smudge sticks. Each botanical is
believed to help ward off negativity, clear the air and/or
attract positive energy.
Sweetgrass is also commonly
used by Native Americans. It is thought to cleanse a room,
ground it, and make the space sacred. Unlike smudge burned
in bundles, sweetgrass is generally braided into sections
that are approximately 12" in length.
It goes beyond the scope of
AromaWeb to provide the depth of coverage needed to discuss
smudging rituals in detail. For more information, I recommend
the books Sage
& Smudge: The Ultimate Guide by Diane Ronngren
and Sacred Smoke
by Harvest McCampbell.
Exploring the Benefits of Sage and Sweetgrass without Burning
Them as Smudge
Sweetgrass and Desert Sage,
the type of sage most often found in smudge sticks, are available
from at least two of AromaWeb's advertisers as hydrosols.
From Nature With Love sells Organic
Desert Sage Hydrosol and Aromatics International sells
Sweetgrass Hydrosol. If you'd prefer not to burn herbs
within your environment but would like to try a variation
of a Native American Ritual using sage and sweetgrass, consider
working with these hydrosols.