Smudging – Frankly, the word doesn’t sound like a good thing. However, using the herbs from your garden to make a smudge stick can actually kill bacteria and viruses in and around your home. It can even kill super bugs – bacteria that have become resistant to man-made medicines.
Science of Smudging
Hold on now, I know what some of you are thinking. The crazy hippies think smoke from plants cures death itself. No – that’s not it at all. This is, believe it or not, bonafide science!
Like, with scientists, testing, reports and results and all that fancy stuff.
Here is a link to one scientific report, entitled Medical Smokes (published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology), which speaks to the evidence of smoke from various herbs used in smudge being successful at killing bacteria and viruses. It even tells us that the effect of the smudging on the germs can last up to a month!
Smudging with Sage
Sage is the traditional and most common herb used for smudging. Especially in ceremonial uses. While many sages can be used, or even pseudo sages, like Artemisia ludoviciana, the most common one is White Sage, Salvia apiana.
The sage is believed in many cultures to dispel evil spirits. Perhaps it does, but what science tells us is that it can kill the evil germs that lead to illness or even death, and that’s pretty darn good for me!
Whether you put stock in the traditional beliefs, or if you prefer the scientific reasoning, the fact is that smudge sticks work.
How to make a Smudge Stick
The great thing about Smudge Sticks is you might already be growing the herbs you need. If not, then they are readily available, cheaply. While you can make smudge sticks that are 100% Rosemary, or other herbs, I would recommend you start with Sage. It is easy and forgiving and can easily be used in bundles of mixed herbs, making smudge sticks with multiple plants.
Here is what to do:
- Harvest the leaves of the plant in spring, when growth, vigor and vitality are strong.
- Let the herbs wilt overnight so they are more pliable for shaping.
- Shape the herbs into the length and diameter you want.
- Tie tightly with a natural fiber, like hemp twine.
- Hang or dehydrate until the leaves are crisp and brittle.
That’s it, you’re done! Use the smudge stick as needed, or about once a month. Be sure to make enough to get you through until next spring! You’re doing to want that sickness fighting power in late winter too!
Do you Smudge? Let us know in the comments below what you do and how you use them! Some use smudge sticks for smoking their beehives – what a great idea!
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