There’s more to Smudging than White Sage!
Smudging is an ancient practice used during rituals and sacred work. When people think of smudging the first thing that comes to mind is white sage. It is the standard that most people use. However, there are many other herbs that can be used for smudging, but each will have its own unique scent and properties. So if you can't take the smell of white sage you now have options. This list is to help you select what you need. You can also combine herbs to make your own special blend.
The herbs represent the earth, smoke represents air, Flame represents fire. Some people use an abalone shell as part of the ritual to represent water, as it protects surfaces from heat damage and is used to hold the burning smudge. .According to tradition once you have the four elements you are ready to smudge away! How to smudge is a topic for a different post.
Amaranth - removes intuition blocks, helps aid in healing, Adds in additional comfort to your sacred space.
Aspen - traditionally used for protection and the essential oils in the leaves work as a type of anxiety reducer. Aspen burns quickly,
Balsam Fir Smudge - The Balsam fir tree has many uses, and using the needles of this great plant as a smudge is just one of them. The properties as a smudge are calming and relaxing energies. The smoke is useful in detoxifying the respiratory system. This fir is the most common type of tree used as a Christmas tree, so for many the scent evokes a happy time.
Basil - Has a variety of benefits which includes bringing about happiness, steadies the mind and peace within your sacred space.
Bay Leaves - Smudging is known to work as a mood booster. The Bay leaf has multiple uses from Protection, Healing and Calming to Success, victory and being an anxiety reducer.
Blue Sage Smudge - Blue sage is often known as Grandmother Sage. This purifying herb has great Medicinal and magic applications. The Sage provides spiritual strength and is sometimes used in Exorcism rituals to remove malevolent spirits. AKA Azure Sage and Pitcher Sage.
Blue Spruce - Not commonly used for smudging. It is used for cleansing purposes for serenity, grace and nobility.
Calendula - Traditionally used for purification and ceremonial uses.
Catnip - A therapeutic herb to use for smudging. Traditionally speaking, Catnip was burned for love, beauty, and happiness within the home or sacred space.
Cedar Smudge - Cedar is another great option for smudging. While the cleansing effect of Cedar is not quite as intense as White Sage, Cedar has other great properties. The cedar tree is a sacred tree believed to have healing properties. This makes Cedar a must use for healing and for ceremonial purposes. Cedar smoke has a friendly and healing energy that is a good alternative for those who have an aversion to sage.
Cinnamon - Increases energy and motivation and it even aids in healing, Burning cinnamon is best used if you have a cold or flu
Clove - Used to drive away hostile, negative forces. This herb is known as the Psychic enhancer. It is also used to produce spiritual vibrations and to purify the area.
Copal Resin - Copal unites the energizing force of the sun with the grounding, transmuting properties of earth. This resin is a great and gentle healer. Copal works by bringing out Negative energies and transmuting them into positive energies. This resin also aids in all sorts of healing - physical, emotional and environmental, which makes it great to use in a healing or sickroom . Copal also is great for opening and cleaning all the Chakras. Copal is a highly protective energy which aids in manifestation.
Dandelion - is associated with the elements of the air, Dandelion is used for divination, spirit calling, traditionally.
Desert Chaparral - negative energy clearing + protection + calm
Desert Sage - called the desert rose, is the favorable option to using White Sage, This Sage Is great for burning through and through without needing to be relit (as bundles) While, This Sage holds the same cleansing properties as white sage, the scent is entirely different. Desert sage is used to ward off bad feelings and influences.
Dragon's Blood Resin -Dragon’s blood is a great resin with many uses. Dragon’s blood will remove negativity from a space, and our smudge is a base of white sage to increase its potency. Dragon’s blood also has a great Psychic, Magic, and Spiritual energizing property. Dragon’s blood is said to increase the potency of magical workings. A side benefit to this resin is the claim that is assists in enhancing health, virility and cures impotence.
Eucalyptus - Smudging with eucalyptus is for protection, health boosting as well as being energizing for cleansings.
Frankincense -Used for cleansing and reducing stress, easing tension and reducing headaches
Ginger - A powerful protective ingredient that can be found almost in every kitchen. The herb is used for protection.
Juniper Smudge- Juniper is an excellent choice for use instead of a more standard smudge. Not only does Juniper clear negative energy like other smudges, Juniper can also create a safe, protective, positive, healing space when the negative energy is removed. Juniper is energetically and physically detoxifying as well as centering.
Lavender Smudge - lavender is used as a smudge to bring out the powers of calming and cleansing. Lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system. Lavender brings a clean positive energy, opens the heart chakra and calms situations. Magically it can be used for protection and for love as well. Some traditions maintain the scent of Lavender wards off evil.
Lemon Balm- spiritual cleansing + calm
Lemongrass - Purifying and cleansing, Lemongrass’s scent encourages Clarity and Focus.
Mountain Sage - Mountain sage is a sage that grows in high altitudes in arid climes. It is good for adding strength and energy in rituals. Mountain sage does dispel negative energy as well. AKA desert Mugwort.
Mugwort ( Black Sage) - Black Sage is also known as Mugwort. This herb is often used to protect one against evil spirits. Mugwort is well known as an aid to astral travel and dream Magic. Mugwort also is used to dispel fatigue and aid in divination. This Smudge is often used before or during a divination working for this reason.
Mullein - cleansing sickrooms + heals/improves respiratory function
Palo Santo "Holy wood" - best when used for deep healing and clearing energy. Its benefits include relieving the symptoms of headaches, inflammation, emotional trauma, stress, colds and much more. Palo Santo has a citrus- like scent.
Peppermint - healing + protection
Pine Smudge - Pine smudge is a great stand alone smudge for several types of rituals in addition to using to purify a space. Pine is known to reverse hex or curses upon the recipient. During times of loss the burning of Pine is known to lift the spirits of those in mourning. Pine also helps with concentration.
Rosemary Smudge – Is soothing and encourages a sense of peace within your environment. Rosemary also removes negative energy from places and spaces
Rose Petals - meditation + calming + attracts love
Sage Brush Smudge - Sagebrush is a great addition for its many medical benefits. This richly aromatic herb is used by many in the southwest as part of their purification rituals. Often used as a medicine, it is used in treating headaches, stopping internal bleeding and preventing infections. The herb is very evocative of the clean windswept deserts of the American southwest.
Sweetgrass Smudge - Sweetgrass is a traditional Native American herb that is also sometimes burned for smudging. Sweet grass holds an energy of blessing with some cleansing properties. Sweetgrass should ideally be used after smudging with sage, to bring in positive energy after negativity has been released. Sweet grass comes in a long braided strand rather than as a smudge stick.
Thyme - is an excellent herb for removing obstacles, mind blocks, negative feelings and it works as a memory booster.
White Sage – Is considered one of the best herbs for protection and purification. It is known for its antibacterial properties as well as the clearing of negative energies from spaces, people or objects. White sage has great properties for removing negativity, cleansing, and protection. A Great property of Sage smoke it is beneficial to breathe as it has many antimicrobial properties.
Yarrow - eliminates toxins from the body
Yerba Santa - Yerba Santa smudge sticks are made from an herb that translates into ‘Holy Herb’. This is a great smudge to use when you are looking to start a meditation as it aids in finding your innermost self. Yerba is also great for burning before starting a spiritual journey. This smudge is also great for spiritual cleansing rites. The burning of Yerba can give one encouragement and courage to face what needs to be done
Hope this aids you in your search for the perfect smudge!