Smudging is a practice of burning herbs, especially sage and cedar, as a way of cleansing spiritual energy within your environment, including your home and office.
The practice of burning sage and cedar began with indigenous people of North America (the Lakota, Chumash, and Cahuilla, among others) for the ceremonial purpose of purifying people and places, although people all around the world have burned various substances — incense for example — as part of their spiritual traditions throughout the centuries.
Advocates of smudging say that the practice helps restore positive energy and that it can help shake off negativity that keeps us feeling tired and depressed.
People even claim that smudging can fend off negative spirits and bad entities that can occupy our living space.
While this all may sound like superstition or “woo-woo” for some, there is at least some actual scientific evidence that the practice can effectively detox the house by killing off negative pathogens that live in the air and that this has positive physical and mental outcomes.
Here’s a look at a few of the potential benefits of smudging:
It Kills Pathogens in the Air
There’s a lot of nasty stuff that can float around in the air that we inhabit everyday. Things like viruses, bacteria, and fungi may be invisible to the naked eye, but they definitely affect our health.
Think back to the last time you became sick. It’s likely because of a lot of stagnant air you were breathing while the windows of your house were closed.
One interesting study, which used the term “medicinal smoke,” revealed that an hour of burning sage decreased the amount of bacteria in the air by 94%.
It Reduces Allergens
People can be allergic to quite a wide variety of things, but many of the allergies we experience are the result of things that circulate within the air.
Here are a few of them:
The allergens are thought to contain positively charged ions, whereas burning sage is thought to release negative ions into the air, thereby exerting a neutralizing effect.
It May Elevate Your Mood and Lower Stress
Through the results are inconclusive, those same positive ions that contribute to allergies may also be affecting your mood and stress levels, according to one study on air ions.
This study is among other experimental research that has hypothesized that negative ions are associated decreased stress, reduced anxiety, decreased severity of depression, better sleep, and an overall enhanced wellbeing.
Here are some of the times when you may consider the use of smudging:
Before or after a yoga, meditation, or healing practice
After prolonged exposure to any crowded space (Think: hanging out late at night in a bar)
Before or after you have visitor at your home
After arguments with family or friends
When selling a house or moving into a new one
When you feel stressed at work
Watch the video below to see how to smudge: