How To Use Sage to Cleanse, Clear, and Recharge

White sage has a distinct and lovely fragrance. From the burning of dried white sage leaf bundle (a practice known as “sage smudging”) to diffusing a few drops of white sage essential oil, sage may evoke a particular memory or feeling to those who experience it. Oftentimes, different people resonate differently with the smell of sage - some may feel peaceful, some may feel calm and meditative, while others may resonate a spiritual connection. Whether you are new to the practice or are already a seasoned sage user, this guide will show you how and when to best use sage as well as offer some alternatives to burning it (for when smoke really isn’t an option.)

Historical Roots

Sage smudging is an ancient practice that is commonly used for healing, ceremonial, and energy clearing purposes. The use of white sage is a 2,000 year old practice originating from the Indigenous Americans. Shamans historically used dried sage plants on their fires as a ritual cleansing - conflict, anger, illness, or evil was absorbed by the sage smoke and thereby released from the energy field of a person. Smudging is therefore a transformative practice - by changing the energy in the air we shift our experiences and perceptions. 

Modern Use

Smudging, while it may be an ancient practice, still holds relevance in the modern world. This technique is easy to incorporate into your daily or weekly routine, or any time you feel like you might need a little extra re-centering. Some ideal times to sage smudge include:

  • Moving into a new living space
  • Beginning a new job
  • Before or after a yoga session
  • Before or after guests are in your home
  • Before meditation 
  • After an argument, bad experience, or illness

RELATED READING: Intentional Goals Lead To A Meaningful Life

How To Do It

Sage smudging is simple and doesn’t require much time: 

  1. Get a dried sage bundle. At my healing center, we carry THESE bundles, because I think it is the cleanest and most amazing scented sage I’ve ever encountered. 
  2. Place your sage bundle on a heat-proof surface like an abolone shell or even a ceramic dish. 
  3. Light the bundle by holding a flame to it until it begins to smoke. Blow on the bundle until it is just embers and smoke - no flame is needed here!
  4. Once smoke is coming from the bundle, use your hand or feather (traditionally, a turkey feather is used) to direct smoke over your body from your feet to your head. Visualize the smoke taking away any negativity from your life.
  5. After smudging your body, move through your space. Wave the smoke into corners of rooms, across doorways, and throughout each room. Repeat the same visualization of the smoke taking away and clearing negativity from each room. 
  6. When you are finished, allow the sage bundle to burn out gently or stamp it out in your shell or heat-proof dish. 

Smokeless Sage

I understand it’s not always ok to be burning things and waving smoke around. The good news is that there are other ways to incorporate this lovely practice into your life. 

    • White sage essential oil can me made into a room mist (10 drops oil + 2oz water) - shake well and spray liberally over yourself and throughout a room whenever you need a clearing. I love THIS white sage essential oil and carry it at my healing center because it is high quality, inexpensive, and smells so lovely. In fact, I use this sage mist trick to spritz my treatment room at the end of each day to ensure my room is always full of good vibes. 
    • If you have an essential oil diffuser, add 5-10 drops of white sage oil to the water compartment to infuse your space with the gentle aroma and energetic properties of sage.
    • Sage is a lovely herb to add as a food seasoning, but where it really shines is in tea. Sage tea is tasty, calming, and full of health benefits such as reducing hot flashes/sweating associated with menopause, lowering cholesterol, and alleviating sore throat. I carry THIS ONE at my shop - a gentle blend of sage and mint, this tea is perfect hot or iced. 
    • At the end of a long day, nothing feels better than a nice shower to rinse away the day's happenings. I use THIS sage soap to clear, cleanse, and calm. Plus it smells delicious!

I hope Ive inspired you to make the ancient practice of sage smudging part of your life. There are so many ways to incorporate this beautiful herb into your life. Good vibes, health, and wellness to you! 

how to sage smudge
How to use sage to cleanse your energy and restore balance in your life. This is the ultimate guide for how and when to use sage plus 3 different ways to use sage in your life.