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Smudging Ceremonies

3 Reasons to Smudge

The Science of Smudge: 3 reasons to try smudging

Our ancestors used smoldering bundles of dried herbs, like sage, cedar and lavender, to cleanse areas of negative energy – a practice called “smudging.” Burning these herbs and wafting the incense-like smoke around a space promotes wellness and positivity.

Mystical? Yes, but there’s some real science behind this.
We know that the earth is a giant electromagnetic mass and that we are its walking bio-electric beings. We’re all connected and subject to the energy around us. Smudging is helpful practice because it’s a study in energy and ions.

An unhealthy atmosphere can be attributed to the build-up of positive ions in the air. Positively charged pollutants include harmful airborne particulates such as dust, mold spores, and what you find in cigarette smoke. Electronics like cell phones, computers, and power lines all positively charge the air around us. Positive ions turn into free radicals as they enter the body, leading to depression, disease… eesh, the list goes on.There are plenty of resources confirming the harmful effects of positive ions. Smudging is just one great way to combat them.

Like yoga and meditation, smudging is just another ancient solution withstanding the test of time. Read on to see why this mystical practice raises the eyebrows of scientists and skeptics alike.

Reason #1: Cleanse your space.

The smoke from burning herbs contains negative ions (anions) which eliminate positive ions (cations) from the air – a kind of cancelling out process.  In abundance, cations can ruin our atmospheres and, in turn, our health.

When burned, sage and other herbs release large amounts negatively-charged ions.  The negative ions neutralize the positive charge in the air, creating a certain lightness in the space and surrounding energy.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to experience naturally-occurring anion hotspots. Think about the last time you were near the ocean or smelled a riverside breeze. Moving water and fresh air are reliable sources of negative ions. That’s why the air by the sea or after a storm smells and feels so good and uplifting.

Reason #2: Improve your mood

Smudge sticks are often made of cedar, sage, lavender and other sweet-smelling herbs. Talk about Aromatherapy!

The aroma of sage has been found to increase the oxygen supply to the brain and produce a physical relaxation of the muscles. (It’s also a serotonin booster.) It’s also common for smudge sticks to made of sage. Sage is a member of the salvia botanical family. Salvia derives from the Latin word salvere, meaning to feel well or to heal (wikipedia).

Reason #3: It’s healthy!

Ions are sometimes called the vitamins of the air. (WebMD) Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain which corresponds with elevated alertness and mental energy. Ion technology, commonly implemented by air purifiers and sophisticated fans, pumps negative ions into the air, helping to eliminate all kinds of nasty stuff like odors and pollutants; that’s dust, cigarette smoke, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, viruses, and bacteria, just to name a few.

In short, negative ions protect the body from stress, germs and airborne particulates (or pollution).

Bonus Reason #4: You can make your own

If you’re an active gardener or amateur culinary creative, you have more herbs than you know what to do with.  Clip some sprigs from that overgrown plant and hang them out to dry. Once dry, tightly bind the herbs together with string or twine. Use them in your home or share with friends – they make great house warming gifts. Get smudging!