Burning sage is a traditional American ritual used to cleanse the environment and abrogate negative vibes. Burning of sage is said to have an un-clinging effect on the ambiance of a place or an object. The process of un-clinging could be physical, spiritual, or emotional. While started in native America, the burning of sage also called the process of smudging has penetrated deep across various cultures due to its medicinal and metaphysical benefits.
Numerous varieties of sage are available and the usage of the same depends on the purpose. For instance, white sage is used for smudging whereas, blue sage healing properties can not be surpassed and desert sage is for purification.
Health Benefits of Burning Sage
Burning sage has a strong aromatic fragrance that is said to have healing properties. Traditionally, sage leaves would be bundled together and burnt. Nowadays, the incense stick of sage is readily available to extract the best health benefits of sage.
1. Medicinal Benefits
Sage is said to have antimicrobial properties that help keep diseases at bay by warding-off bacteria, fungi, and viruses. As a part of the mint family, sage is also said to have anti-inflammatory benefits. For decades, sage is being used as a pain relief natural herb. It protects the body from damage caused by free radicals(1).
2. Removes Environmental Allergens
Recent studies have shown that burning sage can purify the air and remove allergens and bacteria with 94% efficiency for up to 24 hours. When burnt in moderation, sage is also said to be a blessing for people suffering from asthma, respiratory diseases, and asthma.
[ Read: Benefits of Wormwood Herb ]
3. Cleanses Aura
Burning sage helps neutralize the positive charge ions in our surroundings that are harmful to the human body. Positive ions build in the surrounding environment due to stress or tension. Dust, mold, pet dander, and pollutants also increase the number of positive ions.
This makes the energy around our aura stagnant. The aura of an average human being extends up to 3-4 inches from their bodies. While it is said to be much more for spiritually awakened humans. By removing the positive charge ions around us, burning sage helps us feel lighter and brighter. Cleansing the aura also removes any spiritual or emotional damage that may have come our way.
4. Enhances Sense and Sensitivity
The smoke from the burning sage is said to enhance the senses of people with healing powers or medicine men. Enhanced sensory powers render them heightened sensitivity that helps them heal others more efficiently and effectively. Alternatively, burning sage targets our bodily senses for providing peace and calm, it is also used in spas and aromatherapy sessions.
5. Spiritual Connection
Sage is famously used as a spiritual tool to connect with the larger being or greater forces. The thujone present in salvia sage and white prairie sage is claimed to be mildly psychoactive which creates an alert stage of consciousness.
6. Self-Preservation of Energy
While unarguably, burning sage cleanses the environment, it also purifies the body by getting rid of negative energies within. It is said to reduce the emotional impact of past traumas, negative experiences, and evil eye.
The human body, like everything in nature, is spiritually made of five elements: Earth, water, fire, air, and space. It is recommended to cleanse the body through each element. While bathing provides cleansing via water, burning sage provides purification via fire. This cleansing technique is used to the present day and commonly practiced by spiritual leaders in Asian countries.
7. Spiritual Smudging of Objects
Priests undertake the process of smudging objects or statues of deities with sage or perform their prayers with burning sage to signify the spiritual importance of the object. People also smudge objects or pray with burning sage if the history and aura of an object are unknown. This provides much-needed cleansing and creates a holy aura.
[Read: Benefits of Sage Essential Oil]
8. Mood Lifter
Burning sage is a wonderful mood lifter owing to its stress-busting aroma. In many cultures, it is used as a traditional remedy to cure anxiety, depression, and mood swings. A recent study confirms that white sage contains certain elements that activate certain brain receptors that reduce stress and pain(2).
9. Reduces Insomnia
Negativity and stress impact the quality of sleep to a significant degree. Burning classic garden sage is said to soothe anxiety and better sleep quality.
10. Enhances Cognition
A 2016 study shows that sage has cognitive-enhancing and protecting effects. It can perhaps also be used to treat patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease(3).
[Read: Sage Tea Benefits and Uses]
How to use it?
If you are wondering how to burn sage? Here is a simple and quick way to cleanse your surroundings and ward-off evil vibes.
Step 1: Place a bundle of sage on a heat-proof and fire-safe vessel.
Step 2: Set the sage bundle alight for 3-4 seconds and blow-off the sage till a small part at the top of the bundle is burnt and releasing smoke
Step 3: Let this purifying smoke fill the area centrally or you may choose to manually take it to areas you would want to purify
You can also follow the same steps using a sage incense and incense burner.
The process of smudging or burning sage is not recommended for people suffering from environmental allergies or asthma. Burning sage indoors may cause watery eyes, sneezing, coughing or wheezing for sensitive people.
Burning sage has numerous medicinal properties and is commonly used to offer respects to sacred idols, cleanse the environment, and is also used in aromatherapy to improve mood and give a calming effect.
1. Can Burning Sage Cause Respiratory Diseases?
Respiratory disease can not be caused by burning sage once in a while. However, over time and excessive use, it is possible for the smoke from the smudging process to deposit particulate matter that may lead to long-term respiratory diseases or irregular cardiovascular activity. Daily heavy burning of sage may also lead to lung cancer.
2. Is Burning Sage Unsafe If Taken Orally?
Yes, it can be quite unsafe as it contains a chemical called thujone. If taken for long term, the chemical can be poisonous.