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August 31, 2020

Ah, welcome, friend! We are happy that you have heard about the enlightening path to natural healing and want to learn everything sage smudging. You're in good hands-- we have created this guide just for you! We will break down the history of sage smudging, what sage smudging is used for, how to burn sage, and where to buy sage.

What's the History of Sage Smudging?

Burning Sage-- or the art of sage smudging-- dates back to Egypt's 5th dynasty-- around 4500 years ago. During these early practices, sage smudging was used for its distinct fragrance and ability to repel insects. Even though sage has been documented use in many cultures. We have Indigenous American tribes to thank for traditional smudging practices utilizing the popular Salvia Apiana (White Sage). Native Americans have practiced sage smudging spiritual rituals and religious ceremonies for centuries to purify the body, cleanse a space of negative energy, and restore balance. 

Is Sage Smudging Cultural Appropriation? Because sage smudging culture was once discriminated against for this ritual, it's essential to practice the art in culturally and ecologically sensitive ways. There are ways to achieve this by using more ethical practices, terminology, and materials. (Mama Wunderbar sources all their products organically, sustainably, and concerning the Native American culture.) With a respectful, inclusive attitude towards its cultural affiliation, all cultures can experience the purifying and energy cleansing benefits.

What is Sage Used For?

1. Sage is Purifying

Scientifically speaking, the most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties and is thought to release negative ionsCalifornia White Sage has both antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. You can easily waft sage smoke around any space. Sage smoke also offers rapid delivery to the brain and efficient absorption for your body. Researchers are currently holding it under a microscope as a natural remedy to:

  • infectious bacteria
  • viruses
  • fungi
  • pet dander
  • pollution
  • dust
  • mold

2. Sage Improves Your Mood

As tradition suggests, smudging can literally lift one's spirits to banish negativity. 

research project established the California White Sage activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood levels, reducing stress, and even alleviating pain.

3. Sage Cleanses Your Home of Negative Energy

Smudging may be used as a ritual tool to cleanse yourself and your space of negativity. This negative energy can include past traumas, and negativity from others.

This will help you establish a positive environment for meditation and intention setting. 

4. Sage Cleanses Specific Objects

You can use sage's fragrant incense to smudge yourself or specific spaces, or specific items.

It is a good practice to smudge new purchases, gifts, or secondhand items. However, any item can be smudged.

If you have any concern with adverse history or energy attached to a new or unfamiliar object, smudging may help bring peace of mind and make the item more sacred to you.

How To Burn Sage

With the popularity of sage smudging on the rise, retailers have sage sticks and smudge accessories very accessible. Many retailers provide single smudge stickssmudge kitssmudge accessories, and even some smudging classes.

Basic tools include:

  • sage bundle (or smudge stick)
  • an abalone shell (traditionally used by Natives to represent water) or glass, clay, ceramic bowl to catching fallen embers and ashes
  • preferably matches-- but any flame works
  • feather or fan to navigate the smoke

There are many types of sage usable for smudging:

 smudge sticks

Note: Appropriate sage stick variations can benefit a more specific intention setting. Learn More: The Differences Between Sage.


1. Set your Intention. Decide what you are trying to accomplish by burning this sage, whether you want to deter negative energy, welcome abundance, or become seduced by its fragrance. The power of intent is integral here. Any effect of the herb must be rooted in your mind.

2. Prepare your burning area. Lay out your abalone shell or ceramic bowl. Fill the vessel with clean sand or special ritual sand for easy extinguishing.

3. Open a window or door. This step is imperative to clearing bad vibes. This gives the sage smoke-- and any negative energy-- a way to exit your home. 

4. Light the sage within the burning vessel. Use a match or any flame to set the sage ablaze. Wait 20-30 seconds, and then blow out the fire; embers should still be ignited on the end and creating smoke.

5. Spread the smoke. Carrying the smoke around within the burning vessel is an easy way to introduce the sage smoke into every room. If you invested in a smudge fan, use it to navigate the smoke more specifically.

Let smoke slowly fill the room. Walk around to get smoke into every corner; let smoke run along walls, windows, and the ceiling. Imagine negative energy running to avoid contact with the smoke.

6. Set Intentions. While you spread the smoke, consider reaffirming your intentions by saying them aloud. 

Find an expansive list of positive affirmations to meet your specific purpose: here.

7. Make Time to Burn Sage More Often. Ideally, it would be best if you burned sage at least once a week. Smudging more often will guarantee this all of the negative energy you or guests bring in from the world are absent from your environment.

Learn more about burnin

Where to Buy Sage?

Natural sage is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, mainly in Southern California and Baja California.

Dried Sage bundles can be found easily through local and online retailers. However, you want to be wary about purchasing sage. You want to make sure retailers organically or sustainability source their products.

MamaWunderbar.com is a small business located in Studio City, California, that sources all its products locally from California's hills and pays homage to Native Americans.