As I underlined in the previous article (The best herbs for smudge: from mugwort to white sage), smudge is one of the most important ways to purify an environment and ward off negative energies. Today we will therefore talk about other precious herbs suitable for this energetic cleansing practice.

Cultivate the art of smudge

Smudge sticks are natural incense created from dried leaves and flowers. But smudge isn’t just a tangle of random herbs. Creating the right smudge for the right type of purification is very important, as well as being comparable to real art.
Knowledge of herbs and above all achieving the right level of drying is essential. Furthermore, the main plants used for the smudge stick can often be combined with flower petals (the most common: rose petals) or herbs of different types to have a more complex aroma.

The main art of smudging consists in producing thick smoke to get in touch with sacred spirits, or to recall the most intimate parts of ourselves. The word perfume itself derives from the Latin per fumun which means through smoke. In ancient times, the gods were celebrated by making the scent of terrestrial plants rise towards the sky, to get in touch with them. A custom also passed down in the Christian religion, in which some rites involve the spreading of incense.

Therefore, the good reasons to light a smudge at home are the following:

  • instill courage to start new projects, or to face the day;
  • reduce stress to facilitate sleep;
  • protection from the outside world and its chaos of sometimes toxic energies.

There is no exact number of times per week in which it is advisable to light a smudge stick, the only rule to follow is to listen to your inner needs.

The best herbs for smudge

Let’s then proceed with the in-depth analysis of some very effective herbs for this practice. Excellent plants for lightening the load that the outside world imposes on us every day.

Laurel

Alloro - Laurus Nobilis

Alloro – Laurus Nobilis

Laurel has been used for its many properties since the period of Ancient Greece when it was customary to weave laurel twigs into crowns to place on the head as a recognition of maximum honor and wisdom. For this reason, even today a laurel wreath is placed on the head following the achievement of a degree.

This plant is a symbol of fame, honor, triumph, and immortality, dear to the god Apollo and his son Asclepius, god of medicine.

Popular tradition recommends placing some bay leaves under the pillow to dream about things that could happen in the future. The laurel smudge stick helps to chase away evil spirits, purify the body, and predispose the spirit to courage.

Pine tree

Effective for the respiratory tract thanks to its antiseptic properties, this plant can bring multiple benefits. Purifying for the liver and anti-rheumatic, the pine smudge stick frees the house from all impurities and lightens the environment, releasing a long-lasting scent that gives inner peace.

In Ancient Greece this plant was sacred to the Great Mother Rhea and the god Dionysus. It was considered a symbol of fertility and generosity. In the Renaissance period, it was believed to be a symbol of death because once cut it is unable to be reborn from itself. Furthermore, its resin recalls immortality, while the closed pine cone is considered a symbol of chastity.

Rosemary

rosmarinoThis plant has always enjoyed great consideration, since ancient populations, in particular starting from Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used to place sprigs of rosemary in the hands of the deceased so that they could keep their memory in the afterlife.

Sacred symbol of Aphrodite, this plant was considered an aphrodisiac, with magical properties linked to fertility and fidelity.

A very long-lived and resistant plant, rosemary is perfect for a regenerating smudge, particularly recommended in moments of dullness and fatigue. Its infusion is also excellent, especially for combating fatigue, dizziness, and nervous system disorders.

Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa (sacred herb) comes from the driest parts of America. It gives off a pleasant scent and is used in the practice of smudging as a herb of protection, purification, healing, spiritual strength, courage, and psychic abilities.

Also known as mountain balm, bear grass, and rubber plant, it was used by native tribes as a poultice for wounds, insect bites, broken bones, and sores. Its leaves are considered sacred by Native Americans and can be used for rituals of love, growth, and beauty, and for the release of emotional pain accumulated in particular in the heart chakra.

Among the main benefits of this plant, its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-tumor effects are certainly worth highlighting.

A complete purification

Native Americans used to combine the four elements for their purification rituals. A bowl of water represents water, a bundle of herbs represents the earth, the burning of wood for fire, and smoke is a symbol of air.

Using a shell as a container (or a copper bowl) try to bring the four elements together to bring the spirit as close as possible to purification!

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