Throughout human history, every culture has used herbs for spiritual and medicinal purposes. With their pungent aromas, strong flavors and often, colorful leaves and flowers, herbs are still used today for décor, ceremonies, foods and fragrances.
Undoubtedly the most popular herb, both historically and in present day, is white sage. White sage is a perennial shrub that grows primarily in the dry soil in sunny southern California.
While sage is extremely versatile and has many uses, today, you’ve most likely heard of people burning it.
Burning Sage & Smudge Ceremonies
Burning sage has a number of obvious benefits, including cleaning the air of bad odors and repelling insects. It’s also said that the smell of the smoke can lift your mood and alleviate anxiety.
More importantly, though, the act of burning sage – or smudging – is a sacred ritual rooted in Native American tradition. Today, people of all cultures conduct smudge ceremonies to cleanse a space or environment of negative energy, generate clarity, and promote healing.
A smudge ceremony incorporates the 4 basic elements.
- Earth: Earth is represented by the herb itself
- Fire: The lighting of the herb honors the fire element
- Air: The smoke from the burning herb represents air.
- Water: What many people don’t know, is that to complete your smudge ceremony, you need to use a shell – such as the beautiful abalone shell – to collect the ashes and represent the water element.
If you’re interested in conducting your own smudge ceremony, we’ve put together a kit with everything you need. (link to smudge kit).
Other Uses of White Sage
In addition to the popular practice of smudging, white sage is frequently used medicinally. Even the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges that sage tea can be used to treat a number of ailments including stomach discomfort and sore throats.
The pure oil of white sage is also a powerful tool in rituals and healing. When used in a diffuser, you can disperse the herb’s crisp aroma throughout your space. Add a few drops to your bath or shower for a luxuriant, spa-like experience at home.
You can even add a few drops to unscented lotions and hair products to enhance your regular routines. Our organic sage oil is a great way to get started using this herbal essence in your daily life.
One unique way that we at Earth's Elements have found to use sage oil is by combining it with the power of amethyst and the soothing elixir of lavender in our Spirit Organic Roll-On. The pure essences of the sage and lavender magnify the clarifying vibration of the amethyst, making this roll-on a great way to harass those peaceful vibes you need for emotional healing.
Unfortunately, due to its popularity, white sage is at risk of being over-harvested. This is particularly troubling as it is a crucial part of the ecosystem in its native area and the flowers attract a wide range of pollinators including bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. That’s why it is so important to make sure the product you’re buying has been sustainably harvested. At Earth’s Elements we’re committed to only sourcing from growers who use organic, sustainable practices.
We hope this information is helpful to you as you develop your own rituals and continue your personal journey to love, light and empowerment.