Buying sage, sage smudge stick, palo santo sticks, sage cleansing, what does sage burning do

Ethical and sustainable plants for smudging sacred space

Have you ever walked into space where you felt like you could cut the air with a knife? Or noticed that certain houses or rooms feel heavy and oppressive? A build-up of negative or low energies can have a massive impact on how space feels, and clearing those energies is vital if you’re going to balance your space and protect your own energy at the same time.

The practice of smudging to clear energies goes back hundreds of years – traditionally, it was a ritual used by native Americans to clear and align energies in spaces and people, to create a more spiritually receptive environment, and to promote healing and wisdom. In the past, a variety of different herbs and plants were used for similar purposes by other different cultures, such as the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. 

When it comes to choosing the plants you want to use for energetic cleansing in your own home or space, it’s important to make sure you make ethical choices. The energy of the plants will be released into your home, so it’s critical to ensure you’re buying sage and Palo Santo from ethical and sustainable sources.

What plants are used for smudging?

These days, the plants most commonly used for smudging are White Sage and Palo Santo. While both are used to clear energies, they can deliver some different benefits.

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White Sage

Before you go lunging for the herb garden, the type of sage you use is important – white sage, also known as Salvia apiana, is generally used for smudging. And when buying sage, it’s a good idea to make sure that you check that the sage you’re purchasing has been sustainably sourced. After all, you want it to have the most ethical and clean history if you’re going to use it to perform a sage cleansing of your house.

What does sage burning do?

White Sage offers a myriad of benefits when used for cleansing a house. For starters, sage is a known antimicrobial, meaning that it can help to reduce germs, viruses and bacteria from the air. As well as this literal cleansing of air particles, sage also helps to balance a space on an energetic level: it reduces positive ions in the air, and increases the good negative ions that help to decrease stress levels, relieve anxiety, increase daytime energy and can attack certain allergens.

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Sage also acts as an air purifier, with its clean scent encouraging mental clarity and positivity.

Palo Santo

Palo Santo is a plant native to certain South American countries. Its name means ‘Holy Wood’ in Spanish, and it is widely used for energetic cleansing, attracting positive energy and healing.  

Because of the history and nature of Palo Santo, there are strict laws about the planting and harvesting of it, making it a sustainable and ethical choice.

Rather than burning leaves, like when using sage, with Palo Santo sticks are used, creating less smoke – which might make it a better alternative for people who have asthma or other breathing difficulties. Scented with mint, pine and lemon, Palo Santo purifies the air, and attracts positive energy into a space. Palo Santo is renowned for having a beneficial direct effect on people, reducing stress levels, enhancing clarity and calming the mind.

Finally, burning Palo Santo sticks has another purpose – it is fantastic for vibrational cleansing and recharging of crystals.

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So, which is better?

When it all comes down to it, whether you use a sage smudge stick or Palo Santo sticks really is a matter of preference, but having said that, there are some clear benefits to using both of them together. That way you can make the most of the cleansing benefits of sage to remove lower or negative energies, as well as maximizing the cleanse by using Palo Santo to encourage positive energy into the newly cleansed space.

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Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash

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