An ancient Native American tradition, known as smudging, has been in use for centuries. This is mostly due to the belief that it purifies and cleanses, and for those reasons it’s been used in ceremonials in rituals by Native Americans since the very beginning of their community. A bundle, or a smudge stick, of herbs is formed, then set on fire. The herb in question is most often sage.
The ritual isn’t only performed on houses; it can also be performed on people, tools, and specific furniture. Negative ions are released during the ritual, and they are known for inducing positive mood. These ions are also created by the most common elements in our life – sun and water. This is the reason why we feel peaceful and calm when we’re in the open.
If the concentration of negative ions is high enough, it can clear mold, pollen, odors, bacteria, and cigarette smoke, as well as other harmful particles. This is done by negative ions’ ability to attach themselves to positive particles and then cause them to become too heavy to stay in air. They fall to the ground, and are removed from the air in your surroundings, so you can’t breathe them in.
If all of this seems like a made up, hippy story, there is scientific data behind all of this. Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology named Medicinal Smokes discovered that smudging indeed cleans the air of harmful substances.
There are many benefits to smudging, some of which are:
- Cleansing the air apart from getting rid of bacteria, smudging eliminates pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and a plethora of allergens.
- Energy improvement studies have shown that negative ions help normalize your serotonin levels, which help with focus and energy levels.
- Higher quality sleep Italian study shows that smudging and negative ions help with sleep patterns.
- Cleansing objects bringing a new object to your home may bring negative energy, therefore smudging is a great way to remove that energy, and keep your home’s energy balanced
- Natural antidepressant a study conducted in 1998 showed that fresh air filled with negative ions is a highly effective way to treat and prevent depression.
- Relaxation as mentioned before, negative ions help with serotonin production in your body, so another effect of smudging is that it keeps you relaxed and mentally focused
The smudging ritual is simple, easy and safe and it can be done in few steps. Native American practitioners point out how important is to be respectful and to know to handle the herbs according to traditional protocols.
One should be fully aware before smudging. Therefore many practice meditation for a few minutes before proceeding.
Here is what you need:
- Get some dried white sage,(usually sold at your local health store or herb shop), bundle it together with a string, tie it and hang it upside down in a cool, dark space until it has completely dried out.
- A fire, heat-proof burning surface, like a clay bowl or abalone shell.
- Matches or a lighter.