White Sage (Salvia apiana) is a traditional medicine plant of the Native American peoples, commonly used for healing, cleansing, as well as purification. In fact, the plant is believed to open people up to a higher connection with the sacred and eliminate negative energy on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. The plant has a strong, pleasant, and stimulating fragrance that works on all the senses. In the Native American tradition, White Sage is a sacred herb used for prayer and working with the power of spirits.
White Sage is used for cleansing environments, rooms, houses, or spaces of old energies and replace them with fresh intent. Also, the herb is used to cleanse the aura of a person from old energies as well as cause healing when taken as a tea.
The Benefits of White Sage
Let’s look at the benefits of White Sage.
Possesses Antimicrobial Properties
White sage contains antimicrobial properties that get rid of infectious bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Interestingly, white sage possesses both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This makes the herb effective for repelling insects. As a matter of fact, there are beliefs that burning sage helps to cleanse spiritual impurities as well as repel insects and pathogens that result from disease.
Relieves the Symptoms of Certain Health Conditions
White sage may also help clear the air of not only bacteria and bugs. Although still unproven, burning sage is believed to help release negative ions. This neutralizes positive ions, including allergens such as pollution, mold, pet dander, and dust.
In fact, burning sage may help alleviate bronchitis, asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems. However, it is better to wait until the smoke clears as spending time in the room inhaling the smoke may aggravate the respiratory conditions.
Used as a Spiritual Tool
White sage is commonly used to connect to the spiritual realm or boost intuition. Burning sage is effective for healing and solving spiritual problems. The herb also contains thujone, which according to some studies, is mildly psychoactive. Thujone is actually present in many plants used in cultural spiritual ceremonies to improve intuition.
Dispels Negative Energy
White sage may also be used as a ritual tool to cleanse yourself or your space of negativity. This includes negative energies, past traumas, or bad experiences. This herb can help you enjoy a positive environment for meditation and sets your intention and commitment to self-improvement.
Cleanses Specific Objects
Burning white sage helps create fragrant smoke that has smudging or cleansing benefits. This incense can help smudge you, your spaces and specific objects. This can be effective for new purchases or gifts items. For people who experience negative history or energy in relation to a new or unfamiliar object, smudging can help provide peace of mind and make the object even more sacred to you.
White sage can literally boost a person’s spirits by banishing negativity. Some studies do, in fact, supports the use of white sage as an important traditional remedy for treating depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Alleviates Menstrual Pain
Did you know that drinking white sage tea may help ease heavy and painful menstrual periods? In fact, it may also reduce the discomfort that accompanies certain menopausal symptoms, including excessive sweating and hot flashes. White sage tea actually contains phytoestrogens, which are biochemicals that have similar effects with the female hormone estrogen.
In addition to lifting mood, burning sage can help alleviate stress. According to some studies, white sage is high in compounds that can activate some receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for improving mood levels, minimizing stress, as well as pain.
White sage is traditionally used to protect against negativity that could negatively affect sleep. Some studies suggest that white sage contains compounds that could help treat insomnia as it can induce sleep and alleviate anxiety.
Apart from dispelling negative energy, boosting mood, and improving intuition, white sage is also believed to increase a person’s focus. As a matter of fact, white sage can boost cognition and alertness.
Improves Energy Levels
Cleansing the body, spaces, environments, and objects from negative energy can help bring in newer and more positive energies. This could have an energizing effect and help alleviate fatigue.
Provides an Uplifting Fragrance
For some people, this may be the best of all benefits that white sage offers. This is because white sage has a pleasant aroma that is pure and simple. The herb is also excellent as a chemical-free air freshener or odor regulator.
What you Need for Smudging
Smudging or burning sage is not a difficult practice. You can carry it out with few necessary and basic tools, including a smudge stick or sage bundle, a bowl of ceramic, clay, or glass to hold burning sage, matches, and a fan for fanning smoke.
However, it is important to note that before burning sage, you need to set your intentions–whether smudging is for energetic, spiritual, and negativity-cleansing purposes. In addition, it is important to let at least, a window open before, during, and after smudging to allow smoke to go out. In fact, some people believe that the smoke also takes impurities and negative energy with it.
Side Effects and Precautions
When done the right way, and respectfully, smudging is considered completely safe and the effects last after the smoke clears. However, it is important to do the following:
- Exercise caution with the use of white sage when it’s lit. This is because it can cause burns and even fire. Always have water close by.
- Whatever you do, do not leave burning sage unattended. Ensure to put your white sage bundle away completely after each use.
- Individuals who suffer from asthma and other respiratory conditions may be more sensitive to the smoke and suffer negative reactions.
- Like we mentioned earlier, it is important to always leave a window open during smudging. This owing to the fact that inhaling smoke can be harmful to a person’s health.
The Bottom Line
Evidently, white sage contains a diverse range of benefits as a spiritual and healing practice. While studies support certain health benefits of white sage, including its antimicrobial properties and improved alertness, more research is required on the herb.
It is important not to forget that smudging is a sacred religious practice in certain Native American cultures. Handle the ritual with a lot of respect.