Smudging: Ancient Ritual Backed by Modern Research

Smudging: Ancient Ritual Backed by Modern Research

I recently got a wild hair and decided to try sage smudging. I was joking with a friend that we should smudge a room where we work that always felt “heavy,” and on a whim bought a smudge kit the next day. I had absolutely no experience with smudging but that never stopped me from trying anything else so I fired up some music I use for yoga and I went to work, making it up as I went with no real expectations for what was going to happen. I’m not the “woo-woo” type so I was more doing it as something that “couldn’t hurtto try, but the experience felt so significant and like something was actually happening that I started doing some reading on the topic and what I found out blew my mind!

Turns out that burning herbs, such as the white sage has antimicrobial and antiseptic effects. According to research medicinal smoke eliminated up to 94% of airborne bacteria for 24 hours! Not only that, some of the bacteria present in the air prior to the researchers introducing the medicinal smoke had not returned to the environment after 30 days!! Just from medicinal smoke being present in a closed room for one hour.

This type of medicinal smoke also has neural and physiological effect! No, I’m not talking about marijuana, that’s it’s own conversation. When certain medicinal herbs are burned and their smoke is used on the skin, inhaled in small amounts, and even combined with mantras (vibrational energy), it can calm the nervous system, reducing anxiety, alleviating symptoms of depression, and promote feelings of wellbeing and positivity.

I can definitely attest to the psychological effects. After smudging the room I felt light but grounded, and peacefully focused, not like caffeine-focused. It was a really incredible experience. The next day people who didn’t know I had smudged the room commented on how clean it felt, and I didn’t feel the heaviness that was there before.

Now when I’m not feeling well, feeling sluggish or trapped in my head, especially before stepping onto the mat to practice yoga, I light up my sage and smudge myself, my mat, and the area I’m practicing in and it has not failed yet to completely turn my mood around.

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Namasté Yoga People💙

~ Lindsey

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