Wellness

Burning Sage: A Spiritual Ritual That Benefits Body and Spirit

Burning sage is an ancient spiritual ritual. It is a well-established Native American cultural or tribal practice, although not practiced by all groups. We owe its use to the traditions of many Native American peoples. This includes the Lakota, the Chumash, the Cahuilla, among others. Many other cultures around the world share similar rituals.

Here are the benefits of burning sage and how you can use it to improve your overall well-being.

1. Burning sage can be purifying

The most commonly used types of sage have antimicrobial properties. This means that they keep infectious bacteria, viruses and fungi at bay.
Prairie white sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) is both antimicrobial and antibacterial. White sage (Salvia apiana) is also antimicrobial. And both have been shown to have an insect repellent effect. The belief that burning sage eliminates spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects has been fundamental to this practice.

2. Burning sage can help relieve symptoms of certain conditions

Turns out sage can help clean the air way more than bugs and bacteria. Although not scientifically proven, it is believed that burning sage releases negative ions. It is said to help neutralize positive ions.

Common positive ions are allergens like:

pet dander
pollution
dust

If so, burning sage can be a blessing for people with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems. But inhaling the smoke during combustion can aggravate any respiratory condition. Wait for the smoke to clear before entering the room.

3. Sage can be a spiritual tool

Burning sage has long been used to connect to the spiritual world or to enhance intuition. For healers and lay people in traditional cultures, burning sage is used to achieve a state of healing. Or to solve or ponder spiritual dilemmas. It may also have a scientific basis. Some types of sage, including salvia sages and white prairie sage, contain thujone. Research shows that thujone is mildly psychoactive. It is actually found in many plants used in cultural and spiritual rituals to enhance intuition.

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4. Burning sage can help dispel negative energy

Burning sage can also be used as a ritual tool to get rid of, or rid your space of, negativity. This includes past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others. It can help you establish a positive environment for meditation or another ritual. By choosing to sit down and let go of negative thoughts in a ritual like this, you are setting your intention and dedication to self-improvement. Choosing to engage in a ritual can be the start of a change in mindset.

5. Burning sage can cleanse or empower specific objects

Burning sage creates a fragrant smoke that is central to the benefits. You can use the ash to put some on yourself or in specific spaces. Or according to some sources, you can put it on specific objects. This can be useful for new purchases, gifts or second-hand items.
If you are concerned about the negative story or energy attached to a new or unfamiliar object, this practice can bring you peace of mind and make the object more sacred to you.

6. Burning sage can help improve your mood

Tradition has it that burning sage can literally uplift the spirit to banish negativity. Some research points in this direction. A 2014 study showed that prairie white sage (also called estafiate) is an important traditional remedy for treating anxiety, depression, and mood disorders in some cultures.

7. Burning sage can help relieve stress

While burning sage can improve mood, it can also be a great ally against stress. A 2016 research project for the University of Mississippi found that white sage (Salvia apiana) is rich in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood, reducing stress, and even relieving pain.

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8. Burning sage can improve your sleep quality

Burning sage has traditionally been used to protect against negativity that might interfere with sleep. Some research suggests that sage contains compounds that may help relieve insomnia. Classic garden sage (Salvia officinalis) is sometimes burnt like white sage. It is also used to improve sleep and soothe anxiety.

9. Burning sage can help boost cognition

In addition to dispelling negative energy, improving mood and enhancing intuition, sage can improve your memory and concentration. A review of studies in 2016 noted that the evidence for Salvia’s benefits for improving cognitive function is promising.

10. Burning sage can help boost your energy levels

Ridding the body, objects and spaces of bad energy can help welcome new, fresher and more positive energies. In a way, it could have an energizing effect and help fight fatigue. Some species similar to prairie white sage are also used. Many have documented anti-fatigue uses.

11. She can create a stimulating scent

For some, this may be the best of all benefits: Sage is a beautiful incense with a divine aroma, pure and simple. It also works great as a chemical-free air freshener or odor controller.

What you need to burn sage

The practice of burning sage is quite simple, with few tools required.

Basic tools include:

– a bundle of sage
– some recommend a seashell or a ceramic, clay or glass bowl to hold the burning sage or catch the ashes
– matches rather than a lighter
– a feather or an optional fan for the evacuation of smoke

There are many types of sage that can be used. Some traditional examples include:

– white sage (Salvia apiana)
– other salvia species
– the white sage of the prairies or estafiate (Artemisia ludoviciana)

How to prepare for the ritual

Before burning sage, some recommend setting intentions if doing stains for spiritual, energetic, and negativity-clearing purposes. Remove animals or people from the room. It is also important to leave a window open before, during and after burning. This allows the smoke to escape. Some believe that the smoke carries with it impurities and negative energy. So don’t skip this step.

How to burn sage the traditional way

1 Light the end of a sage bundle with a match. Blow quickly when it catches fire.
2 The tips of the leaves should smolder slowly, releasing thick smoke. Direct this smoke around your body and into the space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other.
3 Allow the smoke to linger on areas of your body or environment that you want to focus on. Using a fan or feather can also help direct the smoke, although this is optional.
4 Let the ashes collect in a ceramic bowl or shell.
5 spread the ashes in your home or living space

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Go through all the rooms with the sage

Direct sage smoke to all surfaces and spaces in your home or living space. Be thorough. Some recommend working clockwise around your house, returning to the starting point, especially for spiritual purposes.

Keep in mind that burning sage is a sacred religious practice in some Native American cultures. Treat the ritual with respect.

Sources

Adams JD, et al. (2012). Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, Artemisia douglasiana, Artemisia argyi) in the treatment of menopause, premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Bora KS, et al. (2011). The genus Artemisia: A comprehensive review.

Castillo SL, et al. (2011). Extracts of edible and medicinal plants in inhibition of growth, adherence, and cytotoxin production of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli.

Gutierrez SLG, et al. (2014). Medicinal plants for the treatment of “nervios”, anxiety, and depression in Mexican traditional medicine.

Hamidpour M, et al. (2014). Chemistry, pharmacology, and medicinal property of sage (Salvia) to prevent and cure illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, depression, dementia, lupus, autism, heart disease, and cancer.

Kindscher K. (1992). Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas.

Miraj S, et al. (2016). A review study of therapeutic effects of Salvia officinalis L.
Pandey AK, et al. (2017). The genus Artemisia: A 2012-2017 literature review on chemical composition, antimicrobial, insecticidal and antioxidant activities of essential oils.

Sayin HU. (2016). Chapter 2 – Psychoactive plants used during religious rituals.

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