Herbal Smudge Sticks

 Hello friends,

I have an abundance of herbs as the growing season is slowly coming to its Autumnal finish.  

Today I am making herbal smudge sticks. These are simply dried bundled herbs that are lit, the flame is extinguished and the dried bundles smolder. The smoke from smudge sticks is often used ceremonially, medicinally, or simply as an air freshener. 

White sage smudge sticks, are the most popular. Personally, I just use it for the fragrance so I use some decorative flowers and assortments of botanicals.   Genuine white sage is often considered sacred by Native Americans and those who smudge for ceremonies. 

I like to create my own herbal smudge sticks from plants that I grow or native harvest from the fields and woodlands surrounding my home.  This way it is sustainable. If you are smudging for ceremonial purposes, you can research which plants are believed to provide the desired results.  I am not schooled in this aspect of smudging so I will leave that to the experts.

All you need is clipped herbs, greens, flowers and a natural twine like cotton kitchen string or garden sisal.  While sage is gold standard, there are many suitable herbs and plants that work wonderfully:

Sage, rosemary, lavender, pine, cinnamon bark, rose petals, cedar, juniper, sweetgrass, marigold, ginger root, frankincense tears, bayberry, mints, chamomile, red willow, bay are a few that work well.

Gather your small bouquet and using a cotton thread tie a knot tightly at the base. I tie a loop for hanging and weave the string up the bundle.  

You want to pull it tight to secure the plants as the herbs will shrink as they dry. Once you get to the top you can end it if you feel the bundle is tight enough or you can cross over and go back down to be sure it is good to go.  Tie it of with a simple knot.

Hang the bundle in open air out of the sunlight as it dries.  It takes a month or so to dry properly.  The herbs must be complete dried before lighting for best results.  Once mine dry I trim the top and bottom so you get a nice flat surface which makes it ideal for lighting. 

 To light your smudge stick, use a candle, match or lighter to light the end of the stick. Let it catch fire then lightly wave out or blow out the flames, leaving the stick to smolder. Place the smoking smudge stick in a fire safe dish, pottery or vessel.  Tradition smudging is often placed in an abalone shell. 

 You can move about the home to smudge the various spaces.  Often a large smudging feather is used to disperse the fragrant smoke emitting from the smoldering smudge stick. I use a naturally shed turkey feather that we found in our yard.  

 Once you are through, stamp out the burning stick being sure it is completely extinguished. Do not use water so you can reuse it. Note: if your stick does not light easily, it is either not completely dried or too tight.  You can leave it to dry longer or gently loosen the ends to allow for easier lighting.

Be careful: use caution when handling the burning smudge stick, never leave the burning stick unattended and use only plants and botanicals that you know are safe and properly identified.  

Bundle up those herbs and give smudging a try.

Thanks for visiting,



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