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How to Make a Smudge Stick

Smudge Stick Herbs

Have you heard about smudging yet?

If it hasn't come up on your radar then let me get teach you how to make a smudge stick.

Smudge sticks also make great gifts and stocking stuffers for the holidays.

A smudge stick is used in the ceremonial burning of herbs or resins.

It's an ancient practice that has been handed down from native tribes in the Americas, Africa and Asia. They used smudging during sacred rituals and as medicine.

Today we use it for relaxation, aromatherapy and "house cleaning."

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, burning medicinal smoke (smudging) for one hour can reduce airborne bacteria by 94% and the purifying effects can last 24 hours in a closed room.

Native Americans used three primary herbs:

  • Sage is used to dispel negative energy.
  • Cedar is used for an overall blessing or to cleanse where there has been illness.
  • Sweetgrass draws in positive energy.

The burning of smudge sticks is believed to provide a number of benefits:

  • Enhance Intuition - Healers have used sage because it contains thujone. Research shows that thujone is mildly psychoactive and it is used in spiritual rituals to enhance intuition.
  • Mood Improvement - A 2014 study showed that in specific cultures prairie sage is a viable treatment for anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
  • Stress Release - A University of Mississippi research project established that white sage has compounds that activate specific receptors related to elevating moods, reducing stress and possibly pain.
  • Improve Sleep - Negative ions from smudging can have a positive impact on how the body modulates serotonin. Negative ions have been observed to have a beneficial impact on balancing sleep patterns, promotes restfulness and improve physical performance.
  • Smells Good - Sage is a pleasant and clean fragrant scent. Burning sage can also do double duty as an chemical free air freshener or odor controller.

Ceremonial Smudge StickSmudge Stick

Smudge Sticks

The most common plant used for smudging is white sage, but there are others. There are many different plant materials you can use for smudging.

  • Sage smudge stick
  • Cedar smudge stick
  • Sweetgrass smudge stick
  • Lavender smudge stick

If you want to know how to make a rosemary smudge stick or how to make a sage and lavender smudge stick, just follow the instructions and add the herbs and flowers of your choice.

Please note: Do not inhale the smudge smoke, that will make you cough.

DIY Smudge Stick

Supplies

  • Sprigs of your chosen herbs (can be fresh, partially dried or fully dried)
  • Cotton twine or sewing thread
  • Fire proof vessel for stick to rest on while burning (clay pot, glass)
  • Wooden match sticks (not a fire stick)

How To Steps

1. Lay Out Leaves

Assemble your herbs by layering the largest leaves or stems on top of each other.

DIY Smudge Stick

2. Twine Wrap

Cut a piece of twine 4 times the length of your herbs.

Smudge Stick How To

3. Tie It Off

Make a loose knot on the bottom of the bundle and begin wrapping the twine around the bundle tightly in a spiral up and the back down and then tie a knot to the loose bottom knot.

Wrap Smudge Stick

4. Let It Cure

You want the leaves to be dry. If your bundle is not fully dried, hang upside down in a dry sunny spot until the leaves are dry and brittle.

DIY Smudging Curing

5. Light It Up

Grab a lighter and ignite the end. The dry leaves should soon begin going off a fragrant smoke.Don't inhale the smoke! Have a plate handy when you want to snuff out the smudge stick.It can be extinguished and used again.

Light Smudge Stick

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