Ca White Sage - What is it and why you should use it

When you need to clear bad energy from a new home, workspace, or even your car, one recommendation becoming more and more popular is to burn California White Sage and fill the space with its smoke, a process commonly referred to as “smudging.” The process of smudging, though once considered somewhat clandestine and a new age “woo woo” practice, is becoming increasingly more common. However, there are some things you should know about the smudging process and the sage plant itself.

California White Sage as a Source of Nutrition

According to the USDA, White Sage has been used for centuries, and for purposes other than clearing bad energy.  Native Americans along the Pacific collected sage seeds and then dried and ground them into a meal which was used to make one of their go-to foods, pinole. Tribes would keep small baskets of the seeds on hand and store them for the winter.  Some tribes would also eat the stems and leaves of sage.

California White Sage as a Medicinal Resource

Along with using the seeds for food, many Native American tribes have used the seeds and leaves of sage to heal various ailments.  According to the USDA, white sage was used by multiple Native tribes of California to cleanse and heal their eyes. “One method was to place a few seeds in their eyes at bedtime. During the night, the seeds would swell and become gelatinous. Moving around under the eyelids during sleep, the seeds collected any foreign substances on the eyeballs. In the morning the seeds were removed, leaving the eyes clear and free of contaminants,” says the USDA. After giving birth, women of the Cahuilla tribe would infuse sage roots into a type of tea to help promote internal healing.  The Cahuilla tribe also relied on the seeds of California white sage to cure colds by ingesting them.  For the purpose of curing colds, sage leaves to were smoked, used in sweat-houses, and made into a tea by the people of the Digueno tribe.

California White Sage for Cleansing

The idea of using sage to cleanse is by no stretch of the imagination a new concept.  According to the USDA, Native tribes of California would use the sage leaves to make shampoo to cleanse their hair and rub them on their body to cleanse themselves of odor before hunting. The smoke of the white sage is largely used by many Native tribes during purification ceremonies.

Sound familiar? Today, sage is more commonly known for its dried leaves and stems being used for smudging. Though the plant is not yet extinct or even endangered, its increased usage is alarming to some. The USDA states, “The Chumash and other California Indian people are concerned about over-harvesting and disrespect of this plant for commercial purposes.” This is not to discourage the personal use of sage for smudging, but to raise awareness and encourage pointed, intentional use of the plant.

So… What is Smudging, Exactly?

The process of smudging involves lighting a bundle of the dried plant and either dispersing the smoke throughout the area intended to be cleansed or placing the burning sage in a fire-safe bowl or abalone shell and letting the smoke flow freely.  According to Native California White Sage website, California white sage is used mainly “for smudging rituals that cleanses the mind, body, chakra and spirit .”

Smudging is a deeply personal ritual, similar to that of prayer.  When smudging, the intent is to focus on cleansings your life of what no longer serves you and rebalancing your energy “so our life and chakra energy continues to flow much like an open river so we can move forward. Stagnant old energy holds our spirits and self back from living an energetic authentic life!”

Smudging can be a deeply cleansing and empowering ritual if done with the right intentions.  Plus, it never hurts to add another cleansing and peace-inducing practice to your spiritual arsenal.

 Sources:

https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_saap2.pdf

https://nativecaliforniawhitesage.com

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We offer several sizes for your needs.  We also carry CA White Sage loose leaves, Cedar Smudge, Yerba Santa, Lavender & CA Sage Smudges, Abalone Shells, Sweet Grass Braids, Palo Santo sticks and Essential Oil, Dragon's Blood Resin and Frankincense Tears for your meditative and purification needs.

Smudging in the Seven Directions & Prayers

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