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Sage bundles and matches

Throughout history, many cultures have used the smoke of various medicinal plants to support cleansing and healing. Burning sage, specifically, is an ancient Native American tradition intended to rid a space of negative energy prior to spiritual ceremonies.

This ritual can also encourage mindfulness and clarity, and its scent can be therapeutic.

In addition, the practice could literally clear the air: One 2007 study found that medicinal smoke reduced the level of airborne bacteria by 94 percent.

But it’s still smoke, so if you or anyone in your home suffers from respiratory problems, consider a spray alternative like the DIY blend below.


  • Open the windows and doors in your home so the smoke can dissipate. As you walk through each room, remove or put away excess clutter.
  • Hold the flame to the end of the sage bundle until it begins to smoke. If the sage catches fire, blow on it until you see only embers and smoke.
  • Carry your sage bundle from room to room, starting on the lowest floor of your home and using a bowl to catch ashes. Waft the smoke into corners of each room, across doorways, and out through open windows.
  • Let the sage bundle burn out, or extinguish the embers in your bowl when you’re finished. Do not leave your burning sage bundle unattended.

Sage Spray

If you or others in your home are sensitive to smoke, burning sage may not be right for you. Instead, add 1 cup distilled water plus 10 to 15 drops of sage essential oil in a glass or metal spray bottle; shake lightly to combine, then spray around the space.

This originally appeared as “Sage Your Home” in the November 2019 issue of Experience Life.

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