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Why you should burn sage

burning sage

Sage has been used since ancient times for healing and clear emotional and spiritual negativity.

There are many different types of sage but white sage is the most popular variety for cleansing. It can be used to purify a person, group of people or space.

Scientific studies show that sage smoke acts as a powerful antiseptic, which can help purify the air and remove up to 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours.

Often our electromagnetic fields, otherwise known as your aura, can become blocked, making us feel tired, sluggish and burn out. Burning sage can help neutralise the positive charges and help us to feel calmer and lighter within ourselves.

Many religions burn herbs as part of a ritualistic practice. Christian churches often smudge with frankincense and myrrh and Buddhist temples are known for burning incense. The Incas burn Palo Santa wood, which has been a tradition in South America for hundreds of years. I like to use burn palo santo within my clinic environment. I enjoy the ritualistic practice of lighting the wood before each consultation, and I find that it helps clear negative energies and promote a calmer environment for patients to enter.

Burning sage is said to have many benefits including:

  • Purification

  • Reducing allergies

  • Clearing negative energy

  • Boosting mood

  • Relieving stress

  • Increasing energy

  • Improving sleep

  • Natural air freshener


  1. Light the end of a sage bundle with a match. If it catches on fire blow it out quickly, you want the ends of the leaves to smoulder slightly, releasing a cloud of thick smoke.

  2. Direct the smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other. Allow the incense to linger on the areas of your body or surroundings you’d like to focus on.

  3. Once finished, allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl or shell. Don’t put it out with water, or you won’t be able to relight it in future! The amount of smoke which present lets you know how much negative energy is around. 

The process of burning sage can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Some people like to do it in a much more structured and ritualistic way. The most important part of burning sage is setting your intention. Before you light the sage clearly plant your intention within your mind. Are you burning sage to purify a space, a person, or yourself? Being clear about what you hope to achieve will help you get the most out of the practice.


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