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The Beginner's Guide to Smudging & Choosing the Right Herbs

eucalyptus and lavender

Smudging is an ancient practice that uses herbs and smoke to cleanse and purify spaces. Different herbs have different properties and uses, so it can be helpful to know what herbs are available and which can help with specific needs. This guide will detail some of the most commonly used smudging herbs and their uses.


Understand the Basics of Smudging.

A sage cleansing kit is a great place to start practicing spiritual cleansing!

Before choosing the right herbs to place in your sage stick, it's important to understand the basics. The process of sage cleansing involves burning dried herbs and allowing the smoke to naturally fill the room or space. As the smoke rises, it removes negative energy and brings cleansing, healing, and purification. Through this practice, people can set their intentions for a particular purpose, such as manifesting health and healing or creating a harmonious environment. You can read more about the basics of smudging in my previous blog post: Unlocking the Magic of Smudging: A Complete Guide for Beginners.


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Learn about Common Smudging Herbs and Their Uses.


Sage has many powerful properties that make it an excellent choice for spiritual purposes, such as cleansing and purifying a space of negative energy. The smoke from burning certain types of Sage has antiseptic qualities, making it a powerful way of neutralizing negative energy and promoting calmness and balance. The herb's pleasant scent is also said to uplift spirits while providing protection and spiritual guidance to those who burn it.

Sweet Grass

Sweetgrass can also be used for spiritual cleansing, healing rituals, or as an offering to honor indigenous ancestors or traditional medicine people. It is considered a sacred herb with intense protective energies, making it ideal for smudging during times of stress or upheaval. Its sweet scent is said to bring blessings of love and peace into any area it's burned in.


Cedar has cleansing properties often used in smudging rituals instead of sage, precisely due to its ability to cleanse negativity and impure thoughts while allowing more positive vibrations in the environment where it is spread through the smoke. The smell is much like incense, with hints of cedarwood in the air that are calming yet energizing at the same time. Cedar is a great herb to have in your smudge stick!

Palo Santo 

Palo santo is a sacred tree originating in South America that has been used in indigenous healing and spiritual ceremonies for centuries. Burning the wood of the palo santo tree in a smudge stick is believed to have purifying benefits, which is why it was traditionally used to clear away negative energy. It releases an aroma that is said to be grounding, calming, and relaxing, and it can help shift energy while stimulating the relaxation response in the brain to promote meditation or creative focus. Furthermore, it's pleasant and grounding aroma can be calming and aid in relieving stress, creating a sense of cleansing for both body and mind.  

Dragon's Blood Sage

Dragon's Blood Sage, also known as Red Sage, has many powerful benefits. It's known for cultivating an aura of protection and love, amplifying healing and manifestation, and warding off evil influences. It also helps to purify the air by eliminating negative energy and bringing mental clarity. Burning this herb can be used to deep cleanse your home and attract blessings!  


magical properties of lavender

The 10 Most Popular Additional Smudging Herbs 


Smudge sticks made of lavender are said to possess many magical properties! Their calming scent is universally known for creating feelings of peace and relaxation, making them perfect for those who struggle with sleep. Lavender smudge sticks also draw in happiness and joy and are a powerful source of love and protection. The fragrant scent and peaceful energy created by burning a lavender smudge stick can help transform the space around you.


Rosemary smudging sticks are a powerful tool used for emotional healing and cleansing. Burning rosemary is thought to aid in mental clarity, improve memory, increase understanding and insight, strengthen your heart chakra, protect you from negative energies, and help fill the air with peace and safety.


Eucalyptus is a popular choice for cleansing and smudging due to its magical properties, as it has many benefits that promote health and protection! It has energizing properties, which help reduce exhaustion, and mental sluggishness and help to strengthen focus and concentration for meditation. Cleansing with eucalyptus can also help protect the space or individual, provide balance and promote relaxation. 


Thyme has been a source of magical properties for centuries, associated with purification and mental clarity. As a powerful protection herb, thyme helps to protect one from negative energy while cleansing them of their own. Burning dried thyme in your sage stick can help to give an instant boost of courage and positive energy, heal heartache and loneliness and promote good health in the home. When used in divination practices such as tarot cards, scrying, or pendulums, burning thyme allows access to divine guidance while helping keep you safe from any potential harm along the way!


Roses have long been associated with magical properties. Roses are linked to female intuition, psychic and dream work, protection, luck, beauty, confidence, truth, and passion. Rose's petals can enhance female intuition and delve deep into the realms of the divine. When used in a spell or ritual, the magical properties of roses provide powerful energy to manifest desired outcomes and aid in enhancing intuition and helping to unlock the secrets one is seeking from within. 

Bay Leaves 

Bay leaves are known for their healing and protective powers, making them a great addition to any sage stick or smudge bundle! Burning bay leaves have been said to provide calmness and better mental clarity, allowing for positive thinking and a better outlook on life. They can also improve your mood, creating an uplifting atmosphere that promotes relaxation.


Mint is known for its purifying and protective properties, making it a popular herb for smudging. It can be used in smudging rituals to provide feelings of protection, soothing energy, and lift spirits. The refreshing scent of mint can also be energizing, making it a great addition to any magical practice. The combination of mint and sage enhances one another’s effects and makes them ideal in cleansing rituals or ceremonies. 


Pine is widely used in smudging rituals to release and cleanse negative energy. Its woodsy aroma encourages healing and soothing, creating a calming atmosphere and encouraging a connection with nature. Its smoke can help purify your environment and promotes focus and thought stability. The pine tree's properties symbolize protection, strength, reputation, abundance, harmony, and good luck.

Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa is a plant used to purify energy and help heal. Various cultures have long practiced this smudging ritual as part of spiritual ceremonies. It is often burned in a sage stick to clear away negative energy, providing protection and aiding in healing emotional trauma or hurt.


For those looking to practice self-love and cultivate a sense of comfort, chamomile is an excellent choice of herb. Used in sage sticks, chamomile helps promote a deeper connection to oneself and can bring about feelings of happiness and contentment.



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Consider Your Intentions for Smudging and Select Herbs Accordingly.

When selecting which herbs to use for smudging, it is essential to consider your intentions for the practice. What are you hoping to accomplish by smudging? For example, Sage might be a good option if you are looking for protection and purification. On the other hand, if you want to draw in happiness and abundance, sweetgrass may be the right choice. Of course, combining different herbs with different effects is possible. It all depends on what you need and what you believe will work best for you! 

lavender magical properties

Tribal Moon Goddess Boutique is a wonderful place to find ethically sourced, all-natural sage bundles and more! What's even better? This is an indigenous-owned business, so you can feel good about purchasing my sage bundles that are 100% handmade. Whether new to smudging or a seasoned pro, Tribal Moon Goddess Boutique has what you need to create a sacred space in your home!


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