What’s Smudging Exactly?
Smudging, or the process of burning a selection of herbs as a ceremonial, cleansing, and spiritual practice, is an ancient art that Native Americans have been practicing for centuries. The herbs used in a smudge are tied together with a string so they can smolder and smoke instead of burning out.
The smoke coming from the bundle has different purposes. Some will say it can clean negative energy, while others believe they release negative ions. According to Native Americans, smudging is the best way to quickly get rid of negative vibes and provides a sense of unparalleled calm. It’s all about the negative ions scientifically speaking. Studies have shown that high concentrations of negative ions can destroy air pollutants and eliminate bacteria and viruses.
How Do Negative Ions Work?
When released, negative ions bind to positively-charged particles around them, making them too heavy for the air. In this way, these particles fall to the floor, leaving your air clean. Don’t think that your home is free from all those positive particles. Scientists say that our homes are actually positive ion prisons nowadays due to the excessive use of electronic devices. This is what makes smudging so great.
Thanks to its abilities to eliminate positive ions, smudging is just like an energetic shower or taking a walk in nature. It’s like a breath of fresh air in a highly polluted environment, and a forgotten art we really should practice more often. When done properly, it has a wide range of health benefits.
Scientific studies have shown that smudging can cut down the number of airborne bacteria and viruses in most rooms significantly when used for 30 days. Due to this, many scientists believe that this practice works better than air purifiers or other devices and techniques which promise to improve your mood.
The Biggest Benefits of Smudging
Besides cleaning the air, smudging can improve your focus, reduce your stress levels, clean the objects in your home of negative energy, and improve your sleep.
Smudge your home and you’ll be able to relax instantly. The biological effects of negative ions have been studied since the 1930s. Dr. Clarence Hansell, one of the pioneering researchers in the field, discovered that angry patients are far calmer after being exposed to negative ions. Fresh air with negative ions has been used as an experimental treatment for depression. It increases a patient’s serotonin levels, effectively improving their mood much better than antidepressants.
Clears Negative Energy
Smudging your home will clean the air within of negative energy. According to alternative medicine practitioners, smudging is the best natural way of fighting anxiety, grief, anger, and depression.
Improves Your Focus
As soon as the smoke hits the air, it will clear your head and improve your focus. In this way, you’ll be able to calmly approach any problem and eventually find a solution.
Cleans the Objects in Your Home
Smudging won’t clean your air only – it will also clean the objects in your home of negative energy. Burn a smudge stick in your home every day and you’ll notice the results soon.
Boosts Your Energy Levels
According to recent studies, negative ions can normalize your serotonin levels and improve your mood. By adopting a more positive outlook on life, you’ll be able to defeat depression.
Improves Your Sleep
Negative ions have been found to have a positive effect on impaired sleeping patterns, according to a recent Italian study.
How to Smudge Properly
Smudging rituals may look complex, but they’re actually easy to perform. Plus, it’s totally safe to do it yourself at home. According to Cat Criger, a Native American practitioner, it’s very important to be respectful of the ritual and learn how to handle the herbs. First and foremost, the herbs need to be stored at a spot that’s higher than waist height in your home. Use birch baskets to keep them – they work best.
Smudging shouldn’t be done in a rush. It’s a process that takes time and usually works best when you do a bit of meditation before it.
All you need are a smudge bundle – get, for example, a sage bundle online or in a local health store. You can also learn how to make smudge sticks on your own and try making one yourself.
You’ll need a lighter, of course, and some heat-resistant clay bowl or shell. When you’re ready to do it, open up a window and put the smudge in the bowl, then light it up. Blow out the flame and let the smudge stick smolder. Take the unburnt end in your hand and shake the stick, allowing the smoke to fill the room. Steer some of it in the direction of your body and inhale while paying attention to your breathing. It’s a secret ceremony which requires your full focus to work.
When you’re ready to smudge your home, move clockwise in your house. Wave the smudge stick so the smoke fills the air in every room and all closed spaces. You’ll want to smudge your home fully in order to clear the negative energy which can stick to objects as well. When you’re done, place the smudge stick in the bowl again and let it burn out.
When Should You Smudge?
Smudging works best when it’s done twice a year, but it can be done on a weekly basis as well. Smudging your home every week will cleanse your home regularly and keep the bad vibes out.
If you’re moving into a new home, smudging is a must. It will clear any residue of negative energy left behind by previous owners and help you start a new chapter in your life. Whenever you’ve had an argument with your partner, smudge afterwards. It will help you clear your mind and prevent the negative energy from ruining your relationship.