Oh 2020...what a year!
Besides the plethora of changes that happened to our daily lives, our homes underwent a transformation as well. For many, 2020 marked the year the home became not just a home, but an office, staycation destination, school, bakery, gym, restaurant and bar (mini martini anyone?). And all this activity is happening under one roof!
Your home wore as many hats as you do, and often, all the energy involved with those activities can build up within your home and keep you from living in a clean and healthy environment.
While you might be soo ready for the new year, is your home ready to embark on what lays ahead for 2021?
With the new year upon us, maybe it’s time to give your home a fresh start with a sage cleanse. Sage cleansing can rid your home of negativity and welcome in positive energy, setting you up for a fantastic 2021!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click the link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission--at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I find to be trustworthy and helpful. For more information, please see my Terms & Conditions. Also, I am not a doctor. The information on my website is derived from research and beliefs that may not be endorsed by any health agency such as the FDA. Nothing I say is intended to treat or cure disease. Please consult your own doctor.
If you’re new to the whole idea of sage cleansing, not to worry...I’ve got you covered. I’m going to break it down for you in two installments.
This week I’ll be covering the origins of sage and its health benefits, and the following week, we’ll dive into how to perform the sacred practice of a sage cleanse.
So let’s strap on that backpack, and head back to school...
SAGE CLEANSING 101
You’ll see variants of what it’s called: sage cleansing, smudging, burning or even energy clearing. They are all describing a practice that is derived from Native American culture where shamans would burn sage in a fire to cleanse a person or space of negativity and to promote health and wisdom. Because of its roots in sacred rituals, it is important to be respectful of the practice’s history and Native American culture and to act with mindful intent when performing it yourself.
Sage, under its scientific name, is Salvia officinalis. Why does this matter? Well, first, science rocks, so anytime I can nerd out I’m all for it.
Secondly, salvia comes from latin salvare, which literally means to heal. The idea that sage has therapeutic qualities has been intertwined with the word itself from the very beginning.
In addition to generations of Native Americans using it in sacred rituals, sage was known in other parts of the world as well.
The oldest known records of using sage for medicinal purposes was in ancient Egypt around 2000 BC. Mostly they used it as a remedy for infertility, but also used it for treating diseases. It even was one of the necessary herbs to include in embalming the great Pharaohs to make sure they would make it to the afterlife.
The Romans documented using it ex-ten-sive-ly:
Got a cough? Sage.
Sore throat? Sage.
Digestive issues? Sage.
Labor pains? (Really?) Yeah...sage.
Practically any ailment or disease, the romans would use sage as a remedy. And despite it being prolifically prescribed, it was considered a holy plant and was only picked after performing a specific ceremony and using instruments dedicated for that purpose.
In recent years, research has begun on sage’s flavonoids--plant compounds that have a medicinal quality--which seem to suggest it has a cognitive-enhancing effect in humans, and further research could lead to new treatments in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Research has also found that sage has antimicrobial qualities, which is probably why many cultures used it for practically everything under the sun. Antibiotics were only truly discovered in 1928 (it was penicillin, found by Alexander Flemming if you’re interested in knowing that nugget of information), but humans have been using the effects of this for ages.
It has even been shown that burning sage for an hour in a room can reduce airborne bacteria by 94 percent. Hello, healthy home!
I hope we see continued research of all versions of sage--the plant, it’s oil, it’s smoke--especially given the magnitude of possible remedies we might see from this magical plant.
And maybe, just maybe, modern science will finally catch up to what our “sage” ancestors knew all along.
THE HORROR! Yes, I have a task for you, but trust me, you’re so ready for this. A clean slate for you and your home is just around the corner.
In order to do your first sage cleansing, you’re going to need the right materials, so your homework is simply to get that stuff. Shopping for homework? Yes, please!
What you’ll need:
Abalone shell or other vessel for burning sage
Feather or other fanning object
Long match or candle
Where to get it:
Shamans Market is the place I recommend for these items because they source fair-trade, eco-friendly products that help support indigenous peoples and their cultures. Because let’s face it, early settlers were pretty awful to all the indigenous people they came across, so let’s not further strip them of their culture and order some overharvested, shitty sage from Amazon. Who knows what terrible juju lies in that stuff, and I, for one, certainly wouldn’t want to be spreading that negative energy around my house. Just sayin'...
If you want to make it real easy on yourself, try out Shamans Market’s White Sage Smudge Gift Box. It gives you everything you need, even an awesome hand carved stand for the items when not in use. You simply supply the fire.
If for some reason you cannot use smoke in your home, they also offer great sacred mists available in sage and other scents. Check them out here.
(Yeah, I’m fully invested in this school theme!)