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  Smudging Herbs

We smudgers love our sage! But we are not limited to it. Smudging herbs are plentiful. I encourage you to try other "magical" herbs that are also excellent for clearing away energetic debris and negative influences.

Besides variety, there are practical reasons to expand your repertoire of smudge .... sometimes you have to use what is available or easily accessible.

Sustainability is also a factor to consider. White sage (Salvia apiana)  in particular has been over harvested due to popular demand. Loss of habitat and drought have also endangered this sacred crop.

The following list of smudging herbs have come to us from a long history of use from many traditions. Their cleansing and purifying benefits are released into our environments when used as smudge.

They become powerful companions and allies which deserve our respect. We, in turn, are their caretakers. It is up to us to use, harvest and propagate responsibly.


  • Bay Leaves
  • Cedar varieties, all parts
  • Fennel, all parts
  • Juniper ( cedar), berries, leaves and bark
  • Lavender
  • Mint family
  • Mugwort
  • Mullein
  • Osha root
  • Pine varieties
  • Sage, Salvia and Artemesia varieties
  • Sweetgrass combined with sage
  • Yerba Santa

Purifying Resins


In addition to herbs, there are resins that can be used singularly or in combination for smudging.

  • Benzoin
  • Copal
  • Dragon's Blood
  • Frankincense
  • Gum Arabic
  • Pinon Pine
  • Myrrh

How to Use Smudging Herbs

Dry your herbs before use. You can simply burn the leaves over a fireproof receptacle such as a shell or pottery. See Smudging for more detail.

You can make your own smudge sticks by assembling your dry leaves and/or stalks into a bundle and wrapping them with cotton string or twine. Secure the bundle at the base with several successive tight wrappings before tying off.

Dried herbs can be crumbled or powdered and burnt on charcoal discs or briquets. Make sure you follow safety guidelines described on the Smudging page.

Resins, barks and berries can also smoulder on charcoal.

I like to meditate beside a fire. When I do, I place a cedar log partly in the fire. After it gets going I sometimes pull it out and use the smoke from it to smudge myself. 

I also like to use other herbs along with the cedar.

You can also pull hot coals out of your fire to use for burning your herbs and resins on.

Experiment with different herbs and combinations to find which you have affinity with and which provides the results you want.




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