• Hitomi Ejima

10 Common Herbs Used in Smudging

Smudging has become a very popular practice among mystics, witches, and other spiritual practitioners for its purifying and cleansing properties. Smudging can release negative energy from a space, item, or person, and promotes a clearing of energy conducive for healing.

Smudge sticks or bundles can come in a variety of herbs, with some more commonly used and popular than others. Depending on your intentions, here is a list of 10 common plants and herbs used in smudging.

White sage

Arguably the most popularly used, white sage is a sacred herb that has been used by the Native Americans for centuries. It was often used in ceremonies that helped clear negative energy in spaces, but also provides benefits that aid in energy healing, feng shui, and the paranormal. Mainly, white sage has been used in rituals that seek health, prosperity, release of unwanted energy, and protection.

Palo santo

Palo santo is a type of fragrant wood that has been used by shamans and spiritual healers for ages. Like white sage, it allows for a cleansing of negative energy, but is also used to strengthen spiritual connection to the world to foster healing and protection. It is a common alternative in the absence of white sage, which is growing increasingly scarce due to its popularity. It also happens to be a natural bug repellent!

Yerba santa

Yerba santa is another commonly used herb used as a smudge or incense. It is great for protection and setting boundaries, but has also been used for self-love and spiritual growth rituals. It is known to help release any pain stored in the heart chakra, allowing for emotional healing.


Also known as black sage, it was once considered a sacred herb for worshippers of the Greek goddess Artemis. It is considered to be more powerful than white sage, especially if you are looking to clear a lot more negative energy than usual. Mugwort amplifies psychic energy, and is often used before divination practices. It can also serve as protection during astral projection, and can be hung over doorways to repel bad spirits.


Lavender is a flower commonly found in temperate climates, and is a flexible plant known for its many magical properties. It cleanses, provides psychic protection, boosts clairvoyance, and creates an energy for happiness, healing, and tranquility. It also aids in peaceful sleep for those with insomnia or other sleep-related problems.


Rosemary isn't just great for cooking; it's also a great alternative if you've run out of sage at home. It is also used as a cleansing agent that soothes and promotes peace within yourself and your immediate environment. Sometimes, it is combined within sage bundles to boost each other's purifying properties.


Juniper is an aromatic evergreen with a woody scent that is also burned as an incense to clear negative energy and attract positivity. It is also believed to ward off evil spirits and illnesses. It can also boost immunity, improve sex, and attract new love.


Cedar is common among beginners and is a popular alternative to sage. It is often used in temples to attract good spirits, and is also used in rituals that involve renewal, protection, and grounding.


Rose is associated with love goddesses like Aphrodite or Isis, and when used as a smudge it opens up the heart chakra for you to give and receive love. Rose helps to attract the love you desire, gain the blessings of love goddesses, and make your magic more powerful. It is also know to attract fairies.

Desert sage

Desert sage has a herbaceous, slightly peppery aroma also used for purifying and providing inner strength. It is said to attract pleasant thoughts, ward off negative influences, and relieve headaches and anxiety. It also promotes positivity and relaxation.

With these alternatives in mind, you'll never run out of options the next time you decide to smudge your home. Just make sure to smudge carefully and with respect to nature and the universe :)


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