Smudging 101: The Different Types of Sage to Burn for Cleansing and Purification

Burning sage, also known as smudging, is a traditional practice in many cultures for spiritual, cleansing, and purifying purposes. Different types of sage are used for smudging, each with its own distinct scent and properties. Here are some common types of sage used for burning:

1. White Sage (Salvia apiana)

White sage is perhaps the most well-known and widely used sage for smudging. It is native to North America and is known for its strong, pungent scent. White sage is believed to cleanse negative energy, purify spaces, and promote spiritual and emotional balance.

2. Desert Sage (Artemisia tridentata)

Desert sage, also known as desert sagebrush or big sagebrush, is another type of sage commonly used for smudging. It has a more subtle and earthy scent compared to white sage. Desert sage is associated with grounding, protection, and purification.

3. Blue Sage (Salvia azurea)

Blue sage, sometimes called “grandmother sage,” is a type of sage with a pleasant, floral aroma. It is known for its calming and soothing properties, making it suitable for meditation, relaxation, and promoting positive energy.

4. Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)

Black sage, also known as honey sage, is a sage variety native to California. It has a distinct, slightly sweet scent and is often used for smudging to cleanse and purify spaces. Black sage is associated with protection and releasing negativity.

5. Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary sage is a different species of sage with a more herbaceous and musky scent. While it is not as commonly used for smudging, it is sometimes included in smudging blends for its calming and clarifying properties.

It’s important to note that the practice of smudging and the choice of sage may vary among different cultural and spiritual traditions. When using sage for smudging, it is recommended to approach the practice with respect, intention, and mindfulness.