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The Best Sage Smudge Sticks

Last updated on December 1, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Sage Smudge Sticks

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Purple Canyon White Sage Smudge Sticks, 3-Pack

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Purple Canyon

White Sage Smudge Sticks, 3-Pack

This pack of 4-inch smudge sticks is all natural and sourced with sustainability in mind. To make it, pure sage is dried and hand-wrapped with cotton string. It comes with a smudging guide help you through the process. You can get a 1-pack, 3-pack, or 6-pack.

Overall Take

Pleasing ScentThis bundle of smudge sticks has a pleasant scent that lingers and purifies your space.

 Runner Up

New Age Smudges & Herbs Organic White Sage Smudge Sticks, 3-Pack

New Age Smudges & Herbs

Organic White Sage Smudge Sticks, 3-Pack

You’ll get a pack of three handmade, sun-dried bundles in this set, each measuring approximately 4 inches long. These white sage smudge sticks are grown organically and sustainably on private farms and bundled with cotton. They burn well and last a long time, too.

Overall Take

Balanced ResultsAttention to detail ensures this bundle burns evenly for a higher-quality experience.

 We Also Like

MAMA WUNDERBAR Assorted Plant & Sage Smudge Sticks, 5-Pack


Assorted Plant & Sage Smudge Sticks, 5-Pack

You’ll get a mix of different kinds of smudge sticks to customize your cleansing process. The sticks are handcrafted using organic, ethically-harvested ingredients. The well-packaged set comes in a storage box with informational inserts, so it makes a great gift.

Overall Take

Great GiftThis set of smudge sticks comes in an attractive gift box, making it ideal for gifting.

 Strong Contender

Alternative Imagination Slow Burning Sage Smudge Sticks, 3-Pack

Alternative Imagination

Slow Burning Sage Smudge Sticks, 3-Pack

Grown on family farms, this white sage is hand-harvested and wrapped with cotton string for a fresh, natural option. You’ll get three hand-selected aromatic bundles of 4-inch sticks. These burn slowly to maximize your cleansing time and are designed to purify and dispel negative energy.

Overall Take

Easy to UseThese slow-burning smudge sticks are all-natural and ready for any cleansing task.

Buying Guide

Medicinal smoke is nothing new. In fact, the original inhabitants of North America regularly burned herbs for a variety of purposes. The practice has caught on in recent years as a way to cleanse a space. Some even believe it has an impact on the energy in the surrounding area.

Our predecessors might have been onto something. Research has shown a notable reduction in bacteria in the air as a result of medicinal smoke. In one study, the benefits lasted for up to 24 hours. This effect works best in an enclosed space, of course, but that shouldn’t stop you from using medicinal smoke in a more open area.

The process of using medicinal smoke to cleanse an area is known as “smudging” or “cleansing.” It simply refers to the art of burning certain plants to create aromatic smoke. Popular plants for smudging include sage, lavender, sweetgrass and cedar. Traditionally, different herbs have been used for different purposes. Sage, for instance, is considered both healing and cleansing, while lavender has been used to guard against evil.

But burning herbs can be messy. That’s where smudge sticks come in. Sold in bundles, smudge stickes are generally held at a 45-degree angle and lit at the other end. Blow out the flame after several seconds and distribute the smoke in any area you want cleansed.

If your goal is to smudge a small area, you can buy smudge bowls. These allow you to set your smudge sticks inside for a more passive cleansing experience. Bowls made from abalone shells, for example, are designed to withstand heat without damage. As a bonus, they’re also attractive.

Some people use the bowl to set up a smudge stick, then take a seat in the area and simply relax. As with aromatic oils, sniffing aromatic smoke can be great for luxuriating and de-stressing after a long day.

What to Look For

  • Some people are sensitive to smoke or simply prefer an alternative. Mixing the herbs with essential oils and water in a diffuser can produce some smudging benefits, as can using a spray bottle to create a mist. This can also help if you want to cleanse a space where producing smoke isn’t an option, such as a hotel room or vacation rental.
  • If sustainability and all-natural materials are important to you, you should be able to find smudge sticks that are sourced with that in mind. Also look for bundles that are tied with pure cotton to ensure you aren’t adding chemicals or dyes to the mix as you create them.
  • The process of preparing for and completing your smudging exercises is an important part of the process. Don’t rush through this. Instead, take your time and savor the experience of gathering materials, lighting your bundle and distributing the smoke.
  • Once you’ve completed smudging, you’ll need to ensure it’s completely extinguished for safety. You can do this by pressing your bundle into your abalone shell, if you’re using one. Some keep sand around specifically for extinguishing purposes. You can also extinguish your smudge sticks by running them under water.
  • You don’t have to toss your smudge sticks after using them. They can be saved and reused multiple times. However, for optimum cleansing power, it’s best to use a new smudge stick each time.
  • A proper smudging session has you moving around your space in a clockwise manner, making sure you get closets, upstairs areas and corridors that might be easily missed. This is called “circumambulation.”
  • There are no rules as to how often to do smudging. You can schedule it weekly, monthly or quarterly, or simply break out the smudge sticks whenever your space feels in need of cleansing.
  • While smudging can have benefits, there are some safety concerns. It’s important to never leave your smudge stick unattended. Also, if you’re concerned about smoke inhalation, keep a window open while you’re smudging. Smoke alarms can also be vulnerable to smudging activities. Lastly, if someone in your household suffers from respiratory issues like asthma, you might want to save your smudging sessions for when that person isn’t home.

More to Explore

While ancient cultures have burned aromatic leaves and herbs for thousands of years, the art of smudging has a specifically Native American origin. There are even legends about the origin of smudging and its positive effects on people’s health.

Some indigenous people oppose the commodification of the spiritual process by the beauty and wellness industry.  Of special concern is the unsustainable (and often illegal) harvest of white sage from Native territory for smudging; white sage is considered sacred to a number of tribes, including the Chumash, Lakota, Navajo and Cheyenne. Officials in California are working to protect the plant legally.

This does not necessarily mean you can’t use smoke cleansing to purify your space if you are sensitive to cultural appropriation. You should simply be careful about the herbs you are using and be intentional about implementing this practice — which is a good idea regardless of how you are incorporating it into your life.

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