What does Smudging mean? 


Smudging  is an ancient traditional ceremony many cultures, specifically indigenous and african people have practiced over centuries to clear negative, unwanted energy, welcome positive energy and clarity as well as heal ailments, rid the air of bacteria and provide spiritual guidance through reflection and mindfulness in addition to many other benefits!

Smudging is the name given to the ceremonial act of cleansing and purification which uses a selection of herbs, often varieties of sage, which are bundled together with string to form a smudge stick before being ignited. Smudging in your space, your home, office, business or even around your body with herbal clearing items is like taking an energetic shower, or doing a deep metaphysical cleansing to put you back into a state of balance, peace and harmony.

Why You should smudge regularly:


  Our homes, objects and bodies do not consist of purely physical matter;

they also vibrate with subtle, invisible energy. Cleansing our space or our bodies by smudging clears away all the emotional and psychic “garbage” that may have gathered over time.

The properties of sage help to cleanse and clear your environment

and even yourself and those around you of negative energy that can be stagnant, stale and energy draining. The smoke from dried sage actually changes the ionic composition of the air, and can have a direct effect on reducing our stress and anxiety and uplifting our mood.

Burning sage purifies and cleanses your environment. When burned in your living space daily, weekly or even monthly you’ll begin to notice a lightness of energy and calmness in your home.


Sage is an effective natural disinfectant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic just to name a few. In many ancient cultures, sage sticks were used ceremonially to cleanse the air, increase oxygen levels, rid the home of  negative energy,  balance emotions and promote strong health. In high enough concentrations, burning sage will eliminate negative ions and can clear the air of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dust and other hazardous airborne particles.

Why are Elle James Smudge Sticks unique?



Many of the Elle James smudge sticks are combinations, so as you clear out the negative energy, you immediately replace it with positive energy!


While sage, especially white sage clears this bad energy - the space is often left empty.

In order to bring your smudging session full circle, burning a floral or sweet element at the same time or immediately after will then replace this energy with positive, calming and relaxing energy.


Some of our favorite elements to add to our sage sticks are

lavender, sweet grass, rose petals and other varieties of dried flowers, herbs and healing elements like palo santo and cedar.

How to Smudge:

In 5 Easy Steps...


Step 1:Open windows or a door for ventilation.

  Step 2: Be sure to have a fireproof dish, clay tray or a traditionally used abalone shell to catch falling embers and to rest your smudge stick between sessions.

Step 3:Light one end of your smudge stick with matches and then gently blow out the flame, allowing the smudge stick to smolder similar to incense.


Step 4: Focus your energy on the smoke. If a flame appears, shake the bundle slightly, or blow on it until it turns to embers and smoke. *You may need to re-light the bundle a few times during the smudging process. Some herbs burn slower than others, like yerba santa, cedar, pine and rosemary.

Try not to get discouraged and use a candle flame to repeatedly ignite if necessary*

Step 5: Once you have a good amount of smoke going, use your hand or a smudging feather to direct it over your body, moving from your feet all the way up to your head and back again, staying connected to your breathing throughout the session.

Visualize the smoke removing negative energy from your life and home.

If your able, speak positive intentions for your life and your space as you move through the different areas of your home.

Incorporating sage smudge sticks into your cleaning routine is a great way to cleanse the old energy from the previous week, and welcome in the newly beginning week and all the possibilities it holds.



Other ways to Clear the vibes:


Elle James Smudging/ Cleansing Spray

Elle James Smudging Spray also called cleansing spray is hand crafted and made in small batches, blessed and charged with crystal energy.

This light and airy spray is a nice alternative to burning sage.

Its great for cleansing energy on the go, or in smoke free environments. It's also wonderful for travel and many teachers love to spray their classrooms in the morning to help infuse calming, positive energy to start off the day!

This spray helps to clear the energy around you before you enter your home or office and can be a unique gift for those who may not be ready to burn a smudge stick just yet.


*It's important to note, smudging sprays are not as effective at clearing energy as burning sage*

Palo Santo

Palo Santo is a spiritual tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal.  In Spanish, the name literally means “Holy Wood”.  

It is part of the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon.

Palo Santo clears negative energy AND brings positive energy, welcoming creativity and good fortune.


Palo Santo is one of our favorite things to burn in the morning as we start our day and in the evening as we prepare to calm our mind and have a restful sleep.

Smudging Feathers

It is traditional to use a bird's feather to brush the smoke over the person or object being blessed. It is important to use the underside of the feather to wash the smoke over the object of blessing. It is the underside of the bird and its wings that face the Mother Earth as it flies and it is this surface of the feather that offers the blessing medicine of the bird.

If your a person that thinks smudging is not necessary or just some kind of “hoop-lah”

with no science to back it up, think again! 

   Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology entitled Medicinal Smokes in 2006

found that burning smudge sticks has the ability to cleanse the surrounding air

of harmful bacteria. 

The authors reported: “The most frequent medical indications for medicinal smoke are pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%).  

A very large list of pathogenic bacteria was shown to be absent in an open room after a remarkable 30 days following treatment, leading the authors to conclude, “We have demonstrated that by using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”

Additional articles about the benefits of Smudging:

The Oprah Magazine:





Very Well Mind:



Always use caution. Keep out of children and pets reach.


Some information included in this reference guide was found at the following websites: