White sage is at risk; here’s what to smudge with instead

Smudging is the practice of burning dried plant material – traditionally white sage – to cleanse and purify a space.

The practice of smudging homes has become more widespread, but with that comes issues: white sage is now an at risk species due to over harvesting in the wild.

Fortunately, there are sustainable sources out there and a few alternative, more abundant plants you can smudge with instead. Here's are a few eco-conscious ways to source your smudging supplies.

Ethical sources of white sage

When you buy white sage, choose organically grown white sage. Avoid wild harvested sage and sage smudge sticks. If the seller can’t tell you the origin, that's not a good sign.

You can purchase white sage and smudge sticks from First Nations people who use sustainable practices. 

You can also choose a trusted supplier of organically cultivated white sage, such as:

You can also grow your own white sage if it will do well in your area – this is by far the most ecologically sound choice!

Alternatives to white sage for smudging

If you're not too tied to the white sage plant, you might consider using an alternative for smudging. Many other types of sage are actually very abundant and possess many of the same cleansing properties.

Making smudge sticks doesn't differ too much based on what plant you use – things simply need to be arranged differently to hold together. You'll figure it out! This tutorial from Frugally Sustainable has great instructions and photos for assembling a smudge stick.

If you've come across a good source for white sage or if you've had success smudging with other plants, tell us about it in the comments!

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I'm Kylie and I'm obsessed with self care. Like I truly believe it can change the world. I started Everblossom in 2009 and we're still exploring new ways to make self care and self empowerment more accessible. Welcome. Grab a cup of tea, slather on a face mask, and settle in.

7 Responses

  1. Lauren

    Making your own smudge sticks (from white sage or one of the other plants mentioned) is also a really relaxing ritual in itself, definitely worth the extra effort 🙂

  2. Regan McLaughlin

    Thank you for encouraging people to use what’s in their own backyard!
    I was reading another article that encouraged people to dry herbs that their ancestors may have used. I’m sure it all depends on your purpose but I thought that was a neat idea if your goal is to connect with a space!

  3. Katie

    Is blue sage also endangered? I am trying to find info on it but am having little luck. Thanks!

  4. Susan

    Cooking sage bundles well when fresh and burns very nicely when dried. I’ve tucked in some lavender in the bundle and it smelled great. The recommendation of mints caught my attention (sooooo abundant here) so I’ll probably give that a try.

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