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.
Alternatively, you could also forgo smoke clearing rituals altogether and use other energy cleansing tools, such as sage spray, water, sound, light, and visualization. All can be powerful as well as more sustainable and respectful.
But if smoke clearing is a must, here are a few more 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.
- Black sage
- Garden sage
- Wormwood (this is my go-to, since it's so abundant where I live)
- Holy basil
- Lemon balm
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!