Smudging For Beginners

We love smudging!! If you're new to smudging, then this is absolutely the article for you! This ritual is often very intriguing for those who don't know much about it. We offer a simple guide for smudging for beginners. We'll go through the different types of smudges and their differences!

Where did Smudging come from?

Smudging has been around for centuries and used by many cultures around the world. The practice of smudging involves the burning of herbs, resins, and woods.

Throughout history, a variety of cultures used smudging in ritual, magic, religion, witchcraft, and spiritual practices. You may know of smudging as a common practice among many of the First Nations and Indigenous cultures. It would warrant researching these communities to understand the depth of this practice further.

What is Smudging?

In general, Smudging can be used as a spiritual practice to clear out negative energy and create a space for new fresh energy. People use smudging to bless people and places. Some herbs and flowers can also be burnt directly as incense. Sage, mugwort, lavender, cedar, sweetgrass are just a few of the herbs that can be dried and used for smudging. When burning the dried raw plant, you can direct the smoke around a space or body.

Smudging is thought to purify the air, promotes relaxation, and it can enhance your spiritual practices (such as meditation). A common material for smudging is sage, palo santo, and incense. We carry all of these smudges at BodySense.

Incense is made of botanical material that is burned and releases fragrant smoke. There are different forms of incense. That is a stick, a cone, or loose powder. Also, incense can come in its unprocessed form, which is known as resin. Resin is a hardened tree sap of a plant and is in granular form. Common resins are frankincense, myrrh, and copal.

To burn resin incense, you will need an incense-burning charcoal puck or disc. Place the puck in a fireproof bowl. Light the edge for a few seconds. You will see it spark. The puck is very hot. Be careful. Once it is lite, you place your choice of incense on the charcoal. The material will start to burn; you will experience the release of fragrance into the air.

Use Incense and Smudges and enjoy the connection to the earth.


Sage is typically the most popular smudging method. To smudge with sage, you can burn dried loose sage leaves that are in a smudge dish or abalone shell.

smudging for beginners

Often, Sage is tied together to form bundles. Simply light your sage bundle and walk around the room you intend to purify, wafting around the smoke. Sage can be mixed with other herbs such as pine, cedar, mugwort, and so much more, for extra benefits. Each herb has different properties that can enhance your smudging ritual. When burned, sage smells earthy and herby.

Sage is scientifically proven to purify the air! Scientists have observed that sage can clear up to 94% of airborne bacteria and disinfect the air. Furthermore, burning sage releases negative ions into the air, which improves your mood.

Palo Santo

Palo Santo is a type of wood used for smudging. It also clears negative energy, and it can bring a fresh feeling of creativity into your space. This wood has an earthy, woody, slightly sweet smell. As a side benefit, burning Palo Santo can be a very effective bug repellent! Next time you go on a camping trip, bring some with you and light it while you sit by the campfire!

It is very important to purchase sustainably sourced palo santo, perhaps even more-so than sage. Palo Santo is very much over-harvested. Sustainable Palo Santo comes from wood that has already fallen off of the tree, not harvested from the tree.

At BodySense, we carry Palo Santo sticks, Palo Santo Chips, and candles and room spray! For the stick method, simply light the stick of Palo Santo, blow it out and allow the smoke to fill the room. You can also put small pieces of Palo Santo onto a charcoal puck to burn.


Incense can also be used for smudging as well, but it's often more intended to bring a wonderful smell into your indoor environment. Loose incense and sticks are crafted with various different plants to create beautifully blended scents. Simply light the incense and allow the smell to fill your room. Incense is a wonderful way to promote peace and relaxation in your indoor environment.

We carry various kinds of stick incense, including the classic and well known Nag Champa. As well as Japanese incense which is very lovely because they have a light, clean scent, and they burn completely through unlike most incense which has a stick in the center and can be a bit messy.

New to BodySense, we have loose incense from Traditional Incense Co. There are 12 different blends, and all of the scents are beautiful!

These incense powders are a fine blend of fragrant oils, herbs and aromatic wood powders.

To use, simply pinch a small quantity of powder into a shape of a mound, light the tip and blow out the flame. The incense will then slowly smolder and release its fragrance at the same time. Burn powder incense on a charcoal puck for a more vigorous burst of fragrance. To use simply light the charcoal tablet, place it in a suitable incense burner, then sprinkle some incense on the charcoal. As the incense melts on the charcoal, the fragrance is released. You can also sprinkle over your loose sage for space clearing.

smudging for beginners

As you can see, there are so many different methods for smudging, but all of them bring similar results. They do vary quite a bit in scent, so come on down to BodySense to check out our dozens of incense and sage varieties and try out smudging if you haven't before!