14 herbs for smudging

Smudging is easy. There really isn’t any right or wrong way to do it. Every person develops their own method according to taste, preference, experience and intuition. What is important to remember is to ventilate the room so that you allow any stale air or energy to flow out of your space.

You can use a feather to fan out the smudge in the corners of your room where there is little to no flow of air. These stale energy and dust-collecting areas need special attention. This means the space between heavy furniture and wall, your basement (especially if unfinished), your attic, storage cabinet, etc. If you can’t wipe them clean regularly, smudge them!

You can make your own smudge stick. Harvest from your garden, wildcraft or buy organic herbs. Let them dry for a few hours. Then tie the leaves together with a cotton thread. Hang it dry in a well-ventilated area away from light. After the herbs are dry, light up the smudge stick and blow the fire just as you would do with an incense. If you still have a lot of stick after smudging your space, put out the burning tip with water or sand and put your smudge stick away to use on another day.

You can also use charcoal in a fire resistant dish or bowl.

14 herbs for smudging

Angelica – Angelica archangelica

Plant part: roots

Use Angelica to:

  • Strengthen the nerves
  • Strengthen the mind
  • Promote self-discovery
  • Help overcome indecision
  • Promote religious experiences

Common Vervain – Verbena officinalis

Plant part: roots

Another protection herb, Vervain:

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Promotes a positive atmosphere in a place
  • Helps to remember dreams
  • Protects against nightmares

Elder – Sambucus nigra

Plant part: Leaves and pith

The Germanic tribes of antiquity used Elder in their rite of passage. It has no intensive scent making it easy to combine with other herbs. Use it for:

  • Healing
  • Protection
  • Awareness of the right moment to act on something

Elecampane (Horse-heal) – Inula helenium

Plant part : roots

Smudge home and farm buildings (stalls, barns, etc.) in the dark months of the year to:

  • Disperse negative energy
  • Uplift the spirits
  • Combat sadness, melancholy, doubt and depression
  • Improve breathing
  • Relax the bronchi
  • Cleanse and destroy germs in a place

Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis

Plant part: Leaves and flower stalks shortly before bloom


  • Promotes awareness of emotions and motives
  • Cleanses and blesses homes and gardens
  • Clears the mind
  • Stimulates concentration
  • Calms an overactive mind

Lavender – Lavendula angustifolia

Plant part: Flowers and leaves

Lavender is a blessing herb, especially for children. Use it to:

  • Cleanse
  • Disinfect
  • Promote inspiration, clear purpose and vision
  • Strengthen the nerves
  • Center and calm a person

Meadowsweet – Filipendula ulmaria

Plant part: Flowers


  • Helps “letting go”
  • Stimulates intuition
  • Supports a girl’s transition into puberty
  • Softens hardened heart and mind

Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris

Plant part: Leaves and flower stalks

A traditional herb for smudging, Mugwort is a protection, medicinal and magical herb. It warms, strengthens and empowers a person. It a very important herb in emotionally demanding times such as the death of a loved one and the birth of a child. Use it to:

  • Lend strength in difficult times
  • Help to “let go”
  • Improve intuition and awareness
  • Remember dreams

Peppermint – Menthae piperitae

Plant part: Leaves and stalks shortly before bloom

Peppermint is a wonderful herb to smudge when someone has a cold. Use it to:

  • Cleanse
  • Cool and refresh
  • Bring clarity to the mind
  • Energize body and mind
  • Focus on “here and now”
  • Clear the air passages during a cold

St. John’s Wort – Hypericum perforatum

Plant part: Flowers and leaves

This herb was used in the past to ward off evil. When smudging, it develops a sweet and uplifting scent which brights up the mood. Use it to:

  • Create a relaxing atmosphere
  • Promote courage
  • Reduce fear and worry
  • Stimulate confidence

Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis

Plant part: leaves

Use Rosemary to:

  • Stimulate the mind
  • Open the heart
  • Reduce grief
  • Promote “letting go”
  • Combat depression and sadness

Sage – Salvia officinalis

Plant part: Leaves before flowering

Garden Sage is used to cleanse the body, the house, objects and the aura. Some people react negatively to Garden Sage so test it outdoors first to see if you like it. Use it also to:

  • Create a mediation or sacred space
  • Clear the mind
  • Improve concentration
  • Center the mind
  • Promote health during a cold

Thyme – Thymus serpyllum/pulegioides

Plant part: Leaves with flowers

The antiseptic properties of Thyme cleanse the air and protect us from diseases. Use it to:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase stamina
  • Repel insects
  • Build courage

Yarrow – Alchillea millefolium

Plant part: Flowers and leaves

You can use all parts of Yarrow for smudging and it mixes well with resin as well as other herbs. It’s an oracle herb. It’s light spicy scent:

  • Protects from negative energy.
  • Induces lucid dreaming
  • Encourage peace and serenity
  • Aids in the acquisition of wisdom

What is your favorite herb for smudging?


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