Health And Wellness

How To Smudge Your Home With Smokeless Alternatives

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woman relaxing at home

Smudging or cleansing energy is growing in popularity. But, common methods of smudging — smudge sticks, incense, and burning resin — do come with the need for certain health precautions.

The negative effects of smudging are largely due to the reliance on the diffusion of smoke from smoldering, dried herbs and even synthetic materials.

Fortunately, there's smudge that's safe for most respiratory conditions and smoke allergies, making the process of cleansing energy better for your health.

First things first, how do you know your space needs to be cleansed?

Energy is natural and everywhere. In fact, everything is made of energy. It flows in and around everything, including our bodies.

An energetically clear space is clean, light, bright, spacious, and refreshing. It feels calm and uncluttered.

Clear, flowing, open energy provides a supportive atmosphere for work and interactions with others. Communication is easier and more fluid. There’s less distraction, resistance, and suspicion, and more cooperation and harmony. 

RELATED: 10 Easy Methods Of Clearing Negative Energy From Your Home

If there are negative effects of smudging, why smudge, at all?

Smudging is an ancient method of purifying and clearing negative energy from a room, sacred space, object, or person. 

Many ancient and traditional cultures also used smudge to disinfect and fumigate. It was a way of welcoming guests, calling in guides, and making a spiritual connection. 

They used smoldering herbs, like white sage (Salvia apiana), resins like frankincense (Boswellia carterii), and incense. The latter was typically a mixture. 

Unfortunately, the scent of incense can be intense and annoying. Both incense and smoke can be irritating, especially when allowed to accumulate. Even limited exposure for those with respiratory issues can be unhealthy. 

In addition, the smoldering smoke, created by burning plant material as well as other natural and synthetic inputs such as bamboo, charcoal, and artificial fragrances, has raised some health concerns.

Energy can accumulate and create harm.

While some energy can be harmful and even life-threatening, most negative energy is more like noise: unsettling and distracting.

For example, maybe you’ve had lingering bad feelings or thoughts associated with an uncomfortable interaction or experience at work or at home.

Or, maybe you walked into a room and immediately knew, without one word uttered, that something was wrong. It felt icky. 

Although energetic "noise" is somewhat innocuous at first, it tends to accumulate and become more disruptive, disturbing, and worrisome.

It can generate a somewhat nagging or clawing atmosphere where negative patterns and events seem to multiply or replay over and over again.

Persistent negative energy can eventually create imbalance and even unease. Its effects can become noticeably problematic and harmful.

For example, it can induce chronic stress and any of the associated symptoms like irritability, headaches, anxiety, depression, etc.

That's why it's a good idea to periodically clear your space before it gets to the point that it has "bad vibes” or, even worse, unhealthy consequences. 

Plants and their healing properties are the foundational ingredients of most smudging.

RELATED: What Are Essential Oils? + How They Work & Which Are The Best To Use

Depending on your preferences and needs, there are 2 alternative ways to smudge.

1. Essential oils diffusion

Essential oils are a good alternative to smudge sticks and incense. The intensity of the scent can be controlled by using just a few drops. For example, use only three to four drops for a 12 ft. x 12 ft. room.

When essential oils are diffused, the plant material isn’t burnt, hence there’s less health risk. Even people with perfume allergies, like myself, can use good-quality natural oils without irritation or discomfort.

Compared to dried-plant smudges, much more of the plant's beautiful and unique scent is captured in the oil. 

Most common smudge plant species, with the exception of sweet grass, are available as essential oils.

In fact, there are hundreds of plant species available in the form of oils, which means plenty of opportunities to access many healing properties and design your own special blends.

2. Liquid smudge spray 

The best liquid smudge is made from hydrosols, the water-based by-product of distillation. They're different from floral water, or mixing essential oils in water.

They possess more vibrational and healing properties. The scent is extremely light and short-lasting.

The mist dissipates quickly and becomes almost imperceptible a few minutes after application. 

Yet, the highly vibrational and energetic properties linger much longer than the scent. Given these characteristics, they're ideal for healing centers or practitioners who see clients one after the other. 

To apply the liquid smudge, use just two or three squirts and move the smudge around with a fan, feather, hand, or some other object of choice. Since there's no threat of fire, liquid smudge is safer.

It’s also less likely to evoke respiratory issues.  

Purify and disinfect while you smudge.

To make a smudge that will also purify and disinfect a space, add plants with antiseptic properties such as clove (Eugenia caryophyllata), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata), and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).

RELATED: The Profound Cultural & Environmental Harm Of Buying Random 'Smudging Kits' Online

Patricia Bonnard, Ph.D., ACC is a certified International Coaching Federation (ICF) leadership coach and a certified Martha Beck life coach. Check out her eBook Smudging: Clearing and Setting a Safe and Protected Space. Or, you can join one of her in-person or virtual and in-person natural healing and wellness workshops.