A person smudging their home with sage.
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Think Twice Before Smudging Your Home With Sage
Burning sage — or smudging — to cleanse a space has become trendy over the years as a spiritual practice. However, certain indigenous groups consider the practice truly sacred.
Many of these groups say that sage is to be obtained, given, and received intentionally, which makes the practice of buying and selling incompatible with the herb’s true purpose.
Due to high demand, the way it’s obtained harms indigenous communities as well. Sacred white sage is constantly being stolen from those who preserve and grow it.
Another reason to avoid participating in the commercialized practice of smudging is that the cleansing ritual is often done inaccurately, which dishonors indigenous customs.
According to Melanie Hardy, you can cleanse your home by burning incense, wood, or other herbs as they aren’t connected to a particular culture and have benefits of their own.