5 Smudging Plants & Their Spiritual Purposes

The sacred action of smudging has been used for centuries by  various cultures, and today it is still being used for clearing, purifying, and adjusting surrounding energies. A great way to look at smudging is like a kind of spiritual bath, with the smoke cleansing away undesired dirty-spiritual vibrations.

To smudge, most people tie certain herbs and plants together with a thread, and burn them. Nowadays, there are many different kinds of plants that can be used for smudging. Here are 5 plants used for smudging as well as some of their spiritual purposes.  


White Sage

This particular sage is often used by indigenous Americans to drive away negative spirits, influences, and energies. It is also often used in many Native American ceremonies and rituals. White sage is what my mother used back when I was little. She would smudge our entire house and bodies, while verbalizing prayers as she smudged. Today, I now smudge my own home and family.


Sweet Grass

Many of the plains Indians of America deem sweet grass as being very sacred. It has been used for such things as prayer, purification, rituals, and ceremonial purposes. It is often braided like hair and then burned at one of the end tips. Sweet grass is my absolute favorite to smudge with because the smell is very soothing, sweet, and nostalgic. It is also often used to attract positive energy to fill the void and space from which negative energy has been drawn.


Palo Santo

Palo Santo or “Holy Wood” was originally used by the Inca culture for smudging. The smoke has been used to remove negative energy, provide energy protection, bring forth good fortune, and encourage the spirit. Palo Santo releases a very light smoke and citrus-like scent that is often easier for people with asthma to tolerate. Palo Santo has become very popular for smudging, which has led to an illegal over-harvesting of the wood. If you are purchasing Palo Santo, it is vital to purchase from an ethical and sustainable wild-crafter.


Red Cedar

Many ancient tribes have often smudged with red cedar wood sticks as a way of carrying prayers to the divine. Red cedar has also been used to bring healing, ward off sickness, clear out negative energy and invite positive energy. It has also been associated with purification, protection, love, and abundance. Many Northwest tribes in America consider the cedar to be a sacred tree.



Feeling like your life is a bit crazy and full of chaos? Smudging with lavender can calm down the crazy energies of life while invoking peace, love, and tranquility. This herb has also been smudged to open up the crown chakra and help with meditation. It has an aromatic and pleasant smell, too.



Smudging is considered sacred by most of the people who perform it. With that in mind, please do it with good intention and care. On a final note, make sure to only purchase these smudging plants from sustainable sources and smudge safely, my friends.