People have been burning sage for centuries as a religious ritual. However, the latest research suggests that burning the plant can help to eliminate bacteria in the air, making the air cleaner and more healthy for everyone to breathe in.
“We have observed that 1h treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan samagri=material used in oblation to fire all over India), on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24h in the closed room,” the abstract of the study stated.
The researchers discovered that even after 30 days since the sage was burned, the open room was devoid of several types of pathogenic bacteria, which they believe is an indication of sage being useful as a medicinal smoke treatment. According to Susan Anderson, a manager at a store that sells sage, people often get addicted to using sage.
“They come they get the sage. They come back to get more sage and they give reports about how much better they feel and how much lighter it feels,” she said to CBS17. Once you light the sage in your home, ensure that the flame goes out and only smoke is emanating from the tips. If the smoke is too little, give the sage a little blow. Waft it around in rooms, giving special attention to mirrors and corners. Remember to clean up the fallen ashes. Once you are done cleaning your room, extinguish the smoke from the end and store the sage in a box.
Removing bacteria is not the only benefit that sage offers. For one, it can help you deal with stress more effectively. A 2016 study by the University of Mississippi states that sage is rich in compounds that can activate certain receptors in the brain that are responsible for decreasing stress, raising mood levels, and diminishing pain.
Burning sage “has a connection to mindfulness… Because of the ritualistic nature of burning sage, it helps people to achieve a sense of calm and clear-headedness as would meditation,” Shahinaz Soliman, a family physician specializing in traditional medicine and holistic practices, said to Oprah Magazine. Sage is an excellent sleep enhancer since it contains compounds that can help with insomnia.
In spiritual practices, the smoke from sage is considered powerful enough to remove negative energies. Sage is also slightly psychoactive, thanks to the presence of thujone, a compound that is usually found in plants that are used in intuition-boosting spiritual rituals.
Despite these benefits, you need to practice caution when using sage under certain conditions. In case you have asthma or any other respiratory issues, you should be careful of not inhaling too much of the sage smoke. Pets can also get irritated by the smoke, especially cats. So get them out of the home before you fill it with smoke. In case you or your pet starts feeling uncomfortable with the smoke, open up the windows and let in outside airflow. You should also drink lots of water.