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How to Make A Smudge Stick- Reduce Airborne Bacteria
After all of the flooding, mold, and the increased viruses, reducing bacteria from the air just makes sense.
Unfortunately, store-bought chemicals, air fresheners and cleaners tend to add to the problem and not help it.
As a consequence, petrochemicals, synthetic ingredients and artificial fragrances increase risk for allergy attacks, asthma attacks and are neurotoxins.
However, I have a healthy, all-natural alternative!
Not only is it safe, it’s also incredibly affordable and easy to make.
With just a couple minutes of your time, I can show you how to make a herbal smudge stick to help kill airborne bacteria.
What Is A Smudge Stick?
Smudge sticks are a bundle of herbs that have been dried and tied together. (I have provided a list of herbs you can use to make your own smudge sticks below.) When burned, it’s referred to as smudging.
Smudging has been used for thousands of years and it is one method we can use today to help purify the air and kill airborne bacteria.
Published research reveals that cleansing herbal smoke, such as that used in rituals, can actually clean the air.
According to a study published by the US National Library of Medicine, that medicinal smoke can reduce over 94% airborne bacteria.
1h treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri=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. Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonas syringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment. We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.
In addition, they also claim that by burning the medicinal herbs, one could completely eliminate human pathogenic bacteria in the air within a confined space.
How to Make a Smudge Stick
You can make you own, or purchase one already made here.
- Non-Toxic Twine or String
- Bundle of herbs (see list below)
Gather a large handful of herbs in any combination you desire, including stems.
- Clip herbs to similar length
- Bind the ends of the herbs altogether at one end and continue to tie the herb bundle like you would a roast.
- Once the bundle is bound, hang to dry in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks.
- After your smudge stick is dry, it is ready for use.
- Light end in a secure area and wait for the stick to smoke, gently blow on the end to create a nice smolder and cleanse the air.
- Place in a fireproof tray and stay with it until it is completely out.
The most popular herbs used in smudging are:
- White sage (Salvia apiana)
- Cedar (Thuja)
- Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata)
- Sagebrush (Artemisia californica)
- Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Mint (Mentha)
- Bee Balm (Monarda)
- Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
When To Use Smudge Sticks
Strangely enough, many people still use smudge sticks in rituals and ceremonies.
I for one, only use the burning of herbs for their amazing ability to kill bacteria.
Not to mention, they smell incredible!
Here are some ideas for when you may want to burn a smudge stick.
- If there has been mold in a house
- When someone is sick
- During Cold or Flu Season
- After the house has been closed for a while
- During Spring Cleaning
- If someone has passed away
- When you are expecting guest
- After you’ve had company
History Of Smudge Sticks & Smudging
Dated as far back as 1530 B.C.E in Egypt and in Israel in the fifth century B.C.E, smudge sticks were used in ceremonies where the practice was so revered that separate altars where used.
So although it is relatively new to western cultures, the practice of smudging has in fact, been around since recorded history.
Do you use smudge sticks in a different way then what I mentioned?
If you want to learn more about using herbs- you have to check out our other herb-related articles here