What is Smudging and How Can it Help Empaths?

burning sage sticksYou may have heard of ‘smudging’ but are not quite sure what it is or how it can help you as an Empath.

So what is smudging?

Basically, smudging is the practice of burning of herbs and using the smoke to remove negative energy from people, places or objects.

For the Empath, smudging can be a great tool. It is a quick and easy method to help remove negative energies picked up when being out and about in ‘peopled places’ or just to clear one’s energy field.

Smudging has been used for centuries all over the world. Today it is mainly associated with Native North Americans who use it in their healing ceremonies. However, many other countries burn herbs for cleansing:

In India they use incense, in Chinese acupuncture Mugwort is used, in Africa varied herbs are burnt, even the Christian Church burn herbs in their ceremonies. And although many of these actions have become ritualized, their basis stemmed from using smoke to remove negative energy.

There are numerous herbs that can be used for smudging, sage being the most common, but cedar, lavender, sweetgrass, mugwort and ladies’ bedstraw are also popular herbs used.


The most popular ways of smudging is by using a smudge stick: a bundle of herbs usually bound by string, or incense sticks.

It is important to find a smoke aroma that you like. If you don’t like the smell of the smudge or incense it can make you heady or nauseous.


Being a yogi, I tend to use the smoke from incense to smudge; my favourite being Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa. When used in conjunction with my yoga practice, I can feel a real lightness in my energy field from the musky wood-scented smoke (although I’m not too keen on the scent it leaves in my hair).

When clear of negative energy, the Empath is more likely to feel grounded and balanced. Smudging is an excellent way to do this.

How to Smudge

  • To cleanse yourself of negative energy, using incense or a smudge stick, start at the feet and work up over the head, front, back and sides of the body, under the arms and feet.
  • To cleanse a room of negative or residual energy: waft the smoke from the incense or smudge stick from the floor up to the ceiling and into all corners of the room (remember it is smoke so it can set off smoke alarms). You will normally feel a shift in the energy when the room is sufficiently cleansed.
  • To cleanse objects, such as crystals, simply hold the object in the herb smoke until you feel the negative energy has been removed.

Make sure smudge or incense is not still burning before leaving it. As the old saying goes: never leave burning things unattended.

Hope this helps you on your path. 


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©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered

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3 thoughts on “What is Smudging and How Can it Help Empaths?

  1. This is a great article. Please do not think I am critiquing you in any way, I am just trying to help. I am a Native American and we use the smudge in most all of our ceremonies not just our healing ceremonies. And your correct we do this in order to cleanse and channel positive energy. I’m not sure about other tribes, but my tribe also burns cedar leaf clippings and tabacco at the same time for protection. Just some extra info for any other Empath who would like to try this as well. 🙂

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