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All about sage, palo santo and more

Burning sage and other sacred herbs is an ancient traditional ceremony many cultures, specifically Indigenous and African people have practiced over centuries to clear negative, unwanted energy, welcome positive energy and clarity as well as heal ailments, rid the air of bacteria and provide spiritual guidance through reflection and mindfulness in addition to many other benefits!

Smudging is the name given to the very sacred Indigenous/ Native American ceremonial act of cleansing and purification which includes a selection of plants, often white sage, cedar, sweet grass and tobacco which are burned as single leaves or bundled together with string to form a smudge stick before being ignited and used in sacred ceremonies for healing, cleansing,

spiritual guidance and more.  

It is very important to note the difference between cleansing yourself and your space of unwanted energy with various varieties of sage, herbs and flowers vs the sacred practice of smudging within the indigenous culture. 

Here at Elle James, we have the utmost respect for cultural practices and strive to promote education and products that provide healing, clarity and positive energy. We are committed to sustainably sourcing our materials, always honoring the plants and herbs utilized, focusing on positive intentions as we source, bundle and package every single order.


We do our best to never waste any of our clippings in an effort to conserve

these sacred plants. We sage over all of our products and speak positive intentions as each bundle is wrapped to ensure our customers feel the positive energy as soon as the package is opened!

Lastly, in an effort to help conserve these sacred plants, we combine various plants, herbs and flowers to combine the healing powers and even provide a super impactful cleansing session

to our customers! 


Burning or in some cases just placing an Elle James sage stick in your space, your home, office, business or even around your body will bring healing, cleanse unwanted, stale and stagnant energy and rid the air of bacteria, germs and even pungent odors! Our products are thoughtfully created to provide uplifting, positive energy, clarity and healing.


Why you should burn sage or

palo santo regularly


  Our homes, objects and bodies do not consist of purely physical matter;

they also vibrate with subtle, invisible energy. Cleansing our space or our bodies by burning plants, herbs and flowers regularly will clear away sluggish feelings and emotions, provide a sense of clarity and renewal and infuse your environment with healing scents. This is often needed after a hard day of work or family or friend engagements.

The properties of some plants and herbs help to cleanse and clear your environment

and even yourself and those around you of negative energy that can be energy draining.

The smoke from dried sage actually changes the ionic composition of the air, and can have a direct effect on reducing our stress and anxiety and uplifting our mood.

Burning sage purifies and cleanses your environment. When burned in your living space daily, weekly or even monthly you’ll begin to notice a lightness of energy and calmness in your home.


Sage is an effective natural disinfectant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic just to name a few. In many ancient cultures, sage sticks were used ceremonially to cleanse the air, increase oxygen levels, rid the home of  negative energy,  balance emotions and promote strong health. In high enough concentrations, burning sage will eliminate negative ions and can clear the air of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dust and other hazardous airborne particles.

Why are Elle James 

Sage Sticks Special?


Many of the Elle James sage sticks are combinations of plants, flowers, herbs and more! So as you clear out the negative energy, you immediately replace it with positive energy!


While sage, especially white sage clears this bad energy - the freshly cleansed space is left empty if no other positive elements have been added to the cleansing session.

In order to bring your cleansing session full circle, burning a floral or sweet element at the same time or immediately after will then replace this freshly cleansed space with positive, calming and relaxing energy- depending on the bundle you've selected. Check out some of the varieties we love here!


Some of our favorite elements to add to our sage sticks are

lavender, sweet grass, rose petals and other varieties of dried flowers, herbs and healing elements like palo santo and cedar.

How to sage:

In 5 Easy Steps...


Step 1Open windows or a door for ventilation; 

                   (and to let out all the funky, unwanted energy)

  Step 2:  Be sure to have a fireproof dish, bowl, clay tray or we suggest a traditionally

                           used abalone shell to catch falling embers and to rest your smudge stick between                       sessions. Using an abalone shell will also add the water element to your ceremony as you bring together earth, fire, air and water.

Step 3Light one end of your stick at a slight angle with matches and then gently use circular motions to let the fire go out as your stick burns similar to incense. Have patience as you ignite your bundle as some sticks take longer to ignite than others. 

Some of these bundles include: yerba santa, cedar, pine and rosemary.

Helpful Tip: use a candle flame to repeatedly ignite if necessary.


Step 4: Focus your energy on positive intentions for you and your space. Your thoughts and words have meaning, some choose to simply say whats on their heart or mind, others recite prayers and some simply think good thoughts!  

Step 5: Once you have a good amount of smoke going, use your hand or a traditionally used smudging feather to direct the smoke over and around your body to first cleanse yourself. Then begin cleansing your space, making sure you waft the smoke in every corner and crevice your able to. As you walk through your space, visualize the smoke removing negative energy from your life and home. If your able, speak/think positive intentions for your life and your space as you move throughout the different areas of your home.

Once you've cleansed the desired space, gently tamp out your stick in your fireproof dish or abalone shell and ensure the stick is extinguished.

Depending on the size of your space and the length of time the stick burns, your stick should last multiple sessions ranging from 2-10 depending on the size of your age stick. 

Other ways to Clear the vibes:

Elle James Handcrafted Cleansing Spray

Elle James sage cleansing spray is handcrafted and made in small batches and charged with crystal energy.

This light and airy spray is a nice alternative to burning sage.

Its great for cleansing energy on the go, or in smoke free environments. This blend of natural plants and herbs is enhanced by a small quartz crystal included in every bottle to ensure the good vibes and positive energy continue to flow. Once your bottle is empty, we suggest placing the crystal in your wallet, a special drawer or with your crystal collection!


Please be sure to keep out of children's reach, especially when using our kids spray bottle: "Monsters-Be-Gone"

This spray helps to clear the energy around you before you enter your home or office and can be a unique gift for those who may not be ready to burn a smudge stick just yet,

or live in a smoke free environment.


*It's important to note, clearing sprays are less effective at clearing energy in comparison to burning sage*

Palo Santo

Palo Santo is a spiritual tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal.  In Spanish, the name literally means “Holy Wood”.  

It is part of the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon.

Palo Santo clears negative energy AND brings positive energy, welcoming creativity and good fortune.


Palo Santo is one of our favorite things to burn in the morning as we start our day and in the evening as we prepare to calm our mind and have a restful sleep.

Smudging Feathers

Smudging Feathers are traditionally used as apart of the Indigenous cultural smudging ceremony

to waft the smoke in the desired direction. The purpose and importance of this sacred addition include using a bird's feather, often turkey or eagle feathers, instead of blowing on the bundle to move the smoke over the person, object or space being blessed or cleansed.


It is important to use the underside of the feather. It is the underside of the bird and its wings that face Mother Earth as it flies and it is this surface of the feather that offers the blessing

medicine of the bird.

Elle James creates custom feather combinations upon request. 

If your still unsure about incorporating burning plants, herbs and flowers

into your wellness routine, we're here to assure you it's totally worth trying

and here's some scientific evidence to back it up:

   Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology entitled Medicinal Smokes in 2006

found that burning smudge sticks has the ability to cleanse the surrounding air

of harmful bacteria. 

The authors reported: “The most frequent medical indications for medicinal smoke are pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%).  

A very large list of pathogenic bacteria was shown to be absent in an open room after a remarkable 30 days following treatment, leading the authors to conclude, “We have demonstrated that by using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”


Additional articles about the benefits of Smoke Cleansing:

The Oprah Magazine:



Very Well Mind:

Always use caution. Keep out of children and pets reach.

Some information included in this reference guide was found at the following websites:

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