Smudge Sticks

Medicine Man Smudge Sticks Feathers

Medicine Man with Smudge Sticks Feathers Fan      

Native American Smudge Sticks. Discover facts and information about the culture of Native American Indians and their use of Smudge Sticks and herbs in healing, rituals and ceremonies.

  • Smudge Sticks and Native American Indian beliefs
  • Definition of Smudge Sticks
  • Religious beliefs and Smudge Sticks in Native American Rituals and Ceremonies
  • Smudge Sticks Rituals and Ceremonies
  • Use of Smudge Sticks and Smudge Sticks Fan
  • Interesting facts and information about the practise of Smudge Sticks and the beliefs of Native American Indians
Native American Culture
Native Indian Tribes Index

Smudge Sticks
Definition of Smudge Sticks: What are Smudge Sticks? Smudge Sticks are portable bundles of dry, sacred herbs used in Smudging rituals by Native American.  The burning of the sacred herbs in Smudge Sticks produce a smoke cloud which is used in various cleansing or prayer ceremonies and purification or healing rituals. The Shaman, Medicine Man or healer wafted the smoke produced by burning the herbs contained in the Smudge Sticks by using his hand, feathers or a Smudge fan. Originally the herbs were placed in special herb bowls and burned. The dried, sacred herbs were later tied into easily portable bundles called 'Smudge sticks' and were included in the contents of Medicine Bags. The above picture depicts a Medicine Man holding his smudging fans and carrying his medicine bag tied around his waist. The following picture shows a bundle of herbs collectively called Smudge Sticks. Smudge Sticks with hot coals underneath can provide a lot of smoke for many hours or days and are used to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

Smudge Sticks FeatherSmudge Stick

Feather used for Smudging

Herb BowlSmudge Stick

Herbs used in Smudge Sticks
The herbs used in Native American Smudge Sticks included herbs Indian tobacco, Sweetgrass, Sage, White Sage, Sagebrush, Sweet Gale, Cow Parsnip  and Cedar (often referred to as Juniper). The following chart provides facts and information about the herbs used in Smudge sticks.

Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

White Sage & Sage

Sage 

White Sage (Salvia apiana) & Sage (Salvia officinalis) are used in Smudge Sticks and as healing herbs and in Herbal Remedies

The word 'Salvia' derives from the Latin term  "salvare" which means "to feel well and healthy, health, heal" referring to the herb's healing properties.

Sage was used for Smudging sacred space.

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Sagebrush

Sagebrush Sagebrush: Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is an aromatic herb used in Smudge Sticks to treat wounds in healing.

Sagebrush was also used to treat headache and colds by burning sagebrush and inhaling the smoke

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Cedar
Juniper

Cedar 

Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) is a cleansing and purifying herb used in Smudge Sticks.

Cedar was frequently used to line the floor of a Sweat lodge and can also used for Smudging. It was used by the Medicine Man to exorcise evil spirits and to purify sacred objects

 

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Sweetgrass

Sweetgrass Sweetgrass:  Sweetgrass (Hierochloe oderata), aka Sweet Grass or Holy Grass, is traditionally used for smudge sticks and blessings and in some healing ceremonies and Smudge Sticks Rituals.

Sweetgrass does not produce an open flame when burned but produces a sweet-scented smoke similar to some incenses

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Yarrow

Yarrow Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) an aromatic herb used in Smudge Sticks and intensifies the medicinal action of other herbs taken with it.

Yarrow helps eliminate toxins from the body during the Smudging process

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Tobacco

Tobacco Nicotiana (Tobacco - N. tobacum and N. rustica)

The earliest form of tobacco was called kinnikinnick and consisted of the inner bark of red dogwood referred to as 'red willow.

Indian Tobacco (Lobelia inflata) and Rabbit tobacco (Pseudognaphalium californicum) and Basswood roots were also used in Smudge Sticks

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Sweet Gale

Sweet Gale Sweet Gale: Leaves of the Sweet Gale (Myrica Gale L.) and Sweet Fern (Myrica asplenifolia L.)

Used as Smudge Sticks by some tribes to throw on the fire to make a smudge to keep away mosquitoes

 
 
Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

Cow Parsnip

Cow Parsnip Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) was used as a smudge stick in the hunting rituals of some tribes 

Herbs used in Smudge Sticks

 

Herbs for Smudge Sticks - Essential Oils
The main Native American herbs used for Smudge Sticks were also supplemented by the addition of strong aromatic herbs which had strong cleansing, purification properties and many also had healing properties - refer to Herbal Herbs. Burning wood, or herbs, was a method of aromatherapy used by Native American Indians in Smudge Sticks rituals.

  • Mugwort
  • Desert Lavender
  • Yellow Birch
  • Carrot seed
  • Cedar Leaf
  • Balsam Fir
  • Juniper Berry
  • Bitter Orange
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood

Smudge Sticks

  • Native American Smudging Sticks
  • Smudge Sticks and the beliefs of Native Americans
  • The Culture of Smudging Sticks
  • Smudge Sticks Rituals
  • Smudge Sticks Herbs, rituals and ceremonies
  • Native American Indian Rituals and Ceremonies - Smudging Sticks

Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Smudge Sticks Rituals Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to the History of Native Americans and illustrate many decorations and tattoos used by American Indians. The pictures show the clothing, tattoos, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes that can be used as a really useful educational history resource for kids and children of all ages and a means to study their interpretation. We have included pictures to accompany the main topic of this section - Native American Culture. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with information and many historical facts. All of the articles can be accessed via the Native Indian Tribes Index.

 

Smudge Sticks - Definition - Definition - Teaching resource - Teachers - Kids - Native American Culture - Indian - Religion - Culture - Beliefs - Traditional - Indians - Definition - Purpose - Beliefs - Vision Quest - Customs - Custom - Kids - Pictures - Info - Information - Definition - Tribe - Tribes - Native Americans - Native American Indian - Studies - Native American Culture - Teaching resource - Teachers - Kids - Native American Culture - Indian - Religion - Culture - Beliefs - Traditional - Indians - Definition - Purpose - Beliefs - Customs - Kids - Pictures - Info - Information - Definition - Native Americans - Native American Indian - Studies - Native American Culture - Smudge Sticks - Written By Linda Alchin