Does Burning Sage Kill Bacteria? Have Healthy Homes With Hippy Herbs

If you've ever seen a show or movie with someone burning sage, you might have wondered what they're trying to do. What's the point of this medicinal smoke? There are several benefits of burning sage, including health benefits, improving air quality, and reduction of negative energy, especially in a confined space. Many wonder, does burning sage kill bacteria?

Using sage, aka salvia, for traditional medicine goes all the way back to Egyptian times, with Native Americans using sage and other medicinal herbs in their healing traditions. Sage can be ingested or used as an essential oil. If it is used as an oil it's important to note that more than 12 drops is considered toxic. Dried sage is often used as a seasoning, as well as taken internally. Internally, it can help with several health conditions like inflammation, headaches and sore throats, and also improves memory and reduces depression. While there isn't a ton of research on sage and mental health, the early studies show promising results for memory and cognition.

The most common species of sage are white sage, Chinese sage, and Spanish sage. If you visit a holistic health store, you may see sage listed by its botanical name: Salvia officinalis.

Does Burning Sage Kill Bacteria?

According to KX News, "Research shows that burning sage, also referred to as smudging, in a room for an hour reduced airborne bacteria by 94 percent."  Havan sámagri, a similar herb mixture, is also said to reduce bacteria. Both herbs showed that the room stayed bacteria free for 24 hours. Sage is a great for purifying the air without any harsh chemicals. There are phenolic compounds in sage that have an antioxidant effect. Sage also has antimicrobial properties that will help rid your space of viruses, bacteria, and fungi!

Tips for Smudging

You can purchase sage from a shaman, healer, or local health food store. Make sure to buy a pre-made bundle or smudge stick.

Have a bowl on hand to catch the ashes and to hold the stick. You can use an incense tray or bowl.

Smudge Bowl

You don't want to burn sage in a closed room. Instead, open the doors and windows to allow smoke to exit.

Begin by lighting one end of the stick on fire and blowing it out. "The resulting smoke smudges the air in the room and the properties in the smoke kill most of the existing bacteria in the air."

Avoid inhaling the smoke directly!

Burning sage is safe for kids and pets. While your pet might not enjoy the smell, no harm will be done to them from the smudging process.

Next time your friends and family look at you with skepticism and ask, "Does burning sage kill bacteria?" You can confidently answer them and even remove some of the surrounding negative energy.

Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.