How Does Sage Help With Spirits?

I have read where a lot of people post comments saying that smudging with sage sticks will cleanse a house or get rid of a spirit.

My question is how can something like that have an affect on something in the spirit world? Is there something that is supposed to be magical about Sage? Is there some chemical in it?

What is it that makes Sage able to cleanse?

Asked by Carol

More on Sage here on True Ghost Tales:

Smudging with Sage – How to and Origins and Practices

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  1. Hi Carol,

    The chemicals/energy in the smoking sage changes the chemical/energy structure of the energy in your house .. it ‘raises it up’ or cleanses it, and makes it an uncomfortable place for ghosts, and other beings, to be hanging around it. They prefer negative energy to feed on, not positive stuff. Also, because you do the ritual with the intention of clearing the house, that also changes the energy in the house.

    I used to smudge places until I learned how to clear them just through energy work. It is very effective!

    Love & Joy,
    Ama Nazra (

  2. There are definitely more than a few answers as to why sage may helps with spirits (evil spirits). First, a few websites that have some information about the subject (although the websites may differ in their… (scholarly?) scientific, or empirical approach/reliability:

    1.) (not scientific)






    If the information in these websites don’t answer your question in its entirety (and they probably don’t, because this is a question that crosses over from the supernatural to the scientific (and how the two relate to each other), and despite the importance and appeal of such a question, it is, because of the nature of the question itself, being extremely difficult to answer completely), perhaps I could add some insights from my own observations about herbs, smoke from herbs, burning, fire, etc., and the nature of spirits/ghosts, though they may still be far from conclusive:

    -I am a Christian (Mormon), and as such, I believe in the reality of spirits, be they people who are dead (spirits of people who have died), demons, or angels, etc. Spirits, though they are not… tangible in a physical sense, still have a kind of mass or substance to them that can only be described as far, far more “fine” or a substance of a different sort than something of an earthly or physical nature. In other words, spirits are not immaterial. Spirits can, to one extent or another, be influenced by the physical world. The nature of that influence according to any of even the most knowledgeable folks of any background, religious, occult, whatever is… vague at best. However, most, if not all herbs, seem to have some effect on spirits. It is my best guess (based on the limited information I know), that as herbs were created by God, that they have many varied healing and purifying properties for both body and spirit (the soul), and that, to a certain extent, those same healing and purifying properties that help mortals, also have a positive effect on good spirits, or a negative effect on evil spirits. (More than a few herbs, plants, etc., can also be misused…)

    Also, keep in mind that all matter has both its physical form, and its spirit form. In other words, everything has been created spiritually before it has been created physically, according to Shinto belief, and LDS doctrine as well. Therefore, it stands to reason that the essence of any physical material will, in its finer, spiritual form, have the same qualities. Pine, mint, rosemary and sage are all highly aromatic for instance, and when smelled, most people feel a sense of rejuvenation and “cleanness”, or “crispness” in the air (crispness being more associated with mint perhaps). Evil spirits tend to be attracted to smells that do not have that quality of being “crisp” and “clean”, rather, smells that are more like fleshy smells or the smells more associated with houses of ill repute, sexy smells, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with eating meat, I happen to love red meat, etc. Simply consider the connection between indulgence in carnal thoughts, appetites, desires, etc. and the desires of evil spirits, and you get the idea.

    Also, consider the use of smoke and fire in human history. Fire is used for both warmth (the presence of evil spirits is often felt when the immediate surrounding temperature is unusually cold) and light (and where there is light, darkness flees). Smoke (and roasting things like garlic, etc.) may well ward off more than just mosquitoes. Just a few more thoughts about the use of burning herbs. We humans tend to find comfort and peace in smelling the sweet, hearty, aromatic, fragrant, etc. smells of burning herbs, cooking meats, vegetables, etc. It is a sensation that is both physical and spiritual. Anything that calms the spirit in such a way, is definitely going to help when being brave and fending off the devil and those spirits who follow him. Fire and smoke have a purifying effect. This is even seen in the bible, from offerings to the Lord, to the baptism of “fire” (receiving the Holy Spirit), to simply refining substances through heat (alchemy, chemistry, metallurgy, etc.). Fire seems to be one of those things that can ward off evil spirits. (Not that human sacrifice or burning oneself is something that is typically considered to be of God, rather, the opposite. Remember, Abraham never sacrificed his son, Isaac, the angel stopped Abraham.)

    Lastly, simply consider that if herbs (like all plant foods) have varied natural healing properties (antioxidants, phytonutrients/phytochemicals, vitamins, essential oils, (the highly aromatic oils in sage are probably the key ingredients here) minerals, etc.) for our physical bodies, they probably also have healing, and (purifying?) properties for the environment, and for the spiritual realm. Just a “few” thoughts. Hope this helps.

  3. Great answer Ben. Thank you.

    Love & Joy

  4. Great responses all round :) When I sense a heaviness in the house, I would either burn a scented candle or a white sage stick. The difference in the atmosphere is almost immediate, and the house smells beautiful.

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