DIY health Lima

DIY herbal incense / Smudge stick

Smells transport not only the mind but the emotions, bringing back memories and feelings. A smell can make you happy or nostalgic, can relax you, can irritate you.  I love smells, but I can’t stand artificial perfumes. 

On a recent trip to the countryside, Paloma would bring back flowers and herbs from every walk.  It called my attention, and I learned she was making smudge sticks! What a great idea, I thought! 

This is a short post just to share how to make these fabulous smudge  sticks. These magic “sticks” calm the mind, relax the body, elevate the spirit and clean the space from bad energy and bacteria. 

Many cultures have used smudge sticks in different forms for healing and in ceremonies for celebrating important events. Incense, palo santo (sacred stick), salvia,  and many others are physical expressions of what has been sacred since forever.  

It is very simple to make these sticks, the most complicated part is to find an equilibrated mix. 

Materials:

  • Herbs or plants that will serve as a base where to wrap the rest. It can be eucalyptus, rosemary, lemongrass, sage, cypress, even some wood sticks like cedar or palo santo.
  • Flowers, plants, spices.
  • Cotton yarn or hemp string. Synthetic string will smell bad and is toxic.
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Choose the plant you will use as a base
  2. Insert the rest of the  ingredients forming a compact bundle 
  3. Tie a corner and go around forming a spiral towards the other end and tie again. Maybe you will need to go up and down a couple of times before tying the second corner. Make sure you keep the roll compact because when it dries it will shrink and may become loose. Using a big clothespin or masking tape (remove at the end) might help keep everything in place. 
  4. Let it dry. Hanging them in an airy space away from humidity or rain is ideal.
  5. There you go! Just light them on and enjoy. 

They will most likely stop burning often. You can try adding natural oil or ghee or waxing the strings (ideally with beeswax) to help keep them burning. 

To make your own “Recipes,” here is an aromatherapy guide to scents and properties. Follow your intuition and make your very own combination. I highly recommend using local plants, which will always be at the highest of their power when in their natural habitat. 

Here some combinations I’ve liked:

  • Eucalyptus, lemongrass, roses
  • Rosemary, mint, lavender
  • Bay leaves, palo santo (holy stick), sage 

The simple process of making these magic sticks is already therapeutic. From picking the herbs to burning them brings benefits. I hope you get inspired to make yours and enjoy!

PAOLA//Lima

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