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7 Basil Smudge Stick Benefits

I’m a massive fan of smudge sticks, and basil is definitely a herb that I use often. It has a beautiful and wholesome aroma and also comes with a range of potential health benefits as well.

There are at least 7 benefits of using basil smudge sticks, which include:

  1. Its anti-inflammatory properties
  2. Its aromatherapy properties
  3. It is high in antioxidants
  4. It has cleansing abilities
  5. Relaxation and stress relief
  6. Its positive impact on your immune system
  7. It makes your house just smell great!

Burning basil is a really ‘herby’ smell (if you know what I mean!). It evokes beautiful Italian cooking and a sense of warmth and wholeness.

In this post, I’ll take a look at the most important 7 benefits of using basil in your smudge sticks, and also describe how to make a basil smudge stick as well.

A white bowl of basil leaves on a wooden table

7 Basil Smudge Stick Benefits

1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Basil is rich in essential oils. These oils have properties that can help reduce inflammation in parts of the body.

The three main oils are:

  • Linalool – a richly smelling substance, that helps to give basil its distinctive smell
  • Citronellol – another rich-smelling oil, that also works well as an insect repellent!
  • Eugenol – this has been used in traditional medicine for centuries


While eating basil or rubbing basil oil on your skin would likely reap the biggest rewards where inflammation is concerned, burning it will also have some effect.

Basil helps to lower the risk of inflammatory conditions such as:

  • Skin inflammations
  • Arthritis
  • Bowel issues

2. Aromatherapy

I personally use smudge sticks as a form of aromatherapy, focusing on the calm atmosphere that they generate, and the sense of cleansing.

In traditional aromatherapy, basil is reported to:

  • Stimulate the mind
  • Fortify the senses
  • Energize
  • Bolster alertness


3. Antioxidants

Basil is rich in a range of antioxidants such as:

  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • Flavanoids

One of the biggest positive features of antioxidants is that they counteract the effect of free radicals.

What are free radicals? Well, they’re basically responsible for a range of negative effects on our bodies, such as aging, disease, and harming cells.

So, as you can see, anything that works against these is a friend in my book!

4. Cleansing

This is a biggie for me!

Burning basil works wonders to cleanse and purify the air in your home. Traditionally, it is understood that it eliminates negative energy in your space.

The smoke from the basil leaves actually takes a lot of things out of the air. This includes:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Harmful microorganisms
Sprigs of basil on a chopping board
Basil contains elements that support stress relief

5. Relaxation And Stress Relief

The biggest reason I use smudge sticks is to practice mindfulness. They really help to generate a sense of relaxation and stress relief.

One study found that people that ingested basil found that it helped reduce their stress and anxiety.

I close my eyes and meditate when I use a basil smudge stick. Concentrate on your breath. I find the aroma helps to really heighten my senses and the experience.

6. Immune System

Basil contains essential oils that contain antimicrobials.

In a nutshell, these are basically able to fight off infections and support our immune system.

7. Makes Your House Smell Great

At the end of the day, it just makes your house smell fantastic! It reminds me of beautiful Italian meals like lasagne and spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes.

It purifies and cleanses the air, and gives it a real vibrancy.

How To Make a Basil Smudge Stick – Step-By-Step Guide

Making a basil smudge stick is a reasonably straightforward experience.

Step 1 – Roll Your Bundle

Get a load of basil leaves, and roll them into a cylinder shape bundle.

Step 2 – Tie Up The Bundle

The best thing to use is cotton string. This burns well, and has no toxic fumes. Wool burns less well, and some more synthetic materials will burn with smoke containing toxins (which is no good!).

Start by winding the string around the base of the bundle so that it is secure. Then keep winding it round the bundle until you come to the top. Cut off the end of the string, and create a small knot near the top.

Step 3 – Store In A Cool Dark Place

Store the smudge sticks in a cupboard that is ideally:

  • Cool (or at least a steady temperature)
  • Airy
  • Dark

Step 4 – Leave Them To Dry

You do not want to be burning basil when it is still moist. It will be very hard to set alight.

Basil takes a reasonably long time to dry out, compared to some other herbs. You are usually looking at about 4 weeks.

A Note About Respect

Smudge sticks originated as a deeply religious and spiritual object used by the indiginous population of the Americas.

I like to retain a sense of respect for this tradition. I do not use them to invoke any religious or spiritual elements, but rather for their mental and physical attributes.

React To Allergies

If you have ever shown an allergy to basil before, then please do not attempt to make a smudge stick out of it. Also, if you suffer any symptoms while using the sticks, then stop immediately.


  • Kaylee Vaughn

    Kaylee is the Founder of She has set up and run two homesteads, a one-acre in Idaho, and her current two-acre dream homestead in the Pacific North West. Her qualifications include a Permaculture Design Certification from Oregon State University, and she is a Gardenary Certified Garden Coach. Kaylee currently produces at least 80% of her own food. She contributes to our site through articles, training and coaching to our clients. You can read more about her at