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:
- Its anti-inflammatory properties
- Its aromatherapy properties
- It is high in antioxidants
- It has cleansing abilities
- Relaxation and stress relief
- Its positive impact on your immune system
- 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.
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
- Bowel issues
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
- Bolster alertness
Basil is rich in a range of antioxidants such as:
- Vitamin C
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!
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:
- Harmful microorganisms
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)
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.