Sweetgrass is ideal for use during cleansing, prayer and smudging by use of burning to encourage positive energy and dispelling negative vibes. As the name suggests it has a very sweet vanilla-like smell due to an ingredient in the sweetgrass called coumarin.
They Say: Most loose herbs can be ignited by applying flame directly to the herbs and blowing on the lit area. Herbs and resins may also be lit with the use of a charcoal wafer (disc) that is placed in the bottom of your smudge pot. Once lit, direct the smoke around yourself, another person, or in your place of ceremony by using a fan feather, or your hand. The smoke from burning herbs or resin is sent out with your prayers, for purificaion, and as an invocation honoring the four directions, the father sun and the mother earth. ("Father-Mother God"). Native Americans have been burning herbs and resins in ceremonies for generations.
The Latin name for Sweetgrass is "hierchloe odorata" and translates as "sacred grass".
Size of Sweetgrass: Sold as a plait of roughly about 50-60 cms long (20-24 inches)
Country of origin: USA
More About Sweetgrass
Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) can be found growing in the Plains of the United States, as well as in some areas of Alberta in Canada. It's a distinctive green grass, being tall in stature with wide blades and a reddish tone at its base.
It's got similar properties to sage, popularly being used as a purifier of places, objects and people to encourage positive energy and dispel old and negative vibes. It was often used in Native American sweat lodge ceremonies, where the sweet scented herb was sprinkled onto the hot rocks to improve the energy inside the lodge and fill the air with a sweet aroma.
Traditionally it was plaited into long braids - ideal for using during cleansing, prayer and smudging - and is still often found sold like that today. Belief has it that when sweetgrass is burned, a prayer is sent to heaven on the smoke. It's properties make it ideal for using in quiet moments of contemplation, as well as when wanting to create an air of purification.
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