How to Prepare Herbal Smoke Cleansing Sticks

Enjoy collecting seasonal plants to make your own smoke cleansing sticks.

May / June 2018
By Juliet Blankespoor

Before harvesting, take time to center yourself and cultivate a state of peaceful mindfulness. Consider sitting with the plant and simply breathing in silence, taking the opportunity to observe the plant’s beauty and strength. Throughout the world, traditional peoples ask permission from medicinal and ceremonial plants before harvesting. This practice fosters humility and interconnection.

Whatever your beliefs, a feeling of gratitude and appreciation sets the stage for a lovely harvesting and bundling session. As always, be sure of your identification, and only gather plants that are abundant and haven’t been sprayed. Don’t take too much from any one plant — cut a little and then move on to the next one. Before harvesting, seek permission from the landowner or, if you’re on public land, from the appropriate governmental agency.


1. Cut 8- to 10-inch sprigs from the plant. Depending on the plant, you’ll want about 5 to 10 sprigs per bundle.

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