Cleansing with Sage and Palo Santo for the New Year

With the New Year upon us, and after all the suffering of 2020, this is a perfect time to reflect on events of the year and express gratitude for our friends and families. We overcame this difficult year safely and healthfully – that is something to be recognized and celebrated.

This moment presents a great opportunity to look inward and cleanse ourselves. We can make our spaces fresh and fill them with more positive energy as we go forward into the New Year. Sage and Palo Santo are fantastic tools for achieving the goal of cleansing your physical and inner worlds.


Sage has long been valued in traditional medicine. The Latin word for sage – salvia – stems from the word “heal.” It has traditionally been used to treat a wide range of ailments including coughs, asthma, bronchitis, angina, inflammation, depression, and digestive/circulation disorders. The other benefits of burning sage include wisdom, clarity, and increased spiritual awareness.

Sage essential oils can be used in a diffuser or if you need to remove negative energy “on the go” you can mix Sage with other oils in a spray bottle to carry with you. This is an ideal strategy for cleansing areas like your work space or a small area of your home.


Smudging with sage is the quickest way to cleanse a room, but I advise following up with diffusing or spraying the essential oil of sage. This may take longer but it does have the capability to seal a room off from any negative energies.

Smudging is a tradition of Native Americans as well as other indigenous cultures. It has been used for thousands of years to clear the energy of both the physical and energetic worlds. Sage is the most common herb used within the tradition of smudging and is said to purify and clear negative energy. To achieve the intended results of smudging, you must first set your intentions. A good example of intention setting would be “I cleanse this space to prepare for a prosperous new year.” Recent research has also shown that burning sage removes 94% of bacteria in the air! This is a great practice to do on a regular basis in order to start creating a space that feels energetically clean and peaceful.

Palo Santo

Palo Santo is a sacred tree which grows in select parts of South America and has been used for centuries by shamans in ritual prayer, ceremonies and healing. In Spanish, Palo Santo means “holy wood”. It is traditionally used in aromatherapy as a natural remedy for colds and flu, as well as symptoms brought on by stress. It is also known to relieve asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, and inflammation. As an essential oil, it's great for aromatherapy and is excellent for therapeutic massage.

With properties similar to Sage, it helps lift your energetic vibration in preparation for meditation and allows for a soulful connection. The beauty of Sage and Palo Santo is how well they work in conjunction with one another. Sage is used to clear negative energy while Palo Santo fills that neutral energetic space with the positive energy that you desire.

According to Anna Toonk, some love to light a cinnamon stick and cleanse their home and spice up their love life. In Italian cultures. Often rosemary was burned to clear, protect, and make you more memorable.

Whatever plant/oil that you choose to burn, smudge, diffuse or spray, here are some of the most important times to cleanse your space:

  • Before bed
  • After social stimulation
  • When you move into a new home
  • When you begin a new job
  • When you start a business
  • Before meditation
  • After overcoming an illness
  • After arguments/conflicts

These recipes may also be translated into a house cleaner by adding them to preference (30-35 drops total) into our Non-Toxic House Cleaner Recipe: ¼ cup white vinegar and fill with 8 oz. distilled water, or a Room and Pillow Spray by adding 1/4c. witch hazel to the same 8 oz. of distilled water and any combination of oils to taste up to 40 drops.

Some benefits and properties of these essential oil blends are for immune support, energizing, uplifting, decongesting and cleansing. They help bring balance to the body. The sweet, warm and spicy smells help to release anger. When diffusing, you can take advantage of their aromatic properties, say a positive affirmation, a special prayer, or give thanks, and use them at the start of each season to set your intentions for the days to come.

Essentially Yours,

Paula Naples

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