Sweetgrass, Vanilla grass, Holy grass or Hierochloe odorata ~call it what you like ~ I call it Heavenly... "Breathe it in and you start to remember things you didn’t know you’d forgotten.”
Sweetgrass has traditionally been used by various First Nation Peoples as incense or smudging (for purification, driving out negativity, and as an offering to spirits and ancestors), as a perfume, as a stuffing for pillows and mattresses, and as an insect repellent. Many non-Native cultures have used sweetgrass for its soothing, somewhat hypnotic vanilla-like fragrance, which can be an aid to meditative practices.
Also known as Holy grass, Sweetgrass is one of the four sacred herbs of the First Nations and is used in traditional ceremonies to promote peace and healing. The sweet vanilla scent is produced by the chemical coumarin, it evokes a calm, meditative relaxation.
This ancient aromatic grass can be used to scent everything from linen closets to candles and bath salts with its soothing perfume. Sweetgrass can be used to scent linens and clothing when dried, or tightly braided and burned as incense. In Europe during the Medieval period, sweetgrass was scattered across the floors of cathedrals to scent the air.
Medicinally, it can be infused into a tea to calm windchapped skin and sunburn. Deer and livestock avoid it. Sweetgrass has been in cultivation by humans for thousands of years for it's medicinal properties + for smudging or cleansing interior spaces.
A braid of Sweetgrass can be placed under the bed to promote sweet dreams and ward off night terrors.
SWEET GRASS (WEENGUSH)
Sweet grass is the sacred hair of Mother Earth; its sweet aroma reminds people of the gentleness, love and kindness she has for the people; this is why Native people pick it and braid it in 3 strands representing love, kindness and honesty. Sweet grass is used for smudging and purification of the spirit; when Sweet grass is used in a healing or talking circle it has a calming effect. It is said that it attracts the good Spirit, so use it to call in the Spirit.
Sweetgrass Braid - 15" Length
It's best to smudge your home when you're the only one home so you're not distracted.
Cut a 3 to 4" section of your Sweetgrass braid to use for smudging - use a fireproof bowl or Abalone shell with sand or salt in it's base - on a sturdy surface like a table or desk. Allow yourself to become centered and focued + light the tip of your sweetgrass section - let it burn for about 10 seconds so the flame catches. Gently blow any flame out but leave it smoldering - relight if needed - Then, holding the sweetgrass smudge over the bowl - You can gently move around + gently wave your hand to help the smoke move about the room as you carefully walk in each room in your home. When the smoke arises from the ember end of your sweetgrass you’re ready to say your prayer, blessing or set your intentions during your ritual. This is a personal experience, so the intention you set is completely up to you. A common prayer/intention/blessing to invoke when smudging is asking Love and Truth into your field + for it to please remain protecting and balancing all who reside and enter here, while requesting that all fear exit..
Extinguish your sweetgrass smudge in the sand/salt in your bowl and set aside until the next time you smudge. Always practice caution and safety when using lit materials.