Botanicals

About your Smoulder Stick


Smoulder sticks are bundles of herbs bound together and dried for the purpose of burning. Burning herbs is one of the earliest forms of aromatherapy and has been practiced for thousands of years. You may be familiar with the term smudge stick or smudging, which refers to a specific Indigenous American sacred smoke ceremony. Most cultures across the world have burned herbs and dried plants at some point in their history.

All of our smoulder sticks are intuitively handcrafted with a blend of homegrown organic herbs & wild foraged plants local or naturalised in the UK, each with their own unique qualities.

As the herbs burn and smoulder an aromatic smoke is released containing many of the beneficial compounds and energies of the plant. The element of fire also symbolises energy, transformation and clearing of unwanted energies.

We do not add any fragrance to our sticks. They are intended for the enjoyment of the natural plant properties rather than as fragrant incense. Plants will all burn differently and getting to know your stick can be a mindful experience!

How to use

Hold the end of your stick just above a candle until it smoulders or catches alight. Depending on the plants in your stick it can react very variably. It may produce flames especially on the first light which is normal but always use gently with care and attention and a fireproof dish underneath to catch any falling embers. Once lit, after the few seconds, blow the flame out as you would a candle allowing your stick to smoulder away and release aromatic smoke into your space. Place your smouldering stick in a heatproof dish or bowl.

Working with plants in this way can enhance a meditation or relaxation process. Observing the smoke as you breathe deeply and relax, allowing the plants to support your intentions and clear what no longer serves you. You may also wish to move your smoulder stick around your space to bring the cleansing smoke to particular areas of your room/home.

Different plants burn at different rates. Sometimes your stick will extinguish by itself. You can light it again if you would like to continue enjoying the smoke.

When you are ready to extinguish your stick, hold the smouldering end against the heat proof bowl or dish until fully out, a layer of sand in your dish makes this easier too.

Always use your stick in a well ventilated area and with a heatproof bowl or dish to collect any embers that will fall from your stick.

Please be aware that plants are powerful and not all are recommended for use during pregnancy or breast feeding, if you have certain health conditions or around pets. Please always check the full blend list and consult a specialist before use. If you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue immediately.

Some people choose not to burn their sticks at all. If you prefer, you can hang yours above your bed or place on your altar to enjoy the energy of the plants or use in mindful pratices.

How to care for your smoulder stick

You should be able to use your stick over many occasions. The herbs burn best when there is some air between them. You may find as you get closer to where the stick has been tied that it doesn’t smoulder as well. When this happens snip the next twine tie off and continue burning your stick.

If the end of the stick becomes too charred, it may not light as easily, in which case you can clear some of the blackened bits by pressing down against your fireproof dish or even snipping the ends if necessary.

Keeping your stick dry and out of direct sunlight will preserve its qualities for longer.

If you have any further questions we are always happy to hear for you.

Happy smouldering!

Our Mindful Magick Smoulder stick in action
Botanicals

Mindful Magick smoulder stick

We recently put out a question over on our Instagram page asking what people would like from a smoulder stick. The most common answer we received was around support for anxiety, stress and depression.

Last month, we created a beautiful smoulder stick after a harvest of our flowering marjoram along with other herbs in our garden – lemon balm, bay, thyme and lemon verbena. Each of these herbs is known to positively impact our nervous system, calming the body and relaxing the mind. We teamed these herbs with foraged plants known to benefit our mental health. We only made 6 which sold quickly but after finding some beautiful wild pink marjoram last week, we decided to make a new batch.

Marjoram is an uplifting herb to work with. In ancient Greece it was named ‘joy of the mountains’ and was combined with thyme and burned to help ease grief and sadness. It is a nervine that helps tension headaches and insomnia, although is not recommended during pregnancy. We also added oatstraw to our new batch of sticks that calms and strengthens the nervous system.

We now have 5 new Mindful Magick smoulder sticks. With potent plants known to help calm the central nervous system, reduce symptoms of stress and help uplift our spirits. These sticks emit an aromatic smoke when burned and can be used in mindfulness and meditation practices. If you would prefer not to burn your stick, you can hang it above your bed or place on your altar to enjoy the energy of the plants. You can find out more information about each plant used in this stick and their benefits in our Etsy listing.

Botanicals

Introducing Smoulder Sticks

We have decided to rename our handcrafted herb bundles that we have so far been referring to as ‘smudge sticks’.

We have spent a lot of time thinking about this and wanted to give some background as to why we have come to this decision.

As we have discussed in previous posts, burning plants to release an aromatic, beneficial smoke has been carried out across cultures for thousands of years. It would have been the earliest form of aromatherapy with methods and motivations for use varying across the world.

The term ‘smudging’ refers to a specific Indigenous American tradition, where herbs particularly Sage and Cedar are used in sacred cleansing ceremonies. In recent decades, this term has been adopted in Western spirituality, and the burning of Sage in particular has gained popularity.

This increase in popularity, has also seen an increase in the trade of sacred herbs, such as White Sage and Palo Santo, both of which have become over harvested and are now considered to be endangered.

Offering people sustainable plant alternatives is extremely important to us, as is sharing the benefits of connecting with plants on a daily basis. We only ever use herbs that we have grown ourselves organically or gathered from the wild in a responsible way. With so much wildlife depending on our plants, we work seasonally, using plants readily abundant during that season and follow responsible foraging guidelines.

We have been inspired by what we have learned about Smudging ceremonies, as well as other ancient burning practices and when originally naming our bundles ‘smudge sticks’ did so in a respectful way, to honour this sacred practice. However the more we have learned about the specific nature of a smudging ceremony and the increase in the exploitation of these sacred herbs, the more we felt ready to create a new name for our own herb bundles.

We have loved finding out about the variety of ways people have been using our sticks in their own lives. Sometimes for cleansing, often during mindfulness and meditation practices to help calm the mind, and some people choosing not to burn them at all, enjoying the energy of the plants in a different way.

After some thought we settled with the name ‘smoulder’ stick, meaning ‘to burn slowly with smoke but no fire’. It feels as though this word describes its action so well. So in celebration of our new name, we will be listing some lovely limited edition smoulder sticks, and how you choose to work with them is completely up to you!

Botanicals

Yarrow and Rose bud Smudge Sticks

Yarrow feels especially abundant this year. This delicate yet mighty wildflower has been used extensively in herbal medicine due to its wealth of therapeutic properties. Ruled by Venus, Yarrow has also long been entwined with myth and magic. Perhaps most notably, the belief that if a handful of the plant was placed under a pillow, it would reveal a person’s future love mate within a dream.

Burning Yarrow is thought to bring courage, dispel fear and heal deep wounds. These qualities seemed to lend themselves to the creation on a Smudge Stick to encourage feelings of self love, connection and heart healing. Teamed with a whole rose bud to offer gentle nurturing and healing, Mallow flowers to protect and Lavender and wild Chamomile to ground, relax and help us to open our hearts.

This was a wonderful team of plants to work with. There are just two of these beauties now available in our Etsy shop.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.

Botanicals

The benefits of Bay

We are lucky to have a huge supply of Bay in the garden thanks to a rather old and beloved Bay tree. I love adding the leaves to our herb bundles for burning.

Did you know that Bay leaves contain Linalool a compound known for its calming properties, also present in plants such as Lavender. Studies have shown that Linalool reduces elevated stress levels to almost normal conditions.

These lovely leaves also contain Eugenol which is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities. As mentioned in our previous post, burning is an effective way to release the therapeutic benefits of a plant into your environment.

You can find Bay in our best selling herbal garden smoulder sticks.