The Big Bug Smokeout

By Paris Wolfe, Writer, Herb Society of America

My son Dante, 18, is heading off to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Featured imagewithin minutes of this post. He’s a powerhouse of fitness and energy. He plays rugby, lifts weights, runs. He’s so NOT the fragile baby of the late 1990s when he was getting ear infections, RSV, colds, stomach flu and various viruses one after another. I’d like to think fighting those bugs built an amazing immune system, which he continues with clean, healthy living.

Or maybe it was the white sage smudging in every room. An expansive friend – that would be hipster in today’s pop culture? – turned me on to white sage. She explained smudging as a Native American (or older) ritual to clear energy and support health. I’d already tried sprinkling holy water in corners. What could herbal smoke hurt?

So, I bought not one, but two, wands of tightly tied, dried white sage. Mostly from the Pacific Southwest, readily available in alternative shops, herb stores and by mail order. For mail order, search the web or try

I fired up my lighter and held it to the wand. When the sage started smoldering, I walked through the house “throwing” wisps of greyish smoke into every corner of every room … near the crib, over the changing table, in the bathrooms, kitchen. Like many burning leaves it smelled a little illicit.

Maybe Dante aged out … or maybe it was my extreme measures. It’s impossible to measure. But, life slowly became less infected. And, today, we go through fewer traditional and non-traditional remedies.