By Michael Hills:
Using white sage smudge sticks is controversial. But how can you get the benefits of burning sage without using white sage? Using smoke for various reasons, like calling the spirits, and breaking up and cleansing your space of negative energies has been around for centuries. This is practiced almost everywhere on our planet by almost every race, creed, and religion.
The use of herbal smoke, and incense, is also used for medicinal purposes. It clears the air of unwanted impurities, with a health benefit attached to it.
The benefits of Smudging has a diverse history
Smudging has been used as an ancient practice to cleanse a space with herbal remedies.
Up to 94% of pathogen’s and bacteria can be reduced in the air through burning herbal smoke, according to modern studies. And you don't need white sage in this case.
This is why in medieval Europe incense was used by the Catholic Church. Herbal smoke was used to fumigate the cathedrals and churches.
But also pagans would use smoke as offerings in a ritualistic way, to cleanse whatever needed to be cleansed of evil spirits, and negative energy.