Herbal Smokes and Smudges



PRESENTED BY | Katie Thompson, CH . . .

Explore the History and Medicinal Uses of Smoking and Smudging

February 11, 2020, Tuesday | 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Humans have been burning plants for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Join us as we explore the history, ethnicity, and medicinal values of plants when exposed to fire.

Fire + Smoke

Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material that releases heat, light, smoke and various reactions. This course will focus on medicine that can be gained from fire when combined with plants.


Cleansing an area with the smoke of a smoldering herb or root is commonly known as “smudging.” Smudging has been used by indigenous populations during ceremony, illness or seasonal shifts for thousands of years. In this portion of the course, we will discuss the histories, intents, and effects of smudging. As we move through history towards common times we will discuss the relationship between native peoples and the plants and how it has been commercialized and shifted towards “new age” practices. We will spend a large portion focused on the ethical cultivation and use of herbs that are most popular in this practice. This will include Palo Santo, Sage and Sandalwood and the overharvesting that is devastating their natural populations. We will then discuss alternatives that grow in abundance right outside our front doors.

This portion of our course will also cover the scientific studies that show the use of smudging as an air purifier. It has been shown that smudging can clean up to 94% of bacteria from the air, even 24+ hours later. We will compare marketed air fresheners and their effect to that of herbs – the 100% natural alternative to western diffusers and cleansers. We will discuss the benefits of cleansing the air in your space/home/life and the benefits it may have on common issues such as asthma, allergies and other respiratory infections.


There are many ways to intake herbal medicines. Is smoking an herb as harmful as smoking manufactured cigarettes? Is it more harmful than drinking tea?

Combustion is defined as the byproduct of the rapid breakdown of a substance by heat (aka burning). Inhaling smoke takes the byproducts of combustion rapidly into your system. This can be damaging to your lungs and body. It can release free radicals, damage the cell lining of airways and leave remnants in the lungs.

Pulmonary inhalation has also been stated as one of the quickest routes of absorption in the body. Inhalation of a substance brings the herb to the lungs which leech to the bloodstream almost immediately.

Intentionally inhaling smoke is a taboo subject but is one that is well worth discussing. In this portion of our class, we will explore the medicinal values of commonly smoked herbs including Mullein, Chamomile, Rose, Damiana, Mugwort, Skullcap, Coltsfoot, Lavender and Peppermint. We will compare different forms of taking the herb – largely tea or tincture – versus inhaling the smoke of the plant. We will also discuss the detrimental effects that smokes have on your lungs and your body.

When used in moderation, smoking medicinal herbs can help clear bacteria from the lungs and air.  In excess, smoke is harsh and will damage your body.


To end our course we will have a discussion on how to ethically source herbs for smudging and/or smoking, the materials needed to create a cleansing bundle and a hands-on tutorial on how to bundle and create a personalized smudge. You will leave the session with a bundle you made just for you! (Materials provided)

PSA: This course will not cover any federally illegal substances including (but not limited to) Marijuana.


[The content of this blogs does not necessarily represent or express the views of CSCH.]

RSVP |For additional information or to reserve you seat please email.
DATE & TIME | Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 • 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
CSCH, 424 E. Simpson Street, Lafayette, CO 80026

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