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Herb of the Month, August 2015: Sweet Grass

25 Aug, 2015 | by
Herb of the Month Herbs

Herb of the Month, August 2015
Sweet Grass

Also known as: Hierochloe odorata, Seneca Grass, Holy Grass, Vanilla Grass
Planet: Moon, Venus
Chakra: Crown
Spiritual Uses: Friendship, Peace, Healing, Calling Spirits, Purification,

With the arrival of August, the late-summer weather produces an abundance of tall green and golden grasses. A personal favorite, Sweet grass smells amazing and has many wonderful attributes that can enhance your life. Smelling its light vanilla fragrance on a warm breezy August day can produce a gentle uplifting feeling.

Sweet grass has a long history and is native to meadows in Europe, Canada, and North America, especially in the Plains, Midwestern, and Eastern states. Used in basket weaving and sweat lodges by indigenous tribes of the United States. Several tribes such as the Lakota, Sioux, Blackfoot, and Cherokee associate sweet grass with the creation goddess Wohpe, who is reveled for her compassionate nature. It is traditional to hang sweet grass braids in the home, and it is also traditionally used as a sacred smudge.

When using sweet grass as a smudge, it is burned after clearing a space with sage, cedar, or other purifying herbs. Once the negative energy is cleared, burning sweet grass will fill your space with positive, uplifting energies.

Sweet Grass can be burned to honor the directions during your personal rituals.

It is used during funerary rights as it is believed that it help in releasing the soul from the body. Sweet grass is ideal for contacting your spirit guides or angels.

Sweet grass is easy to grow, or you can purchase it at Pow Wows, many interfaith shops, or online. It is usually found in long braids of the dried grass that are burned from root end to tip. If you do decide to try your hand at growing sweet grass, it can be grown in pots or in the ground. Sweet grass promotes positive vibrations after an area has been cleansed.

You can add sweet grass snippets to homemade candles by adding them to the wax right before pouring into molds. Likewise, if you make homemade soaps, the snippets can be added before molding.

Dried Sweet grass can be powdered and added to powders and incense blends. Blades of sweet grass can be wrapped around a form, such as a taper candle, and then dried. The result is curls of sweet grass that can be added to potpourri or wreaths.

You can take a bundle of sweet grass, tie one end with a natural string or twine, dry it, and use to sprinkle your home with blessed water when doing house clearing or cleansing.

A practical use for sweet grass is storing your personal spiritual items with some of the dried herb for purification and protection.

Sweet grass is a must have in your smudge kit or incense drawer. You can find sweet grass incense commercially if you prefer not to burn your sweet grass braid.

Inviting sweet grass into your spiritual practices will uplift you and fill you and your sacred spaces with light, love, and positive energies.

SweetgrassLight and Love to You, Blessed Be!


**The advice given above is intended for spiritual, non-medical, use only. Please do not consume any herb unless purchased or grown for culinary use. Please do not use any herb unless you are familiar with how your skin and body react to the herb. When using essential oil, be sure to dilute with a carrier before applying to skin.
Sweet Grass Photo courtesy of Karen Shank-Chapman

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Karen Shank-Chapman

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