The Sweetness of Sweetgrass.
Sweetgrass is native to Europe and North America. It's a lightly-scented perennial herb with a mild, sweet, delicately grassy, nutty aroma with a hint of vanilla to its pleasant fragrance profile.
It also goes by the names "vanilla grass," "holy Grass," and "Seneca grass."
Sweetgrass has many uses. The main ingredient is coumarin, an aromatic organic compound which is noted for its vanilla-like, sweet and bitter flavor. Sweetgrass can be chewed on for health benefits or used to make teas.
The grassy stems and leaves are often fashioned into long braids and used as an incense for smudging. In some parts of Europe the braids are placed across church and home doorways to honor saints.
In North America, aboriginal peoples see sweetgrass as a sacred and ceremonial herb. The herb is burned and used for smudging during purification, offering and holy ceremonies and used extensively to weave baskets.
Sweetgrass is also sometimes combined with tobacco and orally smoked during ceremonies.
Most people burn a form of sage (usually white sage) after burning sweetgrass. It is believed that this herbal combination of smudging will keep negative energies at bay and provide spiritual cleansing.
Sweetgrass is burned by first lightly trimming a new, dried or burnt end of the braid. Take a lighter and hold it to the end for 10-12 seconds to develop a good ember. Gently blow out the flame and wave the stick around to smoke your desired area. To put sweetgrass out, gently stub the smoking, burning end in a smudge bowl until the ember goes out or in a layer of incense sand.
To keep your sweetgrass in good condition, it is best to store it in a sealed container or bag, away from light, dampness and humidity.
These sweetgrass braids are sold individually.