Root Simple shared some great information on White Sage. Mrs. Homegrown has been taking some classes with Cecilia Garcia and James Adams, Jr. – authors, healers, and, in Mr. Adams case, a professor or pharmacology and botany. They have an interesting take on the wastefulness of smudge sticks – something many New Agers and Pagans use for just about everything.
I’m a huge fan of sage and find that it is helpful in purifying an area. The authors offer an alternative to over-harvesting this Nature Spirit. The suggestion? Burn one leaf. They also offer a very simple recipe (again, only using one leaf) to alleviate tension at the end of the day. Great stuff! Do check it out.
Can’t knock the sage smudge stick habit? Try growing your own sage, thus ensuring it was raised and harvested respectfully to both its spirit and the overall environment. Another alternative, if you simply must have a stick, is to go through a company like Mountain Rose Herbs. They offer a variety of smudge sticks (as well as other incense, loose herbs, oils, etc) that are organic and/or ethically wildcrafted.