Big Sagebrush Bundles
Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is one of the most frequently used sages by Native Americans. It is found throughout the West, Northwest, Southwest, and Plains states. It was used medicinally by the Cahuilla, Diegueño, Flathead, Havasupai, Hopi, Navajo, Paiute, Salish, Zuni and others. Treatments varied from burning the plant and inhaling the smoke to making teas, and poultices. The Cahuilla called it wikwat and made a tea from the leaves for stomach disorders. Both the Cahuilla and Paiute collected the seeds as a food source to make a type of flour. Big Sagebrush was also used by some tribes as a building material, fuel source, and a plant to make yellow dye. Ceremonially, it was used by various tribes to become spiritually clean.
Today, the plant is used for smudging in the same manner as other sages. The scent of Big Sagebrush is often associated with the "West" because of its widespread presence in western plateaus and regions. When dried in bundles, it has a somewhat “dusty sage” scent. But in the wild, if you are fortunate enough to experience a warm summer afternoon thunderstorm, the air can be filled with the unmistakable aroma of Big Sagebrush!
If you’ve followed us for a while, you know we used to call this “Desert Sage”. But in the last few years, the marketplace has become completely confused with various names for this plant. It is being called Gray Sage, Blue Sage, Shasta Sage, Desert Sage, and undoubtedly many other names. We likely had a hand in starting all this by calling it Desert Sage in the early 1990’s. At the time, most sage available was either “white sage” (California White Sage - Salvia apiana) or “gray sage” (Big Sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata). We started offering sage we were obtaining from South Dakota which was also known as “white” or “gray” sage and that just confused everything. So we started calling this sage “Desert Sage” because in the west, it is most commonly found in the high desert ecosystems. So in an attempt to help prevent all the confusion, we now just call this by its common name, “Big Sagebrush.”
Our sage bundles are wildcrafted in California and average about 8 inches in length and 1½ inches in width.