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Author Topic: Sensitivity/Allergy to White Sage?  (Read 2985 times)

seamstress

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Sensitivity/Allergy to White Sage?
« on: June 03, 2015, 10:42:19 am »
My roommate is wiccan and uses white sage smudging. Last time she went around and cleansed the apartment, I got this weird all-over feeling of intrusive sleepiness. I have huge sensitivity to a lot of synthetic fragrances (to the point where I can not see or breathe and my balance and dexterity get messed up and I have to go lie down in fresh air for a while) but I'm not currently in a life situation where I can see a doctor about it. The reaction I had to the white sage was a bit different than my reaction to the synthetic fragrances, but similar enough for me to think it's from how sensitive I am to smells.

I'm just curious, is there anyone else out there who has a similar reaction to sage? Maybe this is actually a normal thing for sage? I know that I'll probably step out of the apartment next time she wants to smudge something either way.

Laveth

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Re: Sensitivity/Allergy to White Sage?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 01:52:43 pm »
Quote from: seamstress;175734
My roommate is wiccan and uses white sage smudging. Last time she went around and cleansed the apartment, I got this weird all-over feeling of intrusive sleepiness. I have huge sensitivity to a lot of synthetic fragrances (to the point where I can not see or breathe and my balance and dexterity get messed up and I have to go lie down in fresh air for a while) but I'm not currently in a life situation where I can see a doctor about it. The reaction I had to the white sage was a bit different than my reaction to the synthetic fragrances, but similar enough for me to think it's from how sensitive I am to smells.

I'm just curious, is there anyone else out there who has a similar reaction to sage? Maybe this is actually a normal thing for sage? I know that I'll probably step out of the apartment next time she wants to smudge something either way.

Not myself, but my husband reacts badly to smudging of any kind. It messes with his asthma a lot too, so I've since stopped using smudging as my cleansing method.

But you aren't alone. :)

Maybe you could ask your roommate to give you some forewarning of her smudging intentions so you can be out of the space during and immediately after, and request proper ventilation after smudging (which should be done anyway). When I did do smudging, I only did it when my husband wasn't in the place and wouldn't be back for a couple hours after so there was time to vent out the excess smoke.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 01:54:14 pm by Laveth »

Scales

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Re: Sensitivity/Allergy to White Sage?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 03:07:27 pm »
Quote from: seamstress;175734
My roommate is wiccan and uses white sage smudging. Last time she went around and cleansed the apartment, I got this weird all-over feeling of intrusive sleepiness. I have huge sensitivity to a lot of synthetic fragrances (to the point where I can not see or breathe and my balance and dexterity get messed up and I have to go lie down in fresh air for a while) but I'm not currently in a life situation where I can see a doctor about it. The reaction I had to the white sage was a bit different than my reaction to the synthetic fragrances, but similar enough for me to think it's from how sensitive I am to smells.

I'm just curious, is there anyone else out there who has a similar reaction to sage? Maybe this is actually a normal thing for sage? I know that I'll probably step out of the apartment next time she wants to smudge something either way.

 
Quote from: Laveth;175738
Not myself, but my husband reacts badly to smudging of any kind. It messes with his asthma a lot too, so I've since stopped using smudging as my cleansing method.

But you aren't alone. :)

Maybe you could ask your roommate to give you some forewarning of her smudging intentions so you can be out of the space during and immediately after, and request proper ventilation after smudging (which should be done anyway). When I did do smudging, I only did it when my husband wasn't in the place and wouldn't be back for a couple hours after so there was time to vent out the excess smoke.

 
Like Laveth, I don't have particular issues, but my husband does/did. He has asthma and some allergies, as well as a particular sensitivity to smelly smoke (partially psychological because he had hospital-level asthma attacks from incense in much more closed environments in the past, but I digress), although I do personally find burning sage sticks particularly smelly. So, you're not totally alone, although it's not specifically white sage for him in non-synthetics.

If you want any solutions other than leaving or bearing with it, especially if you're on good terms with her and can talk about it, I have a few.

The best thing would probably be for her to move to smokeless cleansing. This can be done with just energy, with sprinkling or spraying herbal teas (if she really wants sage but is open methodically, this could work especially well. it's also a good way to incorporate multiple herbs), with salt, with sound (eg, a chime or a prayer or a song), and a number of other ways I'm sure I'm forgetting.

A number of people I know in real life (and some online) use sweetgrass instead of sage. You could see if you react to it (outside, and assuming this is safe or safe ish) and see if she'll use it instead. That still falls into the sort of cleansing she's doing, so it might be the easiest path. Also, sage incense is often less strong than straight sage sticks, that might be something to explore.

If she absolutely must use sage and won't let you negotiate, just double check with her that if there's excess, she won't burn it down in the house (even the 'mini' sage bundles I bought online were too big to do either this apartment or the last one without an extra 15+ minutes of burn time, no matter how slowly I tried to go. I would put them outside but by the door to burn down so I still felt like they were doing something). That along with proper ventilation should at least help.

She might not be open to suggestions, especially if she's very by the book, but it's probably worth asking. Regardless of what of the above might or might not be used, I suggest you tell her to keep all or the majority of the smoke to her own space, not shared areas or your room (I'm assuming you're not dorm roomies or in a single room otherwise, but in the case of dorms you might want to check on the smoke/burning things rules and warn her). Being out when she does it as you suggested (and for a few hours after she has stopped, with the windows open) should help.

seamstress

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Re: Sensitivity/Allergy to White Sage?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 05:11:05 pm »
Quote from: Laveth;175738
Not myself, but my husband reacts badly to smudging of any kind. It messes with his asthma a lot too, so I've since stopped using smudging as my cleansing method.

But you aren't alone. :)

Maybe you could ask your roommate to give you some forewarning of her smudging intentions so you can be out of the space during and immediately after, and request proper ventilation after smudging (which should be done anyway). When I did do smudging, I only did it when my husband wasn't in the place and wouldn't be back for a couple hours after so there was time to vent out the excess smoke.

 
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one. : ) Apparently my synthetic fragrance sensitivities are pretty uncommon, so I'm a little self-conscious about it all.

I'm working to establish good communication with my roommate, so I'll mention to her that I'd like a bit of warning next time she smudges with sage and to open the windows afterwards.

Thanks everyone so much for your information and advice!

Laveth

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Re: Sensitivity/Allergy to White Sage?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 05:33:49 pm »
Quote from: seamstress;175747
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one. : ) Apparently my synthetic fragrance sensitivities are pretty uncommon, so I'm a little self-conscious about it all.

I'm working to establish good communication with my roommate, so I'll mention to her that I'd like a bit of warning next time she smudges with sage and to open the windows afterwards.

Thanks everyone so much for your information and advice!

 
I hope it all works out. :)

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