Sweetgrass Braids (Hierochloë odorata)
Uses: Ceremonial, Incense, Bath Tea, Aromatherapy
Sweetgrass is a native grass traditionally used by Native American cultures for many purposes. The source of sweetgrass’s aroma, which smells like vanilla, is coumarin. This plant compound has been used for hundreds of years as a plant extract for both fragrance and medicinal use.
Native American cultures burn braided sweetgrass twists in traditional ceremonies, using the sweet scented smoke as a purifying incense. It is burned by lighting the end of it, or (more economically) by shaving little bits of it onto charcoal in a bowl. We suggest unwrapping several inches of braid before lighting for more efficient burning. Sweetgrass is burned after smudging with sage, to welcome in good influences after the bad had been driven out. This sweetgrass is conscientiously harvested by Hippiechick in northern California.