Burning sage — also known as smudging — is an ancient spiritual ritual used for purification of ourselves and our living spaces. Sage has antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects have been fundamental to the practice of smudging. It may help relieve the symptoms of some conditions It turns out that sage helps clear the air of lots more than bugs and bacteria. Burning sage regularly helps to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions.