I speak little of the flower and plant collecting that I do for my essential oil shoots but this one had a much deeper need to be meanfully presented. I was determined to represent White Sage hydrosol in remenants of its natural habitat, to respect its history and place in the native community. I walked miles in midday 100 F heat to find catttails (an original North American food source), yellow star thistle, oak leaves, wild yarrow and sage. I found a natural beauty in the native plants here in the hot dry Sacramento environment, something that was so striking in my heart within an environment so hostle to my body. But my temporary discomfort is unimportant in the realm of a people who walked and sweated and thrived in such harsh environments long before.
White sage is well known for smudging and rightly so, it has been used for centuries but it had and has other uses. In some tribes, it was used to wrap tribal pipes as it was believed sage wrapped objects were purified. Sage wreaths are placed around dancer’s heads and ankles during ceremonies. Where Sweetgrass is believed to carry prayers into the spirit world, White sage is used to offer protection, wisdom and supports good health. I thought it important to have both hydrosols as a way to benefit all their attributes in a smokeless environment. While white sage is not endangered, it is on the watch list so it was important to find a producer who is also the grower. The plant is more resinous in its first year which is when this is harvested and distilled. With that, this is our humble offer with profound respect to its original user’s ancestry.