Sweetgrass, or Holy Grass (Hierochloe odorata), like sage, has a long tradition of use among Native peoples. It is more commonly used for blessing than for protection. One great way to use sweetgrass is as a follow-up to a sage smudging: The sage (of whichever variety) kicks out the negative energy, while the sweetgrass welcomes in positive vibes. Sweetgrass usually comes in a long braid, but you may also find it in mixed smudge sticks, along with other materials. Native tribes regarded this grass is the living hair of Mother Earth; burning it invokes Her goodwill and protection. They also cleansed their bodies and hair with sweetgrass-infused water, and chewed on sweetgrass when fasting for ritual purposes.
Most loose herbs can be ignited by applying a flame directly to the herbs and blowing on the lit area. Most herbs and resins may also be broken up and lit with the use of a charcoal tablet that is placed in the bottom of your smudge pot or any other dish filled with sand. Once lit, direct the smoke around yourself, another person, or in your place of ceremony by using a fan feather or your hand. The smoke from burning herbs or resin is sent out with your prayers, for purification, and as an invocation honoring the four directions, the father sun, and the mother earth (Father-Mother-God). Native Americans have been burning herbs and resins in ceremonies for generations.