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Hierochloë odorata

sweet grass

Aromatic Note: Middle to top note


One of 15 species of the genus, Sweet grass is a fragrant perennial grass which grows in damp areas of the northern hemisphere.

Sweet grass is treasured by the Sioux, Cherokee, Blackfoot, Lakota and other native American peoples and associate the scented grass with the compassionate creation goddess Wohpe.

Sweetgrass braids are often hung over doorways inside a home to invite positive spirits.

It’s often used to weave baskets and incense ropes.

In Europe, sweetgrass is held sacred of the Virgin, used as a strewing herb on church stairways during saint days, and to scent clothes during festivals.

Sweetgrass is easy to grow yourself and invokes the spirit of Spring.


Family: Poaceae

Synonyms: Holy grass, vanilla grass, Seneca grass

Origin: North America and Europe

Parts Used: dried leaves

Aroma Description: strong pleasant vanilla, newly-mown hay scent, with a slight hint of coconut

Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy; excellent fixative properties

Culinary Uses: leaves are added to vodka for flavoring (zubrowka), oil is used to flavor candy, soft drinks, and tobacco.

Due to its high content of coumarin, it’s prohibited by the US FDA and other countries for use in foods and permitted only in alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Medicinal Attributes: none known

Essential Oil: Yes, a steam distilled essential oil is made from the leaves

Mixes Well With: often used by itself, lighting one end, gently fanning out the flame and enjoying its pleasant aroma. Also blends well with benzoin, cedar, copal-black, copal-gold, copal-white, juniper, lavender, sage-white, sage-desert, tolu balsam, vanilla, etc.

Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice, or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.


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