The botanical name for “true” sage is salvia, which in latin means “to heal”. White Sage is burned to drive out the negative energies, spirits or influences and it creates a protective barrier to keep those energies from entering the space.
White sage is thought to be effective for cleansing the atmosphere and is used during healing rituals and ceremonies. Sage smoke cleanses indoor spaces and objects. The fresh, herbal fragrance refreshes the mind, enhances memory, and supports the path to wisdom and mental clarity.
I find that using loose sage allows me more control over how much sage I want to burn, a few leaves or a whole cluster.