Palo Santo

The Palo Santo tree (Bursera graveolens) grows in various regions of South and Central America. Palo Santo has been used for centuries by Shamans for its wide array of healing benefits.  The Spanish translation for this tree  is literally “holy wood”.  The branches and bark are burned in ceremonies to promote healing and also for purification and protection against evil spirits and energies.

One of the most intriguing things about Palo Santo is that it is 100% sustainable. The wood is harvested using only branches and twigs gathered from the ground;  no trees are felled in the process. In Ecuador, it is illegal to cut down the trees and all harvesting is done under strict governmental oversight. This ensures that no damage occurs to the forest.

Palo Santo has a pleasant, uplifting aroma that is woody, earthy and slightly sweet.  It is related to Frankincense, and has a similar, but much less pungent aroma.  Many prefer the softer, more gentle fragrance of Palo.

Physically, it is believed to help relieve stress, anxiety and related illnesses like tension headaches.  The essential oil is used to boost immunity and relieve upper respiratory conditions like asthma, allergy and cold symptoms. It’s also used in massage oils for its natural and very effective pain relieving properties. Palo Santo oil also contains high levels of D-Limonene, a powerful antioxidant.

Burning this incense also works as a natural repellent to mosquitoes, ants and other insects. Throw a bit on hot coals while enjoying time outdoors in the garden.  It will promote relaxation and enhance the harmony of your space, while keeping pests at bay. In the home or workspace, Palo Santo can help clear negative energies and promote a stress-free environment. The smoke can also be used in place of sage for cleansing rituals like smudging.

The magical properties associated with Palo Santo are enhanced creativity and greater openness to opportunities. It is also used to draw beneficial help from the Spirit world for support and protection. Burn it to enhance meditation and spiritual practices, the aroma is said to open the mind and spirit to higher vibrational energies.  Allow the smoke to carry your intentions and to welcome in the positive, transformational energies that promote optimism and inspiration.