Guide to Know: What is Palo Santo and Its Top Benefits

Guide to Know: What is Palo Santo and Its Top Benefits

Palo Santo, or the Bursera graveolens, is an interesting native tree that can be found commonly in Ecuador, Peru, and other South American countries. Its popularity stems from its sweet, smokey scent, which is associated with purifying and therapeutic properties. Many believed Palo Santo benefits since it typically grows in dry tropical forests, making it known as a holy wood. 

Even though Palo Santo is well-known, there aren't many scientific pieces of evidence that prove it is indeed a beneficial tree. However, as it is more known by indigenous Latin Americans, it is characterized in a more indigenous way by people from several countries, which makes its contemporary use more tricky. With only this information, it is safe to tell that Palo Santo is fascinating to know and study about, so check out more relevant information below, starting with its history. 

Read along to discover more. 

History of Palo Santo

Palo santo is a revered South American tree. For ages, indigenous Latin American civilizations have employed their wood in traditional healing and spiritual rites. Palo santo literally means "holy wood," and it's a suitable designation given its history. When the fragrant wood burns, it emits lemon, mint, and pine notes, creating an exhilarating, grounding smell with a variety of health advantages.


Shamans and healers have traditionally used the energizing and healing powers of palo santo to purify the air, remove evil spirits, and cleanse negative energy. The wood has long been used to treat cold, and flu symptoms, sadness, emotional discomfort, and other diseases, and the uplifting perfume of palo santo is thought to be favorable to meditation and relaxation, as well as to enhancing creativity and bringing good fortune.


These advantages are only discovered when a palo santo tree dies organically and is allowed to degrade for five to eight years. This allows the wood's oils to fully mature before being harvested and processed into sticks or essential oils.


Different Forms of Palo Santo


Palo santo is known in various forms, such as: 



The wood of palo santo is available in the form of powder, sticks, and chips. It came from the branches of a tree that is 100% wood. 



The wood of palo santo contains an aromatic resin. It is used separately that can be extracted.



The essential oil can be derived from the fruit and wood of palo santo. 


Top 10 Palo Santo Benefits 


Impressively, Palo Santo is highly popular since it is associated with several incredible medicinal and therapeutic benefits. As a result, it seems to reason that it is known as holy wood and is worth using since it lives up to its name. So, take a closer look at the top Palo Santo benefits. 


1. Energy cleansing and spiritual purifying


Palo santo has been used for spiritual purification and energy cleaning by the indigenous inhabitants of the Andes for millennia. When the wood is burned, it is believed to eliminate negative energy and restore tranquility and peace.


2. Physical healing


Palo santo is used to cure a wide range of bodily ailments. It is used to treat anxiety, colds, depression, influenza, asthma, bronchitis, emotional trauma, and headaches. As a result, the oil can be used to give pain relief for arthritis and joint pain. It has anti-inflammatory characteristics that heal.


In addition, palo santo tea acts as a natural digestive aid, and the oil can add to the soaps, scrubs, and lotions to moisturize and cleanse the skin. Furthermore, the wood also contains high concentrations of a compound called d-limonene, which is believed to aid in the prevention of a variety of cancers. 


3. Inspiring creativity


For ritual smudging, burn palo santo sticks or use charcoal to encourage creativity and good fortune in your space. The wood can aid in the promotion of feelings and the brightening of the energy of positivity and joy, and the aroma alleviates stress and anxiety, which improves clarity and focus.


4. Calming of the mind


The causes and symptoms of sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety are complex. Palo santo wood does not boast a cure but is an essential oil practice that integrates a part of a larger healing plan. For that reason, it can provide some relief, which you can consider aromatherapy as it releases a calming scent to the limbic systems of the body, and the brain creates a sense of relaxation and calm. 


5. Clear negative energy in the home


When used for burning or smudging, palo santo can end negative energy; as a result, it creates a calmer and more tranquil space. Therefore, set an intention about what you want to clear out of your space, then move from corner to corner to remove bad energy, uplift your spirit, and fill your home with good fortune. 


6. Reducing stress levels


Palo santo is known to combat and reduce stress-related headaches as it helps to lower inflammation and increase blood flow which can help perceive the pain. But, for a natural headache remedy, dilute a few water drops, then dissolve the vapors with a diffuser whenever a headache strikes, or try rubbing some palo santo with coconut oil onto your neck and temples.


7. Warding off insects


Smudging in the summertime provides the extra benefit of warding off mosquitoes, but it is a non-harmful and natural way. Palo santo features aromatic resins that communicate a warning sign to pesky bugs, but it does not use harsh chemicals in products such as DEET. 


8. Energetic protection


Palo santo helps regulate inflammatory responses and support the immune system, which includes those triggered by a poor diet, pollution, illness, and stress. Additionally, The main active ingredient in palo santo is known as Limonene which is a bioactive component found in high concentrations in certain plants.


9. Mobility of use while in travel modes


Unlike a sage bundle, palo santo wood is proportioned for spiritual seekers. There are the ones who spend ample time away from home. Thus, palo santo sticks are well-paired with hikes, car rides, and other travel experiences. People are known to cleanse their hotel rooms before sleep for deep and peaceful rest. 

10. Ward off colds 

Diffusing palo santo oil is said to help prevent colds. This is due to the fact that when its oils are added to hot water and then inhaled, palo santo oil helps ease congestion, throat pain, and inflammation, all of which are present in both the cold and the flu. 

Side Effects of Palo Santo

Since palo santo oil is well-tolerated, applying it to a small patch of your skin to perform a test is a good idea as it will ensure you that you don't have an allergy before using it on larger or more sensitive body parts. Then, test the oil on your less sensitive skin. It can be on your forearm or foot to ensure you don't have any allergic reaction or other side effects.


Like all essential oils, never use them undiluted on your skin without a carrier oil, as it is best to keep them away from your eyes, inside your nose, mucus membranes, pets, and children.


Guide to Use Palo Santo 

Choose a palo santo wood stick from your bundle and hold one end of the stick over a flame until it starts to burn. Wait a few moments as the flame grows, then gently rattle the stick in a back-and-forth motion and let the cleansing smoke rise through the air. Blow a little until the ember regains its deepest glow when the smoke shrinks.


Step 1: Light the stick


Palo santo wood is easy to light, so hold the stick in a flame until it's fully lit; then you'll know it's lit when the stick creates a mini-flame of its own. Afterward, allow it to burn for approximately one minute.


Step 2: Let the stick extinguish itself.


In step two, you don't even need to do anything; only watch it as the wood naturally extinguishes itself after a minute. Remember, do not blow out the flame. 


Step 3: Unleash its power


Hold the stick in your hands, then visualize your intentions and fill your area with sacred smoke. The short burn will smoke for quite a while; afterward, it will deliver an incredible scent and cleanse the energy around you, and it will restore peace and calm. Always put it on a fireproof surface when you're done with your stick. Now it's ready for the next time you want to burn a palo santo wood.


Guide to Use Palo Santo Based on its Forms


Palo santo can be used in various ways, depending on its form. So, here's a guide to utilizing it efficiently. 


Palo santo wood


To burn palo santo wood sticks, use a candle, lighter, or match to light a palo santo stick, then hold the stick at a 45-degree angle downward. Extinguish the flame, then after letting the stick burn for 30 seconds or more, place the stick in a heatproof dish to cool. 


Note: Use a heatproof dish when using wood chips or powders, then light them with a lighter or match, and extinguish them after 30 seconds. You should also never leave the burning incense unattended.


Palo santo resin


A resin burner, charcoal disc, and sand are required for this procedure; in addition to sand, you can use gravel or another fireproof material.


First, sand should be poured into the resin burner, then using tongs, grasp the charcoal disc; next, with a lighter or match, heat one side of the disc, then reverse the process on the other side. Afterward, spread the coals out on the sand, and wait until an ash layer forms on top, then pour the resin over the charcoal. The aroma of the resin will be released when it melts. Afterward, submerge the charcoal in water. In addition to resin, you can also add a carrier oil to a burner.


Palo santo essential oil


There are several ways to use palo santo oil; first, you can diffuse it or use an essential oil burner to diffuse it, then make fragrant steam by adding it to hot water. Inhale it directly from the bottle, and apply it to the skin after diluting it with a carrier oil, such as castor oil.


Note: Always follow the instructions on the oil's packaging.


Final Thoughts


Palo santo is a traditional pain, inflammatory, and stress reliever. Using palo santo in your home can be a lovely, useful way to clear your mind and surroundings, and it is also used to remove negative energy. Palo santo can be burned as incense or used topically. However, you must be mindful of the sanctity of its traditional use and cautious about where you acquire it. Always purchase from a trustworthy retailer to ensure that your palo santo is sustainably sourced.


Make sure you check out our Witch Kits for the most beautiful and ethically sourced Palo Santo! 

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