Palo Santo is an aromatic wild-growing tree which belongs to the same Torchwood family like Myrrh, Frankincense or Copal. The name means “Holy Wood” and refers to an age-old healing practice structured in the knowledge and ceremonial tradition of South- and Mesoamerican shamans or “curanderos”. The tree is native to the tropical forests of Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Sustainable Bursera graveolens
Our Palo Santo is sustainably harvested from a private reserve in Ecuador. It comes from trees and branches that have naturally fallen and have been laying dead for 4-10 years before they are harvested. Only the naturally fallen trees produce the wonderfully woody scent. The longer the tree has been dead, the more potent the scent. Some Palo Santo trees can live to be 80-90+ years old.
Bursera graveolens | Palo santo
Bursera graveolens, this beautiful aromatic tree, is prized for its aromatic wood. Throughout Central and South America Bursera graveolens, is used among natives indigenous tribes, such as the Inca. It is used to spiritually cleanse impure energy and to get rid of evil spirits, calamity and misfortune. This tree has a powerful energy, yet when it is burned, the results are one of relaxation, peace and wellbeing. Its brings a fragrant and pleasant smell to any space it is burned in.
These trees are protected under government supervision; however during tremendous wind, fallen trees are gathered in a respectful way, as the tree has been considered sacred by tribes for thousands of years. Bursera Graveolens is found growing in many areas including Guatemala, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia and the Galapagos islands.
Benefits of Palo Santo
As you might expect, the list of benefits from using Palo Santo is a long one.
- It's pungent fragrance relieve stress and anxiety
- Palo Santo can help to eliminate headaches and symptoms of the common cold
- Reduces inflammation, asthma, and allergies
- Eases emotional or mental trauma like depression
- You can use it in conjunction with other healing modalities like crystal healing or Reiki
- Deepen your spiritual connection
- Raises your energetic vibration
- Enhances creativity
- Use in massage therapy to relieve pain in the joints and muscles
- Relieve difficult skin conditions and promote healthy skin
- Potential anti-cancer effects
- Calms the immune system
Sacred incense / Uses
Palo Santo may be burned similar to incense by lighting shavings of the wood or the whole stick can be light on fire, allowed to burn for a few moments then blown out so that it will smoke. In Peru, a shaman or medicine man, may light Palo Santo sticks and the rising smoke will enter the energy field of ritual participants to ‘clear misfortune, negative thought patterns and ‘evil’ spirits.”
Palo Santo is most commonly used for purifying energy, cleansing people and objects, healing illness, inspiring creativity, protection, attracting good fortune and love, and clearing negativity. If you have a meditation practice, consider burning a little Palo Santo during before and during your practice. Whenever you burn it, not only does it raise your vibration, but it helps to connect you to the divine source as well as Mother Earth.
Many people enjoy using it as an energizer to lift their spirits or prepare for a task or project as well.
Palo Santo Cleansing Ritual
When cleansing yourself, begin down near your feet, wafting smoke all around you until you end at the crown of your head.
You can also use Palo Santo to cleanse crystals, oracle card decks, pendulums, or any other magical or sacred objects.
Be aware that, unlike standard incense, Palo Santo may relight itself several times while you use it, or you may have to hold it in the flame for quite a while before it lights at all.
When you’re finished with your particular cleansing ritual, if the stick is still burning, you can place it in a fire-safe metal or ceramic bowl in order to let the ember die out naturally on its own.
Palo Santo pairs wonderfully with sage, sweetgrass, juniper, or cedar.