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Historical Uses and Benefits of Palo Santo Smudge Sticks

  • person Maison Etherique
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Native to South America, the Palo Santo tree, also called 'Holy Wood' in Spanish, has been used for centuries by Latin American communities for its several benefits. Palo Santo has refreshing and fragrant earthy tones with mint, pine, and lemon notes.

The tree grows in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Mexico forests, among other countries, and is used to make smudge sticks, herbs, resin, and essential oils. These herbs are widely used for their healing and cleansing properties. Let's go through some benefits of Palo Santo and its historical uses to see how you can benefit from the herb.

History of Palo Santo

The tree is believed to be first discovered and used in the Inca era. The name 'Holy Wood' was given to the Palo Santo tree by Spanish monks who found and believed that the tree had incredibly cleansing and healing properties. In ancient times, oil extracted from the tree was used to cleanse the soul of any unwanted energy.

Before being discovered by Latin American communities, the tree was used by the shamans for drawing in positive energy and restoring harmony and balance. 

The smoke from even the smallest piece of this powerful tree is believed to heal individuals emotionally and physically. It is believed that the Palo Santo tree should be respected and not be cut down by any human force. People wait years for the tree to fall on its own before using it.

Hence, strict penalties and laws have been implemented that forbid people from removing the Palo Santo tree from the ground till after years of it going through natural death. Only after dying naturally and spending a significant amount of time lying in the forest will we be able to benefit from it and enjoy its healing properties.

Benefits of Palo Santo Smudge Sticks

Here is a list of a few benefits of Palo Santo smudge sticks:


1. It Helps Clear Unwanted Energy

The Palo Santo tree was traditionally known and used for its purification of negative energies. When burned, the Palo Santo can purify the air and create a harmonious and cleansed environment. You can burn Palo Santo smudge sticks after a negative event in your household to encourage good energy.


2. Stress Release and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Sometimes day-to-day life can become stressful and create negative thoughts. Burning Palo Santo after a busy day at work can help you unwind and calm your nerves. Think of it as aromatherapy, where a soothing smell is released to the limbic and olfactory systems of the body and brain, resulting in a sensation of peace and tranquility.

 Many individuals find that the scent produced by Palo Santo helps them de-stress and relax. 

A great way to relax after a long day is to add a few drops of Palo Santo essential oil to your bath, along with some body wash or bath bombs. Mix thoroughly and soak in the bath for 30 minutes to relax and rejuvenate yourself.


3. Enjoy Its Aroma

Palo Santo incense and smudge sticks are also loved by many for their aromatic smell. If you burn a Palo Santo stick in your room, it will leave a lovely musky and woody scent pleasing to the nose. People who enjoy using diffusers and lighting candles in their homes may want to consider burning Palo Santo to reap the advantages of a pleasant fragrance.

Palo Santo can be burned anywhere to leave a lovely citrus scent behind. Many prefer burning Palo Santo in their bedrooms, cars, kitchens, and work spaces to purify the air and create a harmonious environment.

Palo Santo Stick with Holder

Where Can I Buy Palo Santo Smudge Sticks, Resin, And Essential Oils?

It is hard to find good quality Palo Santo; much of what is available on the internet is of poor quality or even a scam in which buyers are sold wood sprayed with Palo Santo oil. If you purchase a Palo Santo product online, be careful to read product reviews and ask the vendor how they obtained it to avoid getting scammed.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Burning Palo Santo?

 There are no proven side effects attached to burning Palo Santo. However, here are a few situations where you must take precautions:

  • If you have lung disease or issues like Asthma, avoid burning Palo Santo, as smoke can worsen your condition.

  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers should refrain from smoking Palo Santo since they don't want to run the danger of any negative effects.

  • If using a Palo Santo oil for the first time. We recommend doing a patch test on a small area of your skin to ensure it doesn't cause any skin irritation.

  • Avoid burning Palo Santo around infants as their lungs are weak, and they might develop throat irritation from the smoke. (If you are burning Palo Santo around kids, open a few windows in your house to create enough ventilation)

How to Use Palo Santo Respectfully

The Palo Santo tree is on the verge of extinction as the tropical dry forests are being cut down and dying due to environmental factors. The best way to use Palo Santo respectfully and responsibly is to pay attention to where you buy it.

When buying Palo Santo, ensure that the company you acquire it from has used ethical and lawful harvesting practices to get Palo Santo and does the company treat its employees well.

By paying attention to these factors, you may avoid supporting dishonest businesses that purchase Palo Santo through unethical means and pay farmers who labor day and night to harvest the wood less than the minimum wage.


If appropriately used, Palo Santo wood may provide so many benefits. Incense and natural herbs have been used for centuries. They can offer a wide range of benefits. If only we knew which ones to use and for what purpose.

Get any Palo Santo product, such as resins, wood, essential oils, or smudge sticks, and burn them daily to purify your heart and house and create a peaceful environment. Palo Santo is worth trying if you wish to rid your living space of negative energy or unpleasant thoughts.