Discover Palo Santo origins, uses and harvesting methods
Where Does Palo Santo Come From?
Palo Santo means “holy wood” in Spanish and comes from a tree that is native to Peru, Ecuador, and other South American countries. It produces a very fragrant resin, and, contrary to the urban myth, it is not a rainforest species, but rather grows in dry tropical forests
What is Palo Santo Used For?
Palo Santo has a multitude of uses and its distinctive aroma creates a sweet-smelling space wherever it is stored or burnt.
Palo Santo is said to have healing properties for both mind and body. It is also widely used as an energy cleanser in much the same way as White or Blue Sage is used by healers and shamans in rituals and ceremonies.
Palo Santo is available in different forms, the most common of these being the wood of the tree. You can also get Palo Santo as a Powder, which can be heated using charcoal in a burner to perfume the atmosphere. This means that Palo Santo can be used in a variety of ways.
The healing properties of Palo Santo depend upon the presence of limonene in the wood. It is said to be very beneficial for
- Throat pain
- Arthritis and
Uses for this fragrant wood include:
- Purifying sacred spaces before performing rituals and ceremonies,
- Inhaling the fragrance of the incense to enhance the spiritual experience of meditation.
- Applying topically to relieve pain in joints and sore muscles after intense physical exercise.
Burning the wood of Palo Santo produces smoke that forms an effective insect repellant. Leave it smoldering in outside spaces where you intend to spend time or place it near to open windows and doors to deter bugs from entering your home. You can rub the wood directly onto your skin to help protect you from bites (just make sure you choose a smooth, splinter-free stick first!)
Is Palo Santo Sustainably Sourced?
Some confusion has arisen regarding the status of Palo Santo, which has led to some misinformation about it being endangered. The tree that grows in Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico is called Bursera Graveolens and is the one that produces the rich and sweet-smelling wood with which we are familiar. This tree is not in any danger of extinction, or in need of protection. If you are buying Palo Santo Sticks from us, you are actually helping the communities that produce them. These communities are interested in preserving the tree’s natural habitat and ensuring that they have a sustainable supply of wood to sell.
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