Palo Santo ~ The Holy Wood
The sweet, smoky fragrance of Palo Santo is an intoxicating go-to for anyone looking to cleanse and clear their space. But before going out and grabbing a palo santo stick or essential oil, it's important to understand the history of this celebrated holy wood and how to use it in a respectful way.
Palo santo's long, proud history.
Palo santo is a sacred tree native to South America. Indigenous Latin American cultures have used its wood in traditional healing and spiritual ceremonies for centuries. A cousin of both frankincense and myrrh, palo santo literally means "holy wood," and it's a fitting name given its past. When it burns, the aromatic wood releases lemon, mint, and pine notes—an invigorating, grounding fragrance that is believed to have a number of benefits.
Shamans and healers, often known as Curanderos, traditionally used the energizing and healing properties of palo santo to purify air, dispel evil spirits, and cleanse negative energy. The wood has also long been used therapeutically to soothe cold and flu symptoms, depression, emotional pain, and other ailments. It's said that the uplifting aroma of palo santo is conducive to meditation and relaxation and that it both enhances creativity and brings good fortune.
these benefits are only found when a palo santo tree dies naturally and is allowed to decompose for five to eight years. That gives the oils in the wood enough time to fully mature before it is harvested and processed into sticks or essential oils.