Introduction to Palo Santo
“Holy Wood” or Palo santo from Spanish, also known as “wood of the saints” in latin [Bursera Graveolens], is a dry fallen wood from a fragrant tree that grows in South America, Ecuadorian and Peruvian forests are to mention. Part of the citrus family, and related to frankincense and myrrh.
For decades, Incas, Shamans, Indigenous communities in South America and medicine people have used this amazing tree medicine for cleansing the spirit, healing and clearing energy.
In Ecuador it’s illegal to chop down the trees, they do the best to preserve this sacred tree. It is required, to harvest a dead palo santo tree a special government permission, this is rarely issued to protect the trees and their properties. Locals say that palo santo tree is of no use unless it dies of natural causes. The only way to make full use of this tree is to allow it to die naturally and let it rest for four to ten years lying in the forest.
Like the wood, the amazing essential oil it produces are of great use in healing. Locals believe that the palo santo tree has magical qualities and palo santo oil is a representation of ancient spirits within the tree that produces it, that is why it become deep rooted remedy.
Benefits and uses of Palo Santo
healing & pain reliever
In-house, usage of palo santo extended from common colds, flu symptoms, headaches, asthma, stress and inflammation by smudging and making teas and tinctures from the wood and it’s essential oils. Rich source of phytochemicals and antioxidants known as terpenes, like limonene and α-terpineol. According to a study conducted by University of Havana, they state the following: “The chemical composition of the essential oil, determined by GC-MS, was complex and dominated by limonene (26.5%).” These results demonstrate that the essential oil from B. graveolens is a promissory antiproliferative product. While Bursera oil inhibited the growth of MCF-7 breast tumor cells.
spirit & meditation
Many times used for emotional and spiritual guidance, palo santo is proven effective natural anti-anxiety remedy. When inhaled, it moves directly through the brain’s olfactory system, where it helps to stimulate the body’s healing response to fight anxiety, sleep disorders, worry and depression. Offers also a balanced space for meditation practices while allowing the body and mind to relax. Its scent helps to deepen the spiritual moments of meditation and contemplation. It relieves nervous tension and helps control problems or illnesses caused by stress, while increasing harmony and well-being.
detox & purification
While used as an herbal tea, palo santo helps in boosting the immune system and evicts the inflammatory responses caused by pollution, stress, diet, and illness.
repellent & house cleaning
When burned, the purifying smoke released by palo santo will repel mosquitoes making it ideal for children’s rooms and other insects. This is one of the many ways used by people in Ecuador and Peru, for this sacred wood. Palo Santo oil has strong antibacterial properties, that makes it a great companion in every house, simply add a few drops in the cleaning water. Other essential oils can be added to enhance the scent annd antibacterial effects, like lemon, grapefruit or pine.