There is a South American tree that is growing in popularity among the health-conscious and hipsters. It is known as palo santo but the scientific name is Bursera graveolens. The name is translated from Spanish, meaning “holy wood.” Here we will discuss palo santo benefits and uses.
This mystical tree is native to the mountains of Peru, Ecuador, and throughout South America. It grows in dry tropical forests and produces very fragrant resin.
Palo santo is known for its healing properties, including stress and pain relief. This sacred wood is in the same family as frankincense and myrrh.
The oil, resin, and wood are always cultivated from fallen branches of the graveolens tree. Palo santo is produced for medicinal purposes and protection against negative energy fields.
Check out the possible palo santo benefits, along with some of our favorite sources.
Three Different Varieties
The three different varieties of palo santo are wood, resin, and oil. You will also find some additional items like incense sticks, scented candles, or even palo santo tea (traditionally made by steeping wood chips in some hot water.)
Wood is the most common variety and the way you have likely seen it for sale. You can find the wood of the palo santo tree as sticks, chips, or powder. To use it, people frequently burn palo santo sticks like incense or white sage. The aromatic quality of burning palo santo gives off is a light woody scent with hints of earth, pepper, pine, and lemon.
The wood of palo santo contains a fragrant resin that is extracted to use as an incense. To utilize this preparation, you would need a heated charcoal disc in a resin burner. This allows the resin to release its delightful aroma.
Finally, the essential oil of palo santo is extracted from both the tree’s fruit and wood and is typically diffused for aromatherapy. This may be the best way to exploit the associated stress-relieving qualities or for the energy cleansing of physical space.
Palo Santo Benefits:
Indigenous communities are well aware of palo santo benefits and how to use it for its medicinal qualities. Here are some uses and benefits:
1. Decreases stress
Folklore has it that it has a natural detoxifying effect lending purity to the body and mind and may even provide good fortune.
These attributes may be due to the component limonene, a natural hydrocarbon frequently found in citrus that has shown to possess stress-fighting, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and possibly even disease-preventing properties.
This explains why when inhaled palo santo is said to exhibit these qualities. More studies are needed to prove efficacy in humans. We are inclined to believe centuries of ancient wisdom and to use it as a supplement to other therapies.
2. Pain Reduction
Pain relief is another traditional benefit attributed to this sacred wood. Most often, people report their ability to help treat a headache. Typically it is recommended to add a few drops of the oil to your diffuser when a headache strikes as a natural remedy. Given the frequency of headaches, why not try this natural cure the next time one hits?
Another use may be to help with post-workout and other body pains. Just add a few drops of oil in with some Epsom salt in a hot bath and soak. Many people also apply palo santo oil to their skin for treating pain. We recommend you consult your naturopathic doctor before using any essential oils directly on your skin. Also, always ensure you are only purchasing high-quality essential oils.
The pain reduction is likely also due to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of limonene. Again, additional research in humans is needed. It is best to work with your doctor and use these methods as a supplement, not a substitute to care.
3. Insect Repellent
The traditional use of palo santo is to repel insects, mainly mosquitos. To enjoy these properties, many people burn the sticks like incense to keep the bugs away.
Alternatively, you may dilute the essential oil and spray it on your clothing or skin. Just be sure to do a patch test before spraying anything on your skin in case you have sensitivity. We always recommend avoiding harsh chemicals like those found in many commercial insect repellents, so why not give it a try?
Here Are Our Recommendations if You Are Ready to Buy Palo Santo:
Recommended Essential Oils:
- Edens Garden Palo Santo Essential Oil is 100% therapeutic grade polo santo oil and comes in 5 ml. To use this product diffuse to help alleviate symptoms of headache and congestion. Always remember too dilute with a carrier oil or water and do a patch test before considering putting it on your skin. Bonus, Edens Garden is a women-owned and family-operated company, committed to ethical sourcing and affordable pricing.
- Palo Santo Smudge Spray is a fantastic alternative if you do not have a diffuser and do not want to burn the sticks in your home. It is excellent to set the tone for your next home yoga or meditation session and clean the energy in your space. This product is free of chemicals and toxins and ethically sourced, so you are kind to the planet as well as yourself. This product is handmade in the USA by Junipermist, a small family company.
Recommended Palo Santo Wood:
- Galactic Brain Palo Santo Sticks come packaged in a lovely gift box with a bonus piece of selenite. Selenite is known for its properties of good luck and protection and enhancing the crown chakra. This gift set would be a lovely act of kindness for a friend who has been bogged down with negative energies or has recently moved into a new space and needs to clean the energy.
- JL Local Smudge Kit is a lovely presentation and includes both palo santo and sage and detailed instructions. It is a perfect way to cleanse your home’s energies or get the associated benefits of burning the wood. Again, this would make a fantastic gift for a friend or loved one.
Recommended Palo Santo Resin Incense:
- Shamans Market Palo Santo Resin this incense is available in 1 oz, 4oz, and 1 lb bags. These products offer an extraordinary complex and rich aroma of palo santo to give you the full experience of burning it. This form is an exquisite way to experience palo santo, especially if you enjoy resin incense.