What Is Palo Santo? Safe Uses And Benefits Of Using It Responsibly

Burning Palo Santo Wood

There’s no denying that all things spiritually purifying are having a modern movement right now, despite some practices being of ancient origins.

Now is a great time to consider using crystals and sage, as well as palo santo, if you haven’t already.

This tree, a native of South America, is known for its energy cleansing and spiritual purification abilities.

What Is Palo Santo?

What Is Palo Santo

Palo Santo is the harvested wood from Palo Santo trees, which are found predominantly in South America and certain parts of Central America. The name “palo santo” literally translates to “holy wood” in Spanish.

Ecuador, Peru, and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico are home to the mystical tree known as Palo Santo, which grows wild in the tropical dry forests. However, what it has to give is very uncommon, unusual, and amazing, even if it doesn’t appear that way at first glance.

A naturopathic doctor at the Four Moons Spa in California, Dr. Amy Chadwick, notes that they are related to frankincense and myrrh and are members of the citrus family. “It has a woodsy aroma with undertones of pine, lemon, and mint,” she said.

What Is Palo Santo Used For?

Palo Santo Sticks Can Be Used To Purify Your House Of Negative Energy.

The cleansing effects of Palo Santo wood are attributed to its high resin concentration. Palo Santo has been used to clear negative energy and barriers in the shamanic past of South America.

The energy of any room can be cleared by lighting a Palo Santo stick and gently waving it in the air or waving your hand over it. The burning stick will release white smoke, which will float around you and your surroundings.

Palo Santo Oil Can Relieve Headaches.

You can combine Palo Santo with a carrier oil and then apply a tiny bit of the combination into the temples of your head to provide yourself with some comfort for headaches. Alternatively, you can put the oil into boiling water and inhale the vapor.

Palo Santo Oil Can Reduce Stress.

Palo Santo Oil Can Reduce Stress

Palo Santo oil is known to cleanse both the environment and the mind. According to Dr. Amy Chadwick, it has antibacterial characteristics, relaxes the nervous system, help lessen anxiety, and may brighten your mood. Chadwick recommends diffusing it to help spiritually cleanse your area.

Palo Santo Oil Can Be A Bug Repellant.

Palo Santo has a complicated chemical makeup that is notably abundant in limonene, a component that is also be found in the rinds of citrus fruits. The presence of limonene contributes to the plant’s resistance to insect attacks.

Drinking Palo Santo Tea Can Help With Inflammation.

Keep in mind that there haven’t been a lot of studies done on this topic, but it’s possible that drinking a tea with Palo Santo that’s been boiled for a while can help decrease pain and inflammation throughout the body. Drinking Palo Santo tea may help soothe an anxious mind and work as a natural digestive aid.

Creativity-Inspiring And Love-And-Luck-Bringing.

One can burn Palo Santo sticks and do a ceremonial smudging to invite love, creativity, and luck into the house or other places. The wood has a calming effect on the mind and body and can help you feel more positive and joyful.

What Can Go Wrong With Using Palo Santo?

What Can Go Wrong With Using Palo Santo


It takes only 50-70 years to reach maturity, compared to the hundreds of years that other trees in the arboreal world need. However, the tree can only be fully used by letting it die naturally and allowing it to rest on the forest floor for between four and ten years.

Palo Santo has been over-harvested to meet the Western demand for years, raising serious questions about its capacity to regenerate.

Sanctity And Cultural Appropriation 

We are big advocates of appreciating diverse cultures and encouraging you to do so in a polite and courteous manner. Still, there are some areas where caution and consideration are required.

In the eyes of some non-Natives, burning Palo Santo sticks and white sage (which is currently endangered) constitutes cultural appropriation.

South American natives have long revered the Palo Santo tree as a holy tree. Historically, this wood has been used in various traditional healing and spiritual ceremonies throughout Latin American indigenous communities.

Habitat Loss

Due to overharvesting, Palo Santo was declared endangered in Peru in 2005. Now, that is no longer the case. The Palo Santo tree is no longer on the threatened or endangered species list.

Even though the tree isn’t endangered, its natural environment, the tropical dry forest, is. Dry tropical forests throughout the globe are only five to 10 percent intact, according to Susan Leopold, a Ph.D. plant biologist and the executive director of United Plant Savers.

Because of the lack of rain in the dry tropical woods, they are much easier for humans to log in than in the rain forests.

Those who want to utilize the area for livestock grazing can clear the trees much faster and cheaper than rain forests.

Can I Still Buy Palo Santo Wood?

Buying Palo Santo should come with some research and significance. As mentioned earlier, the tree itself is no longer considered endangered; however, the tropical dry forest wherein Palo Santo lives is still under threat.

What Does Palo Santo Do Spiritually?

What Does Palo Santo Do Spiritually

The native inhabitants of the Andes have used Palo Santo for ages to achieve spiritual enlightenment and clear negative energy. It is thought that burning the wood would cleanse the space of any bad energy and restore tranquillity and calmness.

It is common practice for Amazonian shamans to use Palo Santo in sacred spirit ceremonies. It’s believed that the smoke from the lit sticks of Palo Santo will enter the energy field of those participating in the ceremony, clearing away misfortune and negative thoughts and driving away evil spirits. According to some reports, its use goes back to the time of the Inca.

Benefits Of Palo Santo

Daily Benefits Of Palo Santo

  • It’s a primary use for those in Peru and Ecuador to use Palo Santo smoke to chase mosquitoes and other flying insects away.
  • Palo Santo is known for purifying the air in living places.
  • Palo Santo sticks can be used to purify the atmosphere around someone.

Ceremonial Benefits Of Palo Santo

Plants in aromatherapy provide a feeling of security and protection. Palo Santo’s strong scent can help concentrate our attention, unite our senses, and calm the mind, which makes it popular among shamans who conduct rituals.

Maintaining harmony and balance in your life is made easier by the wonderful aroma of Palo Santo. You’re more able to connect with the Divine during meditation. Palo Santo also boosts one’s ability to think creatively. Anyone receptive to its power will reap the benefits of its magic.



When a Palo Santo tree falls, that’s only when its journey has started. The green Palo Santo wood starts to cure over the long dry season a few months after the rains have stopped.

The fallen tree is tagged by experienced foresters, who take note of the tree’s age and position. Planting a Palo Santo seedling next to a deceased elder is common practice. They do this to ensure that there will be enough for many years to come.

There isn’t always enough time in a year. The tree must remain on the forest floor for a minimum of four years and a maximum of ten years before it can be harvested. There are two ways of transporting the wood: either by hand or with the help of a horse.

We can’t get what we want from a tree unless we treat it with care and only take what we need. During this natural death and subsequent years on the forest floor, the wood’s essential oils and healing properties emerge, giving the wood the power to cleanse, attract good energy, heal and smell fragrant.

Healing Benefits Of Palo Santo

Palo Santo has numerous traditional healing benefits. Some of them are listed below.

  • Relieves Stress
  • Helps With Cold and flu symptoms
  • Relieves Headaches
  • Helps With Asthma
  • Helps With Depression
  • Helps With Anxiety
  • Helps With Emotional pain
  • Relieves Inflammation

Aromatherapy with Palo Santo essential oil is a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate. If you dilute it, you can also use it for massage.

There is an aromatic compound in Palo Santo called limonene. One of the most commonly discovered terpenes in medicinal plants is limonene. Scientists have examined it for its anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant qualities.

Final Thoughts

Numerous people are now becoming conscious of their immune system and general health and are looking for ways to strengthen and boost them. While seeing a professional is still necessary, some aid this with essential oils and natural medicines.

Palo Santo may not be as popular as other essential oils or woods, but it is still relatively widespread.

The good thing is numerous people can reap its benefits, and the bad thing is that it can disturb the ecosystem from where it was harvested. It can also lead to endangerment if left unprotected.

So while it can be joyous to use such material, being cautious of the risks the process can bring is still worth noting.

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My Own Terms is a company founded by Joshua T. Osborne to help people take back control of their lives and live life on Their Own Terms.

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