Palo Santo: What it is, benefits and sustainability

Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens) is a tree that is native to South America, which grows around the coast in dry tropical forests. Known for its fragrant resin, palo santo is part of the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon.

Palo santo, which in Spanish means “holy wood”, has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples for its cleansing, purification and healing properties.

The wood, resin, and oil from the tree have been used for medicinal purposes for relieving common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain and more. A powerful healer, palo santo is also renowned for calming the immune and nervous systems for faster recovery of illness.  

One of the prime uses of palo santo in Ecuador and Peru is for use in keeping away mosquitoes and other critters.

With its uplifting scent, palo santo is enjoyed by many for its energetically cleansing and healing properties similar to sage and cedar. It assists in raising the vibrations of a space as well as within and around you in preparation for meditation.

Palo santo banishes energies that does not belong to your true self. If you work in the service industry and have regular interaction with negative people, a palo santo wood stick is an excellent tool to have on hand to light after any interaction with such beings as it clears your aura and your space, and so banishing any of the person’s energies that may be attempting to linger.

For those who resonate with palo santo and are open to its energies, palo santo can enhance creativity and brings good fortune.

How to use palo santo:

Wood Sticks – The wood of the palo santo tree is available as sticks, chips, or powder. It typically comes from the felled branches of the tree. Use a candle, match or lighter to ignite your stick of Palo Santo. Allow it to burn for about 30-60 seconds. Move about your workspace or anywhere you would like to clear the energy. When finished, place the stick in a fire proof bowl of metal, glass or clay.  The glow will end on its own unless you blow on the ember which will keep the smoke going.  

If using Palo Santo wood chips, powder or resin, place the Palo Santo on a charcoal disk to light.

Essential Oil – Palo Santo can be inhaled to treat common colds and flu symptoms, as well as relieve stress. It can also be applied on skin with the addition of a carrier oil.

Is Palo Santo sustainable:

Palo Santo has been listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “Least Concern”, meaning that the panto santo population is stable and not endangered. However, dry tropical forests which are the natural habitat of Palo Santo trees are threatened by deforestation.

For many years, palo santo was harvested by deforestation. But Palo Santo can be harvested without cutting down trees. The wood is easily obtained from fallen branches, while the oil can be extracted from fruit, without harming the forests where the Palo Santo grows.

When buying Palo Santo wood, look for those who sell the wood that has been obtained from fallen branches and not by cutting down the trees. Many native peoples also use part of the funds they receive to replant the forest with Palo Santo trees and to preserve their natural habitat.

Rosalind Medea is an Intuit who provides intuitive readings, spiritual life coaching, and relationships counselling services to clients worldwide 

Published by Rosalind Medea

Rosalind Medea is an Intuitive Reader and Counsellor.

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