Palo Santo, literally means “holy wood” in Spanish, is a tree that is widely found throughout Central and South America.
Palo Santo is used to combat negative energy and to cleanse the space. Palo Santo is different than many of the other smudging materials as it is fragrant in its raw form and does not necessarily need to be lit, though it usually is when being used for ceremonial purposes.
The Palo Santo tree belongs to the Burseraceae family which also includes Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal. It is part of the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon.
Traditionally, only the fallen branches and twigs of the tree are harvested, and this practice is regulated by the government of Peru to ensure that the trees do not become over harvested. This Palo Santo is wild and sustainably harvested.
It is believed that a tree or fallen branches must lie dead for 4-10 years before the medicinal and mystical properties of the wood begin to come alive. It is also believed that the branches of the Palo Santo that are felled by lightning have the highest concentration of medicinal and mystical properties.
It creates a pleasant, fresh smoke that works well in keeping away mosquitoes and other flying insects.
Palo Santo is traditionally used for relieving common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain and more.
It is amazing for cleansing “yoga funk” from clothes and towels.
It freshens in any room or space just by being placed.
Palo Santo is often used by Amazonian shamans in sacred plant spirit ceremonies; the rising smoke of the lit sticks is believed to enter the energy field of ritual participants to clear misfortune, negative thoughts and to chase away evil spirits.