Palo Santo, which means “holy wood” in Spanish, is a tree native to South America. While its fragrant scent has become increasingly popular, there is more to the South American tree than just a trendy hippie air freshener. Palo Santo is used in South America much like White Ceremonial Sage is used in North America. South American Shamans originally burned the wood as a means of removing negative energy and promoting tranquility. It is also used to treat pain and reduce stress.
The sweet, woodsy pungent aroma that is released from burning Palo Santo is actually from the wood’s essential oil. This essential oil is rich in limonene - which is the secret to Palo Santo’s mood lifting abilities. Studies have shown that inhalation of limonene vapor increases serotonin and dopamine levels. Not only does limonene help uplift mood, but it also repels insects!
Forms of Palo Santo
Wood: The wood of palo santo tree is available as sticks, chips, or powder
Resin: The aromatic resin is extracted and used separately
Essential Oil: The limonene rich essential oil is derived from the wood
Palo Santo Uses
Essential Oil Uses:
The essential oil can be applied to the skin. This technique is usually used for treating pain. It is also incorporated into natural bug spray and natural perfume. In addition, it can be put in a diffuser to be inhaled during aromatherapy. This is often done while doing yoga or meditating.
The wood is burned as an incense. As it burns, the aromatic smoke that is released helps relax and ease the mind. The chips and powder are used in the same way.
The resin is also used as incense. It is placed on a heated charcoal disc in a resin burner which releases the stress relieving aroma.
Although Palo Santo has become very popular, the tree isn’t endangered. However, it is still important to buy palo santo that has been ethically and sustainable sourced. This helps support preservation of the species.
This post is not intended to treat, prevent, or cure any disease