Skeptical about natural healing methods?
Palo Santo might change that, and make you a believer.
Today, there’s a definite rise and growth around integrative medicine and alternative healing modalities, with people looking into deep healing practices that don’t rely on quick fixes provided by modern medicine.
Considered an ancient practice, energy cleansing is back in full swing with crystal healing and balancing, and cleansing rituals using sage and Palo Santo, that clear negative energy, and provide many other healing benefits.
Palo Santo has been used for centuries in South America for cleansing bad energy and spiritual purification, but its benefits also extend to relieving stress and anxiety, controlling inflammation, alleviating headaches, and more.
In this post, you'll discover what Palo Santo is, the amazing benefits of Palo Santo, how to use Palo Santo for smudging and meditation, and much more!
Table of Contents
- What is Palo Santo?
- How to Use Palo Santo
- Palo Santo Smudging
- How to smudge with Palo Santo
- How often should you practice Palo Santo smudging?
- Palo Santo vs Sage for Smudging — is one better than the other?
- Palo Santo Healing
- Palo Santo Meditation
- Palo Santo Aromatherapy
- Top 7 Incredible Benefits of Palo Santo
- Palo Santo for Cleansing and Purifying
- Palo Santo for Anxiety, Stress and Boosting Mood
- Palo Santo for Treating Physical Ailments
- Palo Santo for Creating Sacred Spaces
- Palo Santo for Cleansing Crystals
- Palo Santo for Repelling Insects
- Palo Santo for Household Use
- Where to Buy Palo Santo
- Key Takeaways
What is Palo Santo?
Palo Santo, or “holy wood” when translated from Spanish, is a tree scientifically called Bursera graveolens, which is native to South America and belongs to the same family as frankincense and myrrh.
Its fragrant wood has been used for centuries for medicinal and spiritual healing practices and can be traced back to the ancient Incan civilization for ceremonial cleansing.
Shamans in the region also burned Palo Santo for resetting and neutralizing negative energy. Today, Palo Santo is mainly used as an energy cleanser, for aromatherapy and also in naturopathic medicine.
What does Palo Santo smell like?
The Palo Santo tree is part of the citrus family, and when burned has a gentle scent that is a delight to the senses.
The sweet fragrant smoke has a woody scent with notes of pine, citrus, and mint, and its aroma has a relaxing and calming effect on the energy of the room, where it is usually burned in stick form.
Palo Santo Sources
Palo Santo is indigenous to South America and is primarily found on the west coast in Peru, Ecuador, and certain areas of Colombia.
It can also be found in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos.
Is Palo Santo Endangered?
Palo Santo holds a high level of cultural significance, so in many regions, the tree is protected by the government and is also labeled as endangered due to deforestation.
Therefore, Palo Santo wood sticks can only be harvested from fallen trees and trees that have died naturally. The wood is then used to extract essential oils, make medicinal tea, or cut into sticks for use in energy clearing and smudging.
When you’re looking to buy Palo Santo you must make sure that the sticks have been sourced with respect to the environment and the laws of the region.
That’s where we come in. At LotsOfZen we pack authenticity in every stick – that’s what separates our Palo Santo wood from all the rest.
The healing, cleansing energy of Palo Santo is all about maturity and the natural order of things. Only trees that have fallen naturally and allowed to rest in the forest for a couple of years pack true power. That’s why our sticks are only ever hand-picked from the ground in the forests of Peru.
Our Palo Santo sticks are sustainably sourced while employing the locals, and 1% of our profits are donated to charities actively involved in growing trees.
Click here to experience the power of real Palo Santo, sourced with nothing but love and respect!
How to Use Palo Santo
The sweet-smelling “holy wood” of the Palo Santo tree is incredibly versatile and can be used in many ways including:
Palo Santo Smudging
Smudging is an energy clearing practice that involves the use of smoke to release stored and stagnant energies, to create a cleansed, comfortable, and calm space.
Similar to burning sage or lighting incense sticks, burning Palo Santo wood is highly effective for dispersing negative energy and attracting positive vibes, and is often done before using crystals for healing, or creating a sacred space.
How to smudge with Palo Santo
Follow the step by step instructions below on how to use Palo Santo for smudging to clear negative energy in a space, and attract positivity, comfort, and tranquility.
Light the wooden stick
Light the end of your Palo Santo stick with a match, lighter or candle, by holding it at a 45-degree angle towards the flame. Blow out the flame after around 30 seconds to allow the smoke to fill the air. You can hold it in your hand and waft the smoke as you move around in your space or place the stick in a heatproof dish.
Set your intention
It’s important to set your intention and visualize what you want to clear out, and how you want to feel after the energy clearing is done. Think of what you want to attract into the room or your crystals (love, good vibes, tranquility), and also think of what energies you want to ward off (anger, bad vibes, frustration).
Immerse the area with smoke
Wave the smoking Palo Santo stick near your crystals, or in different areas of a space, making sure to remember corners where energy can often stagnate. Also circle the smoke around entryways, hallways, and windows. You can also start at the front door & walk clockwise through the area. Make sure to surround yourself with the smoke if you’re looking to cleanse and purify the energy around you. Once done, place the stick in a fireproof container, and the glow will eventually go out on its own.
How often should you practice Palo Santo smudging?
As often as you feel you need to, to purify the area around you and surround yourself with clean energy. It is highly recommended to smudge after a run-in with someone in the room, a fight or angry outburst in the space, before a crystal healing or meditation session, or when starting on a new project.
Smudging Palo Santo as a timed ritual, at a certain time every few days, can serve as a way to mindfully and intentionally experience a shift and release in energy and works very well for those who enjoy a cathartic routine.
Palo Santo vs Sage for Smudging — is one better than the other?
If you think Palo Santo works a lot like burning sage for smudging, you’re right. Similar to sage, which was used mainly by Native Americans for smudging, Palo Santo was used by South American Shamans and healers in their spiritual cleansing and purifying practices. So, one is not necessarily better than the other for smudging, and it all comes down to personal preference.
Palo Santo Healing
Historically, Palo Santo has been used to treat respiratory issues such as colds, congestion, bronchitis, and asthma, and also fight anxiety and depression. As a natural anti-inflammatory, it can help alleviate pain and headaches.
Naturally sourced mature wood from Palo Santo trees also contains high amounts of d-limonene, a compound used in alternative medicine to treat heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues.
Limonene also has potential chemopreventive properties, and can possibly be used to fight cancer.
Palo Santo Meditation
Palo Santo is often burned as an incense to clear the energy in a room and increase vibrations to facilitate a meditation session. The smoke creates a feeling of calm and peace, making it excellent for “setting the mood” during meditation practice. During meditation, it can help to bring focus, relax the mind, instill peace, and promote grounding.
Palo Santo Aromatherapy
Palo Santo sticks have a gentle, fragrant citrusy aroma when burned, and are excellent for aromatherapy use. Essential oils extracted from Palo Santo wood are also available and can be used topically after being diluted with a carrier oil, inhaled directly from the bottle, or used in a diffuser to fill the space with the sweet and calming fragrance.
Top 7 Incredible Benefits of Palo Santo
As one of the most fragrant and sweet-scented woods, for centuries Palo Santo has been revered, respected, and exalted by shamans, saints, and natural healers, for its natural ability to cleanse and heal on a spiritual, mental and physical level.
Below, we’ll explore the many incredible benefits of Palo Santo for cleansing energy, finding calm, and deepening your connection to the earth.
1. Palo Santo for Cleansing and Purifying
For centuries Palo Santo has been used to eliminate negative energy and provide energetic protection. Palo Santo smudging is an excellent way to cleanse energy and restore calm and peace.
Make sure to set an intention regarding what energies you want to clear, and waft the smoke around the space, your crystals, or yourself to remove bad vibes. Smudging with Palo Santo can help to uplift your mood and spirit and fill your home with positive energy.
2. Palo Santo for Anxiety, Stress and Boosting Mood
Burning Palo Santo releases a gentle soothing citrusy scent, and the bioactive compound limonene has shown to reduce anxiety and stress and boost focus and concentration. The wood can help to lift your spirits, brighten energy, and promote creativity and positivity.
Once Palo Santo smoke is inhaled, it travels directly to the limbic system (the area in the brain that controls emotion) and the olfactory system (the area in the brain that controls smell) and triggers the body’s relaxation response which helps to reduce anxiety, panic and promote better sleep.
3. Palo Santo for Treating Physical Ailments
Palo Santo is used as both an incense and as an essential oil to treat physical conditions such as colds and flu, depression and anxiety, and joint pain relief. When a headache strikes, the scent of Palo Santo is known to numb pain. Palo Santo oil has anti-inflammatory properties and the compound d-limonene is potentially thought to prevent cancer.
Palo Santo wood chips can also be made into a soothing tea to act as a natural digestive aid, boost immunity, relieve flu symptoms, and de-stress and calm.
How to make Palo Santo tea:
This energizing tea only requires a few thin shavings of wood and is quite powerful. Follow the super-easy recipe below to get an instant mind, body, and emotional boost!
- 1 small stick of Palo Santo wood
- 2 cups of boiled water
- Honey or a natural sweetener (as per taste)
- Shave off thin pieces of wood from your Palo Santo stick. You will need roughly 1 tsp of shavings per 1-2 cups of water (add more shavings for a stronger flavor)
- Place the shavings in the boiled water and let steep for around 10 minutes
- Strain into a teacup and add a bit of honey or natural sweetener if required
- Grab a good book, put on soothing music, light some candles, and sip away!
4. Palo Santo for Creating Sacred Spaces
Burning Palo Santo wood can instantly transport you to a sacred place! The uplifting aroma is an ideal partner for meditating, raising your vibration, experiencing grounding, awaking your inner consciousness, and allowing you to deeply connect to the Earth. Enjoy this divine gift to connect to your inner self and the world around you on a deeper, divine level.
5. Palo Santo for Cleansing Crystals
Before you do any energy work with crystals it is very important to regularly cleanse your crystals as energies and emotions build up as you use them. As crystals draw out negative energy they need to stay energetically cleared to be primed for use again. Smudging with sage or Palo Santo is one of the best and easiest ways to ritualistically cleanse your crystals for crystal healing therapy.
6. Palo Santo for Repelling Insects
Burning Palo Santo provides the added benefit of not only clearing negative energies but also warding off mosquitoes and other bugs. The aromatic resins and volatile oils released when burning the wood are an excellent natural alternative to using chemical repellents such as DEET, which are known to have harsh chemicals.
7. Palo Santo for Household Use
Due to its amazing, lasting aroma and mood-boosting properties, Palo Santo can add a spark of brightness to your home, office, car, or any space. Burning Palo Santo or using the oil in a diffuser can refresh the air in your home, and reduce odor, by serving as a natural air freshener. This is a great way to naturally cleanse the air, while simultaneously dispelling your space of “bad energy.”
Where to Buy Palo Santo
When looking for where to buy Palo Santo there are a few key things you need to keep in mind. This includes if it is sourced sustainably and if it is the real deal.
Due to increased demand, there are some who turn to illegal imports which involves sourcing the wood from healthy trees (this in fact is not even real Palo Santo as the fallen tree needs to mature for several years to develop a dense and rich therapeutically healing aroma).
Make sure you buy Palo Santo from a source that respects and honors the culture and practices of the region it comes from, as that is the only way you’ll be able to experience all the divine healing Palo Santo can help bring into your life.
How to tell if Palo Santo is real?
First, look at the price. If the price looks too good to be true, be suspicious. Sustainably sourced Palo Santo wood is hand-picked and will not be sold at a rock-bottom price.
If you’re buying the oil, look for the species scientific name, Bursera graveolens, as a 100% pure oil concentration, so you know you are getting the real thing.
Palo Santo is also often sold as incense cones and sticks. Some contain wood shavings, but some may contain no shavings and just essential oil. The sticks or cones may also be soaked in an ignitable substance, to make it easier to light. It can be difficult to know the quality of oil and flammable substance used, therefore it is always better to go for genuine Palo Santo sticks to get the most benefit.
Why Choose LotsofZen Palo Santo sticks:
- Never cut from live trees
- Exclusively hand-picked from the ground
- Sourced from Peru
- Never dipped in oils
- Burn beautifully with a fragrant whiff of mint and citrus
- Sustainably sourced while employing the locals.
- 20 sticks in a box; 2X more than you’ll find in others!
- Beautifully presented, and packed in a lovely gift box
- We donate 1% of our profits to organizations passionate about growing the forest
Experience the true power of Palo Santo — Order Now!
- Palo Santo or “holy wood” is a historical medicinal wood, native to South America that is fast-growing in popularity today for its physical, mental and spiritual healing abilities
- The aroma and oil from the wood is known to help relieve stress and anxiety, control inflammation, alleviate headaches, combat colds, reduce stress and more
- Palo Santo smudging is highly effective for dispersing negative energy and attracting positive vibes
- Burning Palo Santo can trigger the body’s relaxation response helping to reduce anxiety, bring calm, and promote better sleep
- Palo Santo can also be used to cleanse crystals, create sacred spaces, repel insects and as a natural air freshener
- It is important to buy Palo Santo that is sourced with respect to experience all the divine healing Palo Santo can help bring into your life
- LotsofZen Palo Santo sticks are sustainably hand-picked from the ground in Peru, never dipped in oils, burn beautifully, and include 20 sticks in a box; 2X more than other products.