Did you know that incense was actually one of the first forms of perfume?
The word perfume comes from the Latin word perfumare, which literally means "to smoke through." Romans, Greeks, ancient Egyptians and indigenous cultures burned incense to perfume the air and believed that the sacred wood smoke would elevate positive vibrations and assist them in their spiritual practices.
Fast-forward to today, and burning incense is still a big part of certain religious practices, but its use goes beyond just the spiritual, and it is very popular in yoga studios, spas, wellness clinics, and even our very homes.
Incense comes in many shapes are forms, and one of our absolute favorites has got to be Palo Santo, an ancient wood burned by the Incas thousands of years ago to clear negative energy.
Spiritual healers and shamans, also called Curanderos, have used the healing and revitalizing properties of Palo Santo to purify, dispel entities and cleanse negative energies for centuries. The wood has also been used medicinally to relieve cold and congestion and alleviate anxiety and depression.
In this post, we’ll discover the ancient mystical properties of Palo Santo wood and the many uses and benefits of Palo Santo incense sticks for health and wellbeing today.
Table of Contents
- What is Palo Santo Wood?
- Palo Santo Incense Benefits
- Clearing Negative Energy
- Boosting Creativity
- Mind Body Healing
- Relaxing Aromatherapy
- Natural Insect Repellent
- How to Use Palo Santo Incense Sticks
- Palo Santo Incense Uses
- Where to Buy Palo Santo Incense Sticks
- Key Takeaways
What is Palo Santo Wood?
The Palo Santo tree is a mystical ancient tree, native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, particularly Peru and Ecuador. The name "Palo Santo" means "Holy Wood" in Spanish, and it belongs to the Burseraceae family, the same plant family that gives us frankincense, myrrh and copal.
Interestingly, the Burseraceae family is also referred to as the “incense tree family,” and scents like Frankincense and myrrh have long been valued for their high resin content, and the aromatic fragrances they produce.
Palo Santo, or Bursera graveolens, has traditionally been used for cleansing, dispelling negative energy and healing and can be used as an incense alone, or in combination with other incense sticks such as Frankincense and myrrh and copal.
|Palo Santo||Frankincense and myrrh||Copal|
Burning Palo Santo sticks is excellent for smudging, similar to using white sage, as discussed in our previous blog that shows you How to Use White Sage for Smudging.
Smudging involves burning 100% natural Palo Santo incense sticks for cleansing and purifying negative energies, as a meditation aid, creativity enhancer, or simply to enjoy its uplifting aromatic fragrance.
What Does Palo Santo Smell Like?
Palo Santo is said to have a divine essence in its aroma, and if you’ve ever used Palo Santo sticks, you know what we mean.
The fragrance is not too intense, but pleasant and fresh, and some people compare it to sandalwood or cedar.
The scent of Palo Santo is usually described as:
- Sweet and woodsy
- Bright and fresh
- Slightly minty with pine notes
- Lemony and citrusy
- A bit musky
Palo Santo Incense Meaning
Incense is any substance that is burned and produces a fragrant aroma. The word “incense” comes from the Latin “to burn.”
When most people think of incense, they most likely think of incense sticks — which are made by forming a paste around a stick, or shaping the paste into incense cones.
However, for Palo Santo incense meaning – it can refer to both the actual wood that is burned as an incense, and the incense sticks, which are made of fine Palo Santo wood shavings and a completely natural chemical-free glue.
Palo Santo Wood Sticks
|Palo Santo Incense Sticks|
Palo Santo Incense Benefits
Palo Santo wood has been used both ceremonially and medicinally for generations. Smudging with or burning Palo Santo as an incense is said to bring a sense of peace, clarity and well-being. It can also be applied to the chakra system for clearing and dissipating negative energies.
We’ve done a detailed post on the Benefits of Palo Santo and How to Use it for Health and Healing where we outline incredible Palo Santo uses and benefits.
Below, we’ll recap some of these key benefits for you:
Clearing Negative Energy
One of the most important benefits of Palo Santo is its ability to cleanse negative vibes, remove stagnant energy and restore a sense of balance and tranquility.
The high resin content of the wood is believed to be highly purifying, and Indigenous cultures in South America have burned Palo Santo for centuries for spiritual purification and energetically cleansing spaces, beings and even objects. A lot of shamans today trust Palo Santo to remove negativity and ward off evil entities.
If you wear or use crystals for healing, smudging with Palo Santo is a great way to draw out negative vibrations and get your crystals recharged for use again.
With its bright, invigorating scent, lighting Palo Santo incense can brighten the mood, energize and welcome creativity into your space.
If you need to enhance concentration for a project, create a sacred space, or simply need a meditation aid, burn Palo Santo sticks and feel the difference.
Mind Body Healing
Palo Santo’s high resin content makes it an excellent natural air purifier and air freshener when burned. It is great to smudge with when suffering from a cold, congestion or the flu, and has also shown promise in alleviating stress and anxiety and providing relief from headaches and joint pain.
Drinking Palo Santo tea, by simmering the wood’s shavings in hot water, acts as a natural digestive aid and anti-inflammatory.
Palo Santo’s lingering and clarifying scent is perhaps one of the best ways to experience a shift in energy and works as a soothing relaxation ritual.
Burning Palo Santo triggers both the olfactory and limbic systems in the body to experience a sense of tranquility and relaxation.
When inhaled, the aroma travels through the brain’s sensory system used for smelling, inducing a calming response, helping to prepare the mind and body for meditation, focus and creative inspiration.
Natural Insect Repellent
Smudging works as a natural insect-repellent, warding off pesky bugs like mosquitos, without the harsh use of chemical-filled products like DEET.
The concentrated volatile Palo Santo oil and high resin content warn unwelcome visitors to stay away. LotsofZen Palo Santo incense is also perfectly proportioned for use on the go — great for hikes, camping, and travel experiences!
How to Use Palo Santo Incense Sticks
Palo Santo incense sticks can be enjoyed for spiritual, therapeutic, meditation and aesthetic reasons. Choosing high quality incense is essential to making sure you get long-lasting aroma.
When shopping for the best Palo Santo incense, you should opt for incense that is pure and naturally-scented, rather than use incense that contains artificial chemical fragrances and bonding agents, as these can cause headaches and do you more harm than good.
Follow the steps below on how to properly burn your Palo Santo incense sticks:
- You will need a heat-safe dish or a Palo Santo incense holder to place your incense stick in. This could be any store-bought incense burner as seen in the image above. Just make sure to choose a burner that can collect the ash as it falls
- Light the thick end of the incense stick with a candle or match until you see a flame. Let it burn for a few seconds to make sure the stick is properly lit
- Gently put out the flame by fanning it with your hand or lightly blowing on it, until you start to see it smoking
- Place your stick in a safe area, away from children, pets and any flammable material. Also, place it away from a window or a fan, where the breeze could knock your stick over
Palo Santo Incense Uses
Once you are aware of all the benefits Palo Santo has to offer, there are many ways to start using your sticks right away.
Below, are some of the most common Palo Santo uses to incorporate into your spiritual practice:
- Meditation — The clarifying yet grounding aroma helps to prepare your mind for focused meditation
- Visualization — Start with a clear intention, and make sure to visualize what you want to achieve and manifest. Keep your intention in mind as you smudge.
- Spiritual cleansing — Saying a smudging prayer is a powerful way to clear and purify the energy in a space, an object or yourself
- Energetic protection — Burn Palo Santo to remove bad vibes, create a tranquil space and invite positivity
- Aromatherapy healing — The calming scent wafting through the air as you light a Palo Santo stick can help to reduce stress and relax the nervous system — an excellent mood enhancement tool!
Where to Buy Palo Santo Incense Sticks
Palo Santo incense sticks are not only wonderful to use at home but make thoughtful gifts for the spiritual seeker in your life, or for anyone who needs a little healing.
To responsibly enjoy this ancient sacred wood, you need to be mindful of where the Palo Santo you use is sourced from.
Due to increased demand, there are fake products in the market, where the pricing may seem just too good to be true. Therefore, it is always recommended to buy from a reputable source, to truly experience all of the divine benefits this incredibly healing wood has to offer.
Our LotsofZen Premium Peruvian Palo Santo incense sticks are:
- 100% natural and authentic
- Sustainably sourced and harvested in Peru
- Organic and handmade
- High-quality with natural resin and oils
- Spiritually pure with no artificial chemicals and bonding agents
- Brimming with brain oxygenated molecules which cause a more positive and uplifting effect
- Long-lasting with a burn time of up to 80 minutes
- 2X more in quantity than others available online
To learn more or order our premium Palo Santo incense sticks, click here.
- Burning Palo Santo incense is excellent for smudging to spiritually purify, dispel entities and cleanse negative energy
- The healing wood comes from the same plant family as other high resin content scents such as frankincense, myrrh and copal
- Palo Santo benefits include inspiring creativity, purifying the air and triggering a calming response for mind and body relaxation
- Burn premium Palo Santo incense as a meditation aid, for spiritual cleansing rituals, supporting visualization techniques and aromatherapy healing
- Discover our 100% natural and sustainable Peruvian Palo Santo incense to complement your spiritual journey!