Palo santo refers to Bursera graveolens, a tree that happens to belong to the same botanical family as frankincense and myrrh trees, which are all known to be rich sources of antioxidants and terpenes. The palo santo tree in particular is revered in its native South America; its wood and the essential oil made from it are thought to contain mystical powers. In a practice that reportedly dates to the Inca era, wood from the palo santo tree is used for ritual purification and folk medicine. Like smudging with white sage, the smoke produced when palo santo is burned is thought to purify and bring good fortune.
In recent years, this sacred wood has gained popularity in North America and in addition to the burning sticks themselves, palo santo essential oil has been integrated into a wide variety of personal care products, from room spray to deodorant. But what has lead Shamans and spiritual seekers alike to integrate it into their lives?
Benefits of Palo Santo
1. Cleansing & Detoxifying
Palo santo’s purifying properties are thought to clear negative thoughts, drive away evil spirits and remove any bad luck that may be lingering in your home or on your person. Besides its energy-cleansing abilities, palo santo essential oil can help reduce odor and bacteria – making it the perfect addition to any DIY household cleaner, and a big reason why we chose to include it in our limited-edition Pit Paste.
It’s also thought to help support a healthy immune system, and reduce inflammatory responses to illness, pollution, stress and fatigue. Try adding a few drops of palo santo essential oil into warm water to make your own detox tea and give your immune system a boost.
2. Relaxing & De-Stressing
Often used in aromatherapy, palo santo essential oil helps reduce stress and anxiety, and brings a sense of calm to a busy mind. Its grounding and centering effects can help you feel more relaxed and at peace, supporting your emotional and mental wellbeing. Apply a few drops to your head, neck and chest to trigger your body’s relaxation responses. When combined with another calming essential oil like its sister-plant, frankincense, these effects are compounded.
Palo santo can help promote positivity and brighten energy. Its sweet, woody aroma helps brighten energy and inspire creativity. So if you’re feeling a bit stuck or down on your luck, palo santo may be just the thing you need.
4. Natural Bug Repellent
If you’re looking for a natural way to beat bugs, add palo santo to your lineup. In fact, the smoke from the incense is often used to keep mosquitoes away. But you can achieve the same effect by applying the essential oil topically. Simply combine a few drops with water and spray directly on skin to put pests in their place.
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