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Everything you need to know about the miracle wood of Palo Santo

Palo Santo. Under this name we know the wood of the Bursera graveolens tree, which comes from South America.

However, Palo Santa's journey from tree to stick that can be lit at home is not so easy. Here's everything you need to know about this amazing natural incense.

How to use natural incense? Reading Everything you need to know about the miracle wood of Palo Santo 9 minutes Next [LISTEN] Feel Good Vibes

I will never forget the moment I met Palo Santo for the first time. After a hard day at work, I turned off my brain by watching Instagram stories. As usual, on this day I couldn't wait to see the posts from a local artist from Spain, which were always inspiring and reassuring.

A few hours before I took to Instagram, she posted a short video of her summer evening, which she spent outside in front of her house with the gentle singing of woodpeckers. On the rustic table lay a note with her thoughts and a clay plate from which something was smoking.

The magic of this moment overwhelmed me to such an extent that I decided to write to her and ask about this ritual, this smoking dwarf.

"This is Palo Santo," she answered. "I use it to calm and stimulate creativity."

If only I knew what kind of journey this research would take me on the very next day...

The Ancient Power and Uses of Palo Santa

Palo Santo. Under this name we know the wood of the Bursera graveolens tree, which comes from South America.

Today, the wood of this special tree is used for meditation, relaxation kicks and to attract positive energy. When a Palo Santa stick is lit and later extinguished, the wood begins to emit a characteristic and magical smell as it smolders, which is difficult to describe. Many say it smells like a delicate lemon mixed with a baked apple. Still others are reminded of the smell of burnt, caramelized sugar. It is a universal fact that it is difficult to find a person who does not like the smell of Palo Santo.

Despite the fact that Palo Santo has become extremely popular only in the last few years, the story of this natural incense began to be written already in the time of the Incas. Even then, the local residents recognized the miraculous power of Palo Santo — they used it both in spiritual ceremonies and as medicine.

Aromatic oil was also obtained from Palo Santo during the Inca era, which was used both for relaxation (it was smeared on the back of the head or along the spine) and for the energetic purification of the person to whom it was applied.

This sacred wood, as it is called all over the world, is still used by shamans in Peru today. A stick of wood is lit, the smoke is carried around the people who have come for treatment, thereby cleaning the patient's energy space, removing all unhappiness, negative thought patterns and evil spirits.

In South America, Palo Santo is also used in the form of tea or water infusion, especially in Ayahuasca rituals. Shamans soak Palo Santo wood in water and offer this Palo Santo infusion as a drink to all those who will participate in the ritual, as it is necessary to cleanse the body and spirit of bad energies before the ritual.

Incense quickly became popular in Ecuador as well. The custom of burning Palo Santa is still used there today, as they believe that Palo Santa smoke gets rid of bad energy or "mala energía".

One of the Ecuadorian proverbs even talks about this extraordinary power of Palo Santa :

"Palo santo para limpiar tu casa de la mala energia, palo santo para la buena suerte."

or translated:

"Palo Santo to clear your home of bad energy, Palo Santo for good luck."

How is Palo Santo made?

Bursera graveolens is a wild tree that comes from the area of ​​Peru and Venezuela. It grows in dry, tropical areas in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador and many other areas.

However, Palo Santa's journey from tree to stick that can be lit at home is not so easy.

In order for the wood to develop this characteristic aroma, the tree must grow up and die naturally, which can take 50 to 70 years . If the tree is cut down, it will not develop these characteristic odors in the strength by which this wood is otherwise known.

Even when a tree naturally dies and falls, it should not be immediately picked up, cut up and sent around the world. The tree must lie on the ground for at least five to eight years. It takes so long for the essential oils inside the tree to mature well, and without this maturation the wood cannot become the quality incense we know today.

The problem of picking Palo Santo

Palo Santo or the Bursera graveolens tree is not an endangered species of tree. Since 2010, it has been placed on the list of "stable" species, which does not mean that we can treat this tree irresponsibly.

The demand for Palo Santo is increasing, which has led to two problems:

  • Some people still cut trees illegally and sell them in the market,
  • Synthetic versions of Palo Santo wood have appeared on the market, lining the pockets of corporations and leaving users disappointed.

Because of this issue, it is important that as end users of wood, we find trustworthy traders who sell authentic wood that is grown and harvested sustainably . Only by buying such wood will we get our hands on quality incense, and at the same time prevent any support from suspicious sellers who treat nature irresponsibly.

How to identify authentic Palo Santo wood

Due to the huge interest in Palo Santo, many dealers have decided to sell synthetic versions of Palo Santo sticks or cheat customers by taking shortcuts.

One such shortcut is to soak ordinary wood in various chemicals that conjure up a similar smell to authentic Palo Santo wood. In any case, these versions are much less aromatic, but at the same time much more dangerous for health, since dangerous substances escape into the air when burning wood and, as a result, artificial chemicals.

But how do we recognize synthetic or artificial Palo Santo from the real thing?

Real Palo Santo wood has a wonderful, pleasant and intense smell that is difficult to describe. While artificial or fake Palo Santo wood has a significantly less intense smell, which does not smell as pleasant and resembles the smell of burnt wood.

Real Palo Santo wood will emit white smoke after the fire on the stick goes out. But if you burn a fake stick, the smoke will be black even after the flame goes out.

The healing properties of Palo Santa

Now that you know what to look out for when buying Palo Santo wood, it's time to talk about its healing properties.

The characteristic smell of Palo Santa is due to the special component Limonene, which the essential oil of this tree has in abundance. Limonene is known for its many healing effects on our body and mind. This essential oil is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic. It is precisely because of these properties that it remains extremely popular among healers all over the world.

Limonene is also extremely healing in the fight against stress, which makes Palo Santo a pure center of natural relaxation ingredients. People regularly use it during meditation, yoga, or in their daily relaxation practice.

In addition to all its other properties, Palo Santo is also known for repelling mosquitoes and other vermin , which is why many people reach for it even in the summer, when we start spending our evenings outside. Not only will it bring good energy to the center of our gathering, it will also successfully repel mosquitoes.

The long history of using Palo Santo wood also testifies to other metaphysical properties of this wonderful gift of nature. Wood with regular use:

  • It increases our creativity,
  • It evokes positive energy,
  • Eliminates negative energy from our surroundings,
  • It helps us to concentrate,
  • It creates a stronger bond with our true self.

The magic of Palo Santa

Not long after I first encountered Palo Santo through the mentioned artist from Spain, I also ordered my stick.

I will never forget the feeling of impatience when I was waiting for my package. He was also accompanied by a feeling of slight skepticism. Is Palo Santo really as wonderful as others say?

When the day came when I finally received my package, I locked myself in my office, lit a candle and slowly lit the Palo Santo over it. An intoxicating smell began to spread from her. I couldn't believe that nature could create something so wonderful, something so incredible.

From that moment on, my moments of relaxation were never the same. Since then, Palo Santo has always been with me and that will never change.

It's time for you to experience the magic of this wood too.

Buy a packet of Palo Santa.

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