An Introduction to Palo Santo

Palo Santo is one of the most fragrant woods in the world, it comes from the magical Palo Santo tree, native to the coast of South America.

Palo Santo belongs to the citrus family and is related to both Frankincense and Myrrh. For centuries, Palo Santo has been used as a powerful form of tree medicine for energy clearing, healing and spiritual cleansing.

Palo Santos name literally means holy wood or Wood of the Saints. This incredible wood is harvested by a family that has planted over 30,000 trees in Ecuador over the last decade. The Palo Santo comes from naturally fallen trees and branches that lay dead for 4-10 years before they are harvested. It is said that the wood of the Palo Santo tree is of no use unless it dies of natural causes.

When burned, Palo Santo is believed to have both medicinal and therapeutic healing power. 

This is a wonderful tool to use before and during your meditation. Its uplifting scent will help to raise your vibration, bringing a deeper connection to the Earth and your divine source.

If you have a meditation ritual, you can burn Palo Santo in an incense burner before your practice, This will prepare your energy and mind for meditation and allow you to more easily connect with your practice.

Indigenous cultures believe that the palo santo tree possesses magical qualities and that palo santo oil is a representation of the ancient spirits within the tree that produced it—which is why it’s such a deeply rooted age-old remedy.


Palo Santo Benefits

Spiritual Cleansing

It’s used for clearing negativity in the same way as Native Americans in North America have used white sage. Much like washing your hands before the start of a meal, smudging with palo santo is the act of cleansing your aura before you feed your soul through ceremony or ritual. That’s why shamans in the Amazon burn sticks of it during sacred plant-medicine ceremonies to cleanse the energy of the participants and ward off evil spirits.

Healing and Pain Relief

Traditionally, palo santo has been used for remedying various conditions, such as common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches and inflammation by smudging and making teas and tinctures with the wood and essential oils. It’s a rich source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, also known as terpenes, such as limonene and α-terpineol.

Purification and Detox

Palo Santo can assist in supporting the immune system and shuts down inflammatory responses caused by diet, pollution, environmental stress and illness. A perfect way to purify and detox is to use Palo santo as a herbal tea.


When Palo Santo is inhaled, it moves directly through the brains olfactory system, where it helps to stimulate the body's relaxation response to fight worry, anxiety, sleep disorders and depression. Palo Santo is an effective natural anti-anxiety remedy.

How to use Palo Santo

  • Use a candle, lighter or match to ignite your stick
  • Hold it on a 45-degree angle pointing the tip down towards the flame
  • Allow the stick to burn for 30 seconds to a minute and then blow it out
  •  You can either place it in an incense burner and leave to smoulder, or you can use it for smudging
  • If left to rest, the stick will smoulder and release smoke for approx 5 minutes. If used for smudging, it will smoulder for longer.

How to smudge

Smudging is the ritual of clearing and cleaning the energy of physical space, object or person.

First, you start with a clear and simple intention of focusing on clearing the negative energy out of your space and mind. Once you have your intention clearly in mind, light the Palo Santo stick as per instructions above.

Then, walk around the room, space, object or person, fanning the smoke over its entirety, whilst focusing on cleansing and clearing negative energy. 

Once you've finished smudging and removed the negative energy, you must push positive energy into the space to maintain balance. To do this, declare your intention out loud or silently in your head.


Please note: This information is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnose or treat any health conditions. If you’re experiencing issues with your health, please visit your doctor or a licensed medical professional as soon as possible. Also, if you’re pregnant, please avoid the use of palo santo essential oil during your pregnancy.

  • Lisa on

    Loved this blog thank you for sharing found this extremely informative 🙏

  • Toni on

    Very interesting, thanks!

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