If you don’t know what Palo Santo is, keep reading here to learn about the story of this tree and some of its beneficial characteristics… if you are looking to buy you can directly jump into the store by clicking here.
We encourage you to read about its wonderful characteristics :-).
Palo Santo Wood comes from a ‘half height’ tree (it doesn’t grow more than 20 meters – about 65 feet). It is native to some Latin American countries, mainly Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. It has been valued for its therapeutic properties since centuries ago: In fact it is likely that its name that means “Sacred Wood” in Spanish, refereeing to its abundant therapeutic properties.
With the discovery and conquer of America, it became known as “quebrancho” (a native word that means something like “breaker”), because the Spaniards broke their axes when trying to cut its hard wood.
The fruit of this tree is of a dark green color, but is not used. The trunk and branches of the tree are utilized. Experts say that it is necessary for the wood to be “dead” to be able to extract the essential oils. It is essential that the tree is dead for at least four years to obtain the best quality wood.
Why do we need to respect this process?
As the wood decomposes it gets compressed. It slowly pushes its essential oils to the outside of the wood, permeating it with its beneficial chemical components and aroma. This way all of the wood acquires its healing and aromatic properties naturally, without human intervention.
Without a doubt, it is a long process! But it’s worth it, as the trunk and leaves’ treasured components are used for all kind of purposes.
Palo Santo oil
The incense and the aromatic essence comes out from the “heartwood”. The cortex of the tree is macerated in alcohol to obtain a highly curative lotion. Leaves are also used, as they can help in the healing of different ailments. When the wood is burned, it emits a characteristic sweet smell. This is why it is used as incense. Expert perfumers say that its fragrance mixes notes of eucalyptus, peppermint, cedar, lemon and sweet grass.
One of the chemical components of the wood’s essence is “limonene”. This substance acts as a cleanser for tangible objets as well as for spiritual matters.
This is why it is common that Palo Santo has been used to support rituals, religious ceremonies and in alternative therapies, all based on the metaphysical properties of some of its natural elements. The smoke that the lighted wood creates helps cleanse any “negativity” and at the same time purifies the room or space.
Those who wish to promote a calm and relaxing environment usually do it by burning a piece of Palo Santo wood. It is sold as “incense” but you can also find the leaves in dietetics. It is important to know that palo santo can only be ingested as tea. It is said that women use the tea as a natural contraceptive.
In terms of traditional medicinal use, the oil is a powerful healer for cutaneous wounds and the bark is excellent for stomach problems. It is also commonly applied as compresses for muscle pain. The essential oil is a great anti-depressive, disinfectant and diuretic. It is even used as an insect repellent.
If we talk about esoteric purposes, Palo Santo sticks are used for meditation, space clearing, shamanic healing, yoga classes, or to simply create an intimate romantic environment. ;-) Many people use the smoke to fill rooms where there are family discussions, general living spaces, in their car, and to promote an atmosphere of calm and concentration at the office.
As for numerous archaeological excavations, today we know that Palo Santo was used by the ancient Inca culture. The priests burned the wood to attract positive energies, keep away bad spirits and promote contact with benefactor gods. Ritualistic sacred bonfires were fueled with the precious aromatic wood to protect the ceremony location. On the other hand, the rest of the people used it daily for prayers, the promotion of good moods, and for purifying of their homes.
According to native legends, newly married couples should plant a Palo Santo wood branch together, without being seen, to bind their lives and make the marriage become eternal.
As we can see, Palo Santo is almost a miraculous tree that can contribute greatly to enrich our lives. It doesn’t matter if we believe in its properties or not. Simply put, no one could deny that lighting a piece of this wood to smell its sweet aroma will offer a sensation of incomparable harmony and well being.
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