Palo Santo Essential Oil
WHAT'S THE BOTANICAL NAME FOR PALO SANTO?
WHERE DOES PALO SANTO COME FROM?
Most Palo Santo comes from Mexico, Central America, and South America, where it has been used in indigenous rituals and ceremonies for centuries. We use one from Ecuador that is made from aged, dead palo santo wood gathered from the forest floor, making it an especially sustainable wood to use for essential oil production.
PALO SANTO BENEFITS
Palo santo oil and wood have many benefits, from aromatherapy to skin benefits to use in cleansing rituals. Burning the wood is more common for energetic clearing applications, and using the essential oil is more common in aromatherapy and skincare applications. In all cases, the scent of palo santo is very rich and intensely grounding.
PALO SANTO IN AROMATHERAPY
The scent of palo santo essential oil is nurturing and transformative, often used for cleansing of the psychological palate, wiping away negative or stale emotions. It can be used with essential oils like frankincense for meditation, or with tea tree or peppermint for respiratory support when you have a cough or a cold. Palo santo oil can help ease anxiety, especially in combination with orange essential oil in an intermittent diffuser. It is useful in massage, as it can decrease muscle tension, including tension headaches, and joint pain. It has mild sedative properties, making it an excellent oil to inhale before bedtime. And for stressful days, think of it as your energetic protector – like an invisible shield that repels negative energy!
PALO SANTO IN SKIN CARE
Palo santo essential oil has good antiseptic qualities for the skin, similar to helichrysum, carrot seed, and tea tree oil. Like many essential oils, it is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant qualities that are beneficial to the skin. A massage oil with palo santo could be helpful in cases of arthritis or neck tension. And, of course, we love our palo santo soap for a daily ritual—it fills your shower with the scent of palo santo oil and cleans your skin at the same time.
HOW IS PALO SANTO HARVESTED?
Palo santo means "holy wood" in Spanish. The tree has been revered for millennia and used by healers across South America in sacred rituals and energy work, especially when purification or clearing of negative energy was required. In Guatemala, it is illegal to harvest a live tree, and a license is required even to collect dead, fallen wood. The fallen wood ages on the forest floor and is then cured and dried, developing its unique, rich aroma during that time. Luckily, distilling the wood of the live trees does not yield the same essential oil, so in a way, this wise old tree naturally protects itself from poachers!
At Osmia, we purchase our palo santo essential oil from a supplier who works with an ethnobotanist in Ecuador to obtain the wood. They have a nursery where they grow the saplings as part of a reforestation project. Then they harvest trees that have fallen naturally in accordance with their license to harvest from the Ministry of the Environment in Ecuador. No live trees are ever harvested to obtain our palo santo essential oil, and the land used for growing the trees is protected as long as the project remains sustainable and profitable. If he goes out of business, the land goes to cattle farming. So we’re proud to support his beautiful business, and share the result of his hard work with you in our consciously created products.
COOL FACTS ABOUT PALO SANTO:
- Burned as incense, it acts as a mosquito repellent, similar to citronella.
- Palo santo is part of the same family (Burseraceae) as frankincense and myrrh - no wonder it’s a meditation superhero.
- Tea made from palo santo wood is a digestive aid.
- Massage oil with palo santo can be helpful in supporting healthy immunity, as well as relief from cold or flu symptoms, when rubbed into the chest and back.
- Palo santo oil in a diffuser is helpful for purifying a household environment after a viral illness.
PALO SANTO FAQs:
- What is Palo Santo used for?
Palo santo wood is burned to clear negative energy in spiritual practices. Palo santo oil is used for grounding, centering, and reducing anxiety. Used on the skin (in proper dilution), it can have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
- What does Palo Santo attract?
In traditional shamanic practices of South America, palo santo is said both to clear obstacles and negativity and attract good fortune and opportunity.
- What does Palo Santo do to the brain?
Palo santo can have a relaxing effect when inhaled, both when burned and when used as an essential oil. It is related to frankincense and myrrh, and can be calming for use before meditation or other relaxation practices.
- Is Osmia's Palo Santo ethically source and ethically harvested?
Yes, our palo santo oil is sourced through an ethnobotanist in Ecuador, only as approved by the Ministry of the Environment there. When old trees fall naturally, the wood is aged and then collected for distillation, and new saplings are planted.
With love and bundles of Bursera graveolens—and a fresh bar of palo santo soap— from us to you,
The information contained in this post is for educational interest only and is not intended to represent claims for actions of palo santo. This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any physical or mental illness or disease.