Palo Santo, the holy wood of the Amazons

 Herkunft und Beschreibung von Palo Santo
  Origen and Description of Palo Santo
  The scent of Palo Santo
  How is Palo Santo obtained?
  Uses of Palo Santo: Aromatherapy
 Origen and Description of Palo Santo

Palo Santo means “holy wood” and is the common name for Bursera graveolens. Also known as “quebracho” by Spanish colonists since, due to its hardness, it broke axes when cut.

Around 18 metres in height, it is a medium sized tree with a crown of small leaves, a great number of branches, and dark green, capsule-shaped fruits. This tree inhabits the South American region of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Mato Grosso (Brazil). When ignited, it releases a smoke which has a series of spiritual properties making it ideal for meditation, relaxation, harmonizing intimate encounters between partners, relaxing tense situations within a family, etc. Its magic smoke can be used to cleanse our household, bedrooms, office, etc., of negative energies.

The origin of Palo Santo is very old; the Inca shamans used it in their religious-spiritual rituals as a tool to bring good luck and ward off any negative signs and also as a means to obtain better spiritual communication with their gods.

This tree is also present in indigenous wedding rituals. The couple must plant a seedling in the absence of witnesses to bind their destinies together so that the union lasts forever.

It was used to ignite sacred fires in ceremonies and rituals, in this way protecting the space in which they’d work. It has been used in rituals of harmonization with the natural elements up to this day.

Palo Santo has been considered a holy wood since time immemorial, used in popular parties and reunions and spiritual rituals as in daily life with regards to work and daily chores. Since ancient times, healing and medical properties have been associated with it: its essence is used to cure skin and muscle problems, the ashes from its wood has been used to treat external wounds and the cooking water of its bark was used to treat stomach problems. Its use has endured to the present day and is still used to clear negative energy from people and things.

 The scent of Palo Santo

It has a surprisingly strong and sweet scent when burned, which is why Palo Santo is used as incense. It is considered a tree with medicinal qualities. Its multiple benefits make Palo Santo a perfect energy cleanser, all this due to substances such as limonene, active substance present in a high percentage of its bark. Limonene belongs to the family of solvents and turpentine, which are responsible of cleansing both the body and the spirit. Something cleansed is something aligned, something harmonic.

The unique scent of Palo Santo is sweet and woody. The fragrance of Palo Santo is reminiscent of an intoxicating combination infused with incense, Atlas cedar, sweet grass, lemon, eucalyptus, and a subtle hint of mint.

 How is Palo Santo obtained?

It must be noted that not all wood from the Palo Santo tree is useful. Its benefits only work when the tree has died a natural death, by its own old age. If we cut down a Palo Santo tree we won’t obtain any benefits. Moreover, a tree that has died due to old age must spend a time of around 3-4 years as its natural path of decomposition progress. It is in this curious period when internally the wood of this tree results in an essence, an oil that when burned transforms into a beneficial, rich and spiritual white smoke which will cleanse our negative energies.

Therefore in the recollection of Palo Santo trees, forests are not cut down; only trees which are already dead are collected in this way cleaning the forest. It is an act which is 100% ecological and protects natural resources.
Palo Santo Wood Incense comes cut in the traditional way by machete in sticks which are around 10 cm in length and each stick of this incense can be used up to 15 times.

 Uses of Palo Santo: Aromatherapy

Unlike other incenses Palo Santo can be used many times and is marketed already cut in sticks of about 10 cm in length. It is advisable to allow a very large flame to develop to obtain an intense smoke (for a few seconds to then strongly shake your hand to extinguish it, the flame is not to be allowed to burn across the entire stick).
It must be stressed that each stick may smell slightly different depending on the concentration of essential oils and their size.
It is advisable to store the Palo Santo in an airtight container so that it doesn’t lose its scent.

  • Palo Santo is used to ward off negative energies and to attract positive energies.
  • Its scent helps us deepen spiritual moments of meditation and contemplation.
  • Purifies and cleanses the environment, it can be used in the bedroom to create an intimate environment, amorous and full of happiness.
  • Acts as a relaxant.
  • Repels mosquitos.
  • It is a sensitive experience which takes the consumer to a state of calmness and well-being.


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