Deep in the dry tropical forests of South America lay an ancient tree by the name of Palo Santo (which translates to Holy Wood) that’s been used for centuries dating back to the era of the Incas. Known for it’s indigenous medicinal purposes it has been cultivated for its incense and oil properties. Be it the wood shavings burned for smudging, the oil that’s distilled to be used in massaging/diffusing or boiled in water for tea, Burserea Graveolens has highly spiritual purifying and healing properties.
What is palo santo wood?
With an ancient lineage native to Mexico, Mexico, Yucatán Peninsula to Peru and Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands the Palo Santo tree falls into the same family as frankincense and myrrh. The mystical ‘Holy Wood’ tree has an element of citrus and emits succulent hints of sweet lemon, pine and mint. The wood is used in a variety of ways to cleanse energy and improve health.
Ethically harvested from dead wood, the essential oil goes thru a chemical-free process of distillation. The therapeutic properties of the oil range from the ability to heighten positive moods, increase vitality and aid for protection against negative energies. The simplest way to use the essential oil is through simple massage and skin absorption and can also be used in your diffuser.
How to use in your meditation practice?
As in all meditation, there are numerous accompaniments that can be incorporated into the healing process. The use of Palo Santo helps in the vibrational preparation for meditation. Oil is generally applied to the body usually along the base of the skull or spine aiding in relaxation. The burning of wood shavings or sticks can be used during smudging and relieve the energy fields of negative thoughts and feelings.
What are the health benefits?
Apart from the divine and energetic benefits Holy Wood has been used by ancient South Americans to alleviate bad energies and heal health ailments too. With properties that are known to calm the immune and nervous system things like common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety and inflammation are all know to be cured or eased through the use of oil, smudging and/or tea. It’s even known to contain high levels of D-Limonene and monoterpenes, which make it helpful in reducing cancer symptoms.Click here to purchase palo santo
Why use palo santo instead of sage for cleansing your space?
With many different types of trees and herbs to cleanse and smudge with, sage happens to be the most commonly known however the use of Palo Santo breeds benefits unlike any other. Containing a more fragrant aroma than most burning woods Palo Santo is highly beneficial for those who find the pungent smell of sage to be harsh or are allergic. Also, the Palo Santo tree is harvested with sustainability in mind and is harvested and used alive or dead; essential oils are extracted from dead trees and fallen branches by using vapor distillation.
How do you burn palo santo?
Just like incense and sage, the natural aromatic wood has been used for centuries and serves similar healing and cleansing properties. The wood is cut into shavings or sticks and is burned using a source of fire, preferably a candle or matches. Allow the wood to burn for 30 seconds to 1 minute and lightly blow out the flame. As with any other smudging session, move about the area you’re cleansing to clear out the energy.
With benefits relating to improving the immune, Palo Santo tea is perfect for treating common colds and flu and can be easily made in only a few steps.
- Take a stick of Palo Santo and shave off little bits of wood
- Place 1-2 teaspoons of shavings into 1-2 cups of water in a sauce pan; for a stronger flavor add more shavings.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes
- Pour through a strainer or you can brew in a tea infuser as per image
- Add a little of your favorite sweetener and serve.