Palo Santo – answering your questions: what is it, how to use it, where to buy it & more.

Palo Santo – what is it?

Palo Santo is a plant native to the Amazon, otherwise known as the “Holy Tree”. The ritual of using Palo Santo dates back to the Inca Empire, where it was used during spiritual ceremonies and as traditional medicine. Today, almost 500 years later, Palo Santo is still used in Central and South American communities by shamans and healers who believe in its power to purify the aura, increase the flow of good energy and protect against bad vibrations. Like Sage, Palo Santo is one of the most popular and most used incense. It is most often used for spiritual cleansing and balancing the energy. The smoke of this plant removes negative energy, brings peace and balances emotions.

Palo Santo is one of the most intensely fragrant trees in the world. Its smell is the opposite of what you would expect smoke to smell like. It is strong and intriguing – this sacred tree belongs to the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon. Its scent can be described as woody with a citrus note.

zdjęcie: Roksana Wąż

How to burn Palo Santo correctly?

Palo Santo has nothing to do with traditional incense sticks which, once lighted, smolder until the incense is burned.

Palo Santo is nothing more than a tree fragment with a high content of essential oils – it is a completely natural product. This has an effect on the way it is being burned. Palo Santo should be kept over the flame for a longer moment (preferably candles, and if you don’t have it – lighters), at an angle of about 45 degrees.

We can consider the stick as properly lighted, not when it starts to smoke gently, but only when it catches the actual flame. Then, blow it out and put out the flame. Then the process of quite intense smoking will begin. The smoke should be directed to the places that we want to cleanse. It is a ritual, ceremonial incense, encouraging a moment of peace and reflection when burning. It should be expected that it will always go out after a while, then it’s best to burn it again.

Palo santo podstawka

There are several dishes that can be used as a burner for Palo Santo. A traditional one, that has been used for centuries is the Abalone shell, which should be mentioned – but we do not recommend using it due to its animal origin and ethical doubts related to obtaining this product.

A great alternative, however, is ceramics and its variety in terms of sizes, designs, and prices. When choosing a ceramic dish, however, it should be taken into account that not all ceramics are resistant to hot temperature and ash, which may result in permanent staining of the burner.

We recommend ceramic hands specially designed as incense holders and resistant to dirt: see the product.

Where to buy Palo Santo?

The most important thing to consider when deciding to purchase Palo Santo is its ethical origin. The market for natural incense keeps on growing, and the product is popular for its wonderful fragrance and properties. However, it is worth exploring the subject of the origin of the product before buying it, because with the growing interest, the availability of Palo Santo also increases, the quality of which leaves much to be desired. You can find products obtained illegally (without the appropriate certificate), of poor quality, of unknown origin, and artificially flavored.

How to know if Palo Santo is sustainable?

There are two differences – the first is the information provided by the company selling the product. Each company that has a high-quality, certified product will definitely inform about it in its online store. The second thing to note is the price. When buying Palo Santo, following the lowest price of the product will not be a good choice.

What to focus on when buying Palo Santo?

Whether the product is of
-Ethical origin
-Is the product certified?
-Country of origin – this should be Peru or Ecuador
-Only dead, naturally fallen trees should be harvested (live trees cannot be cut)
-The correct species name: Bursera graveolens

Palo santo - etycznie pozyskiwane
Palo Santo by Purnama Rituals: certified by SERFOR

Benefits & use of Palo Santo

Traditionally, it is also used as a natural remedy for colds and flu, as well as stress. It relieves asthma symptoms, headaches, anxiety, depression and reduces inflammation. Known for its calming effect, it also supports the immune and nervous systems, which aids faster recovery. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects, and also supports the fight against viral and fungal infections.

The uplifting scent creates the perfect atmosphere for meditation, yoga or breathwork. Raise your vibrations, find stillness and ground yourself to enter into a deeper connection with Earth and your inner consciousness.

Palo Santo is much more than just another trend or a pleasant fragrance, and that’s how it should be treated – with respect for its mysticism, properties and culture from which it comes.