What about Palo Santo?
Palo santo is a sacred tree native to South America. Native Latin American cultures have used its wood for centuries in traditional healing and spiritual ceremonies.
A cousin of both frankincense and myrrh, Palo Santo literally means "holy tree," an apt name given its history. When burning, the aromatic wood emits notes of lemon, mint and pine - an uplifting, earthy aroma.
Shamans and healers have traditionally used the energetic and healing properties of Palo Santo to purify the air, dispel evil spirits and purify negative energy. The wood has also long been used medicinally to relieve cold and flu symptoms, depression, emotional pain and other ailments.
Interestingly, these properties are only possible when the Palo Santo tree itself dies naturally and is allowed to decompose while lying in the ground for five to eight years. This process gives the oils in the wood enough time to fully mature before the prematurely harvested wood is processed into essential oils. Real Palo Santo essential oil is very expensive!
How to use Palo Santo?
Palo Santo is most commonly used in 3 ways, as an essential oil, as incense (stick, stick) and as incense resin!
Palo Santo Oil:
Typically, palo santo oil is inhaled during aromatherapy. This method is often used in yoga, meditation, or other stress-relieving activities.
The oil can also be applied to the skin. This method is usually used for pain relief.
Palo Santo Sticks:
The sticks are burned as incense. When burned, it emits aromatic smoke into the air. Palo Santo shavings (chips) and powder are used in the same way.
Palo Santo resin:
Like palo santo wood, the resin is used as incense. It is placed on a heated charcoal disc in a resin burner, which releases the aroma of the resin.
Palo Santo is used to:
- Repel mosquitoes and other insects,
- Soothes during anxiety,
- Relieves headaches,
- Increase positive energy and a sense of happiness,
- Clear crystals and accessories,
- Cleanse the space of negative energy and creatures.
What is Quality Palo Santo?
To get the best Palo Santo quality, the wood must be harvested in a specific way. The tree reaches maturity at the age of 50 to 70 years. Once a tree dies a natural death, it must be left for at least five to eight years to allow the oils in the heartwood to mature enough to produce quality incense.
A couple of ways to tell if Palo Santo is real or synthetic:
- There may be black smoke when you light the wood, but once it starts to smoke like incense, the smoke should be light. If the smoke is still black, it is probably oil soaked.
- Remember, it's still a tree! It should have a bit of a burning and woody aroma, also that characteristic Palo Santo aroma - quite mild and pleasant. If the aroma is super strong and you practically don't smell the smoke - maybe it is additionally flavored, or very very high quality, but remember - it must be dark.
- When burning, you can put it on a white plate, the higher the quality of the stick, the more traces of essential oil it will leave. Artificial oils will evaporate/burn off and leave no residue! It should be mentioned, though, that the wood may be authentic, but contain very little oil because it has not been properly matured!
This natural incense is very interesting, this is one of the rare products that is not highly aesthetic in order to be of high quality!
Because Palo Santo matures its scent while in the ground, the wood tends to become infested with insects. In fact, it is one of the indicators that the wood is really harvested ready and remember - the darker the wood, the stronger its smell!
Is Palo Santo an endangered species?
There are rumors that Palo Santo will die out and that there are only 250 trees left. It is not true!
There are two types of trees known as the "holy tree", or Palo Santo. But they belong to different plant orders/species.
The first - Bulnesia Sarmientoi Palo Santo tree, native to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. It has a gorgeous reddish color and is mainly used to make furniture. Unfortunately, this type of Palo Santo is threatened with extinction and needs to be protected and its forests restored.
The second - Palo Santo, which has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, is from the Bursera Graveolens tree (native to Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, and elsewhere. That's right, those areas have a lot of fallen branches because it's the dominant tree in their regions). They are beautiful, warm-smelling, tawny trees whose incense you may recognize yourself!
2019.In December 2015, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reviewed the conservation status of Bursera Graveolens Palo Santo and marked it as "non-significant".
The Palo Santo we buy for Crystal Power products comes from a family business in Ecuador that harvests only mature tree branches. Because of this, they tend to be darker (which, by the way, only makes the wood more fragrant), have wormholes and uneven shapes. We are all about ethically harvested and real Palo Santo!
Beware of synthetic Palo Santo where chemicals are used to produce the characteristic Palo Santo smell!
Not all perfect Palo Santos are synthetic, but when you see perfectly shaped sticks in the store, it's worth making sure they're authentic! Palo Santo has an irregular shape, similar to an apple tree, so you can imagine how "easy" it would be in reality to get such perfect sticks, but of course, we do everything to get you the most beautiful and fragrant incense sticks possible!
You can buy our Palo Santo Here.