Cleansing with Palo Santo Wood
Palo santo is one of the most fragrant woods in the world. Its sweet scent of pine, mint, and lemon has, for centuries, been a harbinger of healing and good fortune. Shamans, saints, and those seeking a stronger spiritual connection with the world use palo santo to protect and experience. Here are ten of the incredible benefits palo santo offers:
1. Spiritual purifying and energy cleansing.
For centuries the indigenous people of the Andes have been using palo santo for spiritual purification and energy cleansing. When the wood is burned it’s believed to clear negative energy and restore tranquility and calm.
2. Inspiring creativity and bringing love and good fortune.
Burn palo santo sticks or use the charcoal for smudging that will welcome creativity, love, and good fortune into your space. The wood can help brighten energy and promote feelings of positivity and joy. The scent is also shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance clarity and concentration.
3. Bringing a deeper connection to the divine source.
If meditation is the yin, palo santo is the yang. The uplifting scent is the perfect partner for your meditation practice. Raise your vibration, and discover peace and groundedness as you sink into a deeper connection to the Earth and your inner consciousness.
4. Physical healing.
Palo santo tea (made by simmering the wood in hot water) acts as a natural digestive aid. The oil can be added to soaps, scrubs, and lotions to cleanse and moisturize the skin. The wood also contains high concentrations of a compound called d-limonene, which is thought to aid in the prevention of a variety of cancers.
5. Energetic protection and the removal of negativity.
When used for smudging or burning, palo santo can eliminate negative energy, creating a calmer, more tranquil space. Set an intention about what you want to clear out of your space, then move from corner to corner, removing any bad energy, uplifting your spirit, and filling your home with good fortune.
6. The enticing and clarifying palo santo scent.
Can we wax on a bit here about the remarkable, lasting scent of a palo santo smudge? For our kitchens and bedrooms, vehicles and workspaces, the brightness of citrus, marked with the ancient notes of its natural heritage, bring a uniquely clarifying scent to every space. The benefit of burning palo santo wood in a smudging practice is its lingering scent.
7. Mobility of use while in travel modes.
Unlike a sage bundle, palo santo wood is graciously proportioned for spiritual seekers who spend ample time away from home. Palo santo sticks are well-paired with car rides, hikes and other travel experiences. People are known to cleanse their hotel rooms before sleep for a more peaceful, deepened rest.
8. Vibrational cleansing and renewal for crystals.
Crystals do much of the heavy lifting in the work of drawing out negative energy. Like humans, crystals benefit from a ritualistic cleansing to maintain their best qualities. Integrating a smudging practice every 2-3 days for your rose quartz, amethyst, jasper, citrine, or other crystal types, is a lovely way to keep your crystals primed for their true power.
9. Calming the mind and mental ailments.
The symptoms and causes of depression, anxiety and sleep disorders are complex. Palo santo wood does not boast a cure, but a smudging or essential oil practice integrated as part of a larger healing plan can provide some relief. Consider it aromatherapy; releasing a calming scent to the olfactory and limbic systems of the body and brain and in turn creating a sense of relaxation and calm.
10. Warding off unwelcome insects in the summer
Smudging in the summertime provides the additional benefit of warding off mosquitoes in a natural, non-harmful way. Palo santo features volatile oils and aromatic resins that communicate a warning sign to pesky bugs, but without the harsh chemicals of products such as DEET.
There is a lot of misinformation going around about Palo Santo. The living trees are not cut down to be harvested, it's only ever collected from the forest floor from dead or broken pieces. These pieces of wood have to be cured for a long period of time.
My supplier is an advocate for Palo Santo habitat conservation and export regulation which ensures that no no cut wood is ever being sold. They also plant thousands of trees each year. It's actually habitat loss, not over-harvesting that threatens the Palo Santo trees the most. So that means if there's no demand for or profit for Palo Santo, the forest in which they grow will surely be razed for farming or livestock grazing land.
Don't stop loving Palo Santo.