Sacred Scents from Mother Earth
Palo Santo - Bursera Graveolens
When it comes to incense, Palo Santo is one of the most popular varieties in the world. We import pieces, grounds, powder, resin and pure incense sticks. All of our products are premium quality.
Latin name: Bursera graveolens
Harvest location: Peru
Scent: warm, woody, sweet and balsamic notes with nuances of vanilla and citrus
The Palo Santo tree grows primarily in Peru and Ecuador. It has smooth, grey bark and shining green leaves. Botanically, Palo Santo (or Bursera Graveolens) is related to frankincense and myrrh, as they both belong to the family Burseraceae — the balsam tree plants. They are not quite siblings but certainly cousins.
Palo Santo is considered holy by the people native to the land and is worshipped as a living being. We can find this respect for nature in all indigenous cultures. Palo Santo is subdivided into male and female. The female trees live for around 40-50 years before dying, after which they’re harvested for incense. The male trees have a heavier, yellowish bark; they cannot be used for incense, as they don’t contain enough essential oils.
As the tree is a living being respected by the indigene nations, it is forbidden to fell the tree. After a period of 40 to 50 years, the tree naturally dies and falls over. It then rests on the ground for at least two years before the wood is harvested.
The name Palo Santo was given by monks who were astonished at the tree’s healing properties, dubbing it “holy wood”. I believe Palo Santo lives up to its divine title, as it imbues a holy effect, both spiritually and medicinally.
The scent of Palo Santo is very versatile, making it difficult to describe. Over 100 different essential oils and terpenes have been verified, which is why the scent is so manifold and complex. The incense has a freshness akin to mint and eucalyptus, a woody component reminiscent of pine, and a delicate note that brings lavender to mind.
Anyone who has burned Palo Santo knows about the cleansing, blessing and healing power infused within the smoke. It’s no surprise then that Palo Santo is a celebrated incense used by shamans. They’ve used it in rituals of the indigene nations for centuries to cleanse the room before a ceremony and to banish harmful ghosts.
Thanks to its mystical and blessing properties, Palo Santo can also be used to perform magic, as it brings about a peaceful atmosphere within the room and our own spirits. It helps to facilitate spiritual and energetic practices, such as meditation.
You can burn Palo Santo directly, which makes it perfect for incense. The first time you light it, you’ll need to blow on it lightly to keep the ember alive before it starts burning on its own. The wood needs to be in contact with the flame for at least 30 seconds before it’ll burn in earnest. It’s easiest to use Palo Santo in the form of pre-cut pieces, incense sticks or powder, which can be added to charcoal before burning.
The uses of Palo Santo are not limited to burning. It’s a wonderful bug repellent in the summertime. It also helps protect your clothes from moths; just place 2-4 pieces of the incense in your closet. Not only will it help banish the moths, but your clothes will also be left with a wonderful aroma. The essential oil derived from Palo Santo is a natural deodorant with a lovely scent. You can also use it as a natural perfume.
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