We're always looking for new ways to relax, tap into our inner peace, and just practice self-care. Palo santo is a vintage source that's turning into more than just a new trend to accomplish all of the above. Palo santo is Spanish for "holy wood" and is found on a tree called Bursera graveolens that grows in South American countries like Peru and Ecuador. Incans traditionally believed the smoke that stems from the wood as it's burned during ceremonies had medicinal benefits. Today, whether you spray its scent from a perfume bottle, inhale it as an essential oil, or indulge in it from a candle, the benefits of palo santo are still very present.
The Benefits Of Using Palo Santo:
Palo santo has been compared to sage for several reasons; one of them being that they both offer relaxing results. Palo santo is said to have cleansing properties that ward off negative energy when a stick of it is burned and waved.
Gets Rid Of The Common Cold
Like many essential oils, when palo santo oil is placed in hot water and inhaled, it can reduce symptoms of the common cold like inflammation and congestion. Here's a bonus: It can also relieve stomach aches, bloating, cramping, and nausea.
Headaches, Be Gone
Yes, palo santo oil has a reputation for reducing headaches when combined with a carrier oil and rubbed on the temple of your head. Even when put in a diffuser or rubbed as a stick, palo santo oil can serve as a natural remedy for headaches.
Move Back, Bugs
Who knew palo santo could also work as a bug repellant? Smudging palo santo keeps away pesky insects like mosquitoes - and because it doesn't include any toxic chemicals and products, it's harmless for you and the bugs. So, it's a win-win.
The smoke that comes from smudging palo santo can help you get a good night's sleep with its therapeutic antidotes. Burning a little before bed can help your body relax and reduce stress, getting you ready for a much-needed solid night of rest.
How To Use Palo Santo:
While palo santo comes with a nice handful of benefits, there are multiple ways you can use it to make sure it serves the purpose you really need. If you have an actual stick of palo santo, light it with a candle (pointing the tip 45 degrees down to the flame) and let it burn for roughly 30 seconds before blowing it out. You can then place it in a candle holder or keep it in your hand.
Smudging is another method to take advantage of palo santo to get rid of negative energy. Many people start at their front door and make their way through their space to cleanse the home of any unwanted vibes.
A Final Note About Palo Santo:
Lastly, it's vital to note that the palo santo tree is on the endangered watch-list. The United Plant Savers Medical Plant Conservation has stated that there are less than 250 full-grown trees in the wild, and the amount continues to dip (but isn't heading for extinction yet).
It's also advised that palo santo and other trees that are popularly used for sage and smudging (i.e. white sage, sweetgrass, and cedar), are extremely sacred to the Indigenous community and should be used as more than a trend. One option is to purchase palo santo from a viable and ethical company and business that support farmers that harvest the herb.
Alternatives for palo santo that could have the same benefits include lavender, rosemary, European sage, juniper, mint, and dill.
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