Burn Baby, Burn
Palo Santo, translating from Spanish to mean “holy wood,” is one of the most fragrant woods in the world. The Palo Santo tree, endemic to South America, is related to both related to both frankincense and myrrh. These days, you can often find the sweet, citrus, aroma of burning Palo Santo in yoga studios, holistic healing centers, and homes across the world. But what is the history of Palo Santo? The burning of palo santo has been used for centuries by Shamans and the Incas as a sacred practice to cleanse, heal, and ward of bad spirits. It is believed that the burning of palo santo can help center you, while simultaneously cleanse the air and space around you.
The Palo Santo tree is native to South America, and in is mostly used in communities along the Andes Mountains.
According to The Healing Art of Essential Oils by Kac Young, PhD, palo santo is so sacred in Ecuador that it’s illegal to chop down the trees. In fact, the act of even harvesting a dead palo santo tree requires a special government permit, which is rarely given out in order to protect the trees and their potent properties. It’s also said that the wood of the palo santo tree is of no use unless it died of natural causes.
Both the wood and the precious essential oil it produces are considered important conduits for healing. Indigenous cultures believe that the palo santo tree possesses magical qualities and that palo santo oil is a representation of the ancient spirits within the tree that produced it—which is why it’s such a deeply rooted age-old remedy.
So, if you received your Winter Bold Box, you will be happy to know that your palo santo is ethical, Ecuadorian-approved, and sustainable.
Here are some benefits of burning Palo Santo:
- Cleansing - the burning, or smudging, of palo santo is believed to be the most potent of available natural herbs in terms of it’s ability to lift negative ions. It is used in a similar way to how Native Americans burn white sage. The lifting of negative ions can help cleanse a space, lift one’s mood, and detoxify the air.
- Healing and Pain Relief - according to Bodhi Tree, palo santo has been used for remedying various conditions, such as common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches and inflammation by smudging and making teas and tinctures with the wood and essential oils. It’s a rich source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, also known as terpenes, such as limonene and α-terpineol. In concentrated oil form, palo santo is effective in fighting free radical damage, and helping to relieve arthritis pain, stomach aches, and a host of other ailments.
- Anxiety - when the smoke of palo santo is inhaled, it is processed by the brain’s olfactory system, which stimulate the body’s natural relaxation response
HOW TO BURN:
1. Take a lighter or match and ignite the tip of the palo santo stick, holding it at a 45 degree angle
2. Let the palo santo burn for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then blow out
3. Walk around your space, or wherever you are choosing to burn the palo santo, and let the aromatic smoke disperse
4. when finished, place the palo santo in a fire proof bowl, glass, or jar
5. Breathe deeply, relax, enjoy!