Palo Santo, the Sacred Wood, is a New World relative of Frankincense and Myrrh. It is at home in the seasonally dry forests found between the Yucatan Peninsula and the coastal regions of Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru. Like its Levantine cousins, Palo Santo is a rich source of essential oils. Its fragrant wood has been used as incense and medicine since pre-Colonial times. The wood is collected from dead trees, and the collection is government regulated to ensure sustainable harvesting. Both the wood and the fruit are steam distilled to produce essential oils, each with differing characteristics.
Palo Santo Essential Oil has analgesic properties that have been used to treat rheumatic pains and stomach aches. In the Amazon, it is also used as an insect repellent. Palo Santo has a unique uplifting, calming and relaxing scent well suited to dispel anxiety and stress. In times of transitions or in situations that demand flexible adaptation, it can offer both grounding and uplifting qualities that help mobilise coping resources.
Nomen est omen – the name of this tree reveals its inner character. No wonder it has always been used in ceremonies and rituals. Traditionally, the wood has been burned as incense. The essential oil, added to water, can be used as a sprinkler to purify the ceremonial space or cleanse ritual tools. It is a powerful ingredient in magical perfumery and especially helpful in blends that mark transitions or the rites of passage.
The steam-distilled oil has a middle or ‘heart’ note fragrance. It is warm, balsamic and woody, yet also uplifting and refreshing. The scent is uniquely comforting. It blends well with Frankincense, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, and Vetivert.