Palo Santo, meaning 'holy wood', is a unique and exotic type of tree (also known as Bursera graveolens) - its wood and resin are cultivated for its wild scent and robust healing properties. But why should we all take more of an interest in Palo Santo incense? Read on as we discuss 'Palo Santo Incense Benefits'.
What Is Palo Santo Incense?
Native to areas of South America, including Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, Palo Santo trees stand tall, some reaching heights of 65ft. These giant trees belong to the Burseraceae family alongside trees forming Frankincense and Myrrh (other popular aromatic resins). They grow in dry, tropical soil within forest land, and are seen as a symbol of holiness and sacredness.
Palo Santo wood, oil, and resin (extracted from the Palo Santo tree) have been cultivated for thousands of years. The Inca people in Peru would commonly use Palo Santo oil for culinary and medicinal purposes. And the resin as incense for enhancing spiritual rituals.
The Spanish Monks also explored Palo Santo, describing it as an object of spiritual confining. Perhaps this is why it is commonly known as the 'wood of the saints' by Spanish and religious people.
The ritual uses of Palo Santo incense have now been passed on to the Shamans in central and South America. As well as becoming popular amongst spiritual communities across the globe.
So, What is Palo Santo Incense?
Palo Santo incense comes in different forms including Sticks, Cones, Coils, and our favourite being, Natural Incense.
Incense Sticks: Incense sticks are an easy, cheap solution to incense burning. They consist of a combination of fragrant aromatics and combustible wood powders that form a paste. This is then set around a small stick, usually made from bamboo. Incense sticks produce a robust and pleasant aroma, however, most sticks available today have added chemicals which can be harmful to the body. This also applies to cones and coils.
Natural Incense: We may be biased, but we believe natural incense to be the best, all-rounded incense. So what is it? Natural incense is a combination of natural and aromatic substances sourced from various plant materials. These include, Resin - found within the bark of certain tropical trees, Essential oil - extracted from flowers, herbs, leaves, bark, fruit, spices, nuts, and seeds, and Botanicals - simply dried aromatic plant life. Natural incense is the most ancient form of incense burning, whilst also being the most healing, fragrant, and energising.
Palo Santo natural incense consists of burning its essential oil and resin, however, we like to mix things up by combining different scents. Cinnamon and Frankincense are great complimentary scents for Palo Santo.
For more on natural incense and how to burn it, Click here.
What Does Palo Santo Incense Smell Like?
Palo Santo incense has a multitude of fresh, sweet, woodsy, and earthly notes, a wonderful combination forming an overall healing and moreish fragrance. It is an incredibly soothing scent, with similarities to Cedarwood and Pine - this makes it a robust Root Chakra cleanser.
Palo Santo is popular within the yoga, pilates, reiki and holistic therapy communities thanks to its beautiful and tranquil essence.
Our Top 5 Favourite Palo Santo Incense Benefits...
1. Energy Cleansing
For centuries religious and spiritual practitioners have burned incense as a means to cleanse and heal energy - Palo Santo is wildly cleansing thanks to its soothing scent, natural medicinal properties, and uplifting vitality.
Ancient Shamans were one of the first to discover the healing effects of Palo Santo incense, using it to cleanse 'mala energía' - bad energy.
2. Stress Relieving
Palo Santo is the perfect scent for relieving stress and other co-siding issues such as anxiety, low energy, poor self-esteem, and negativity.
Our strongest sense is our sense of smell, which has a great influence on our general well-being - the healing scent of Palo Santo can positively impact our mood and help to align our Chakras.
So when should you burn Palo Santo to relieve stress?
- When studying
- During work or beforehand
- When preparing for stress-induced activities
- During meditation
- When organising
3. Mental Health Improving
As stated above, our sense of smell is our strongest sense... And using positive, natural scents as a form of 'therapy' (aromatherapy) is a great way to uplift energy, therefore improve our mental health.
So how else is burning Palo Santo incense going to benefit our mental health?
- Calms Breathing: When burning Palo Santo, you may experience a sense of relief and calm - This is a normal reaction to Palo Santo. Its soothing, earthly essence will help keep energy relaxed, breathing steady, and the mind level, thus allowing us to focus on things that bring us true peace. This can assist those who struggle with anxiety and panic attacks.
- Improves Positivity: Being a powerful negativity cleanser, natural Palo Santo incense can help to clear the mind from unhelpful, untrue, and self-deprecating thoughts. Breathing in its summery fragrance can brighten moods and spirits, leaving us feeling great, or even just a little bit better than before.
Palo Santo may help to improve our mental health, however, it also might not be the solution for you. And that is so alright - we are all unique and different in how we heal. It is always important to consult with a medical professional beforehand!
4. Sleep Healing
Palo Santo incense is SO relaxing it can even improve sleep!
Burning it before bedtime can help to prepare the body and mind for the night to come, thus making us feel relaxed and sleepy. It can also help reduce nightmares, so make sure to burn it alongside your dreamcatcher to ensure maximum dream protection.
It is important to note that you should NOT burn any type of incense whilst sleeping, however, an hour beforehand is ideal.
5. Natural Insect Repellent
Palo Santo incense acts as a natural insect-repelling solution.
The robust aroma of Palo Santo resin may be more than pleasant to us, however, insects such as mosquitos, flies, and ants, would think otherwise.
Palo Santo essential oil is full of 'limonene', a chemical found in some plants and fruit skins and known for its insect repelling properties.
Pain Relieving: Some studies suggest that Palo Santo oil can relieve pains and aches within the body. Thus thanks to its naturally anti-inflammatory properties. Arthritis symptoms, muscle strain, migraines, and headaches are all commonly eased by applying, consuming, or burning Palo Santo oil.
Physiotherapists and holistic healers burn Palo Santo and other healing scents during their sessions - thanks to the tension-relieving and calming effects of Palo Santo many feel satisfied. Some studies have even found that Palo Santo can help with cold and flu symptoms such as a sore throat and blocked naval, however, more research is needed and contradictions have been made.
Promotes Creativity: Creative blocks can feel stressful and long-lasting, luckily, Palo Santo is one of our favourite inspiration-enhancing scents, perfect for getting you out of any creative slump.
Burning the sweet and woodsy scent of Palo Santo can inspire new colours and thoughts - this makes it a perfect scent for artists and writers.
Strengthens Throat Chakra: When your Throat Chakra is out of alignment, or weakened, you may find it hard to express and communicate - you may also find it hard to connect to your spiritual and creative self.
Palo Santo incense can help strengthen the Throat Chakra, thus potentially healing issues on and around the throat area. You may feel more vocal and intuitive; you may also find it easier to communicate and express feelings and thought.
Aligns Heart Chakra: A strong Heart Chakra manifests with feelings of love, lust, passion, and empathy. You may find your relationships are better and your confidence is shining.
Burning Palo Santo is a great libido-increasing and heart-strengthening fragrance.
Palo Santo is a must-have home scent and spiritual cleanser. All its wonderful benefits add to the well-established charm and bright essence of Palo Santo.
However, being a less heard of incense scent, once you find it, it becomes many people's all-time favourite... And it's not hard to see why!