Palo Santo, known among the indigenous people of Ecuador as “the tree that perfumes the axe that wounds”, reminds us of a universal mystery, expressed in the symbols of a paradox: encountering pain or being frightened by death is a secret key to opening the gates of a possible resurrection.
It bears in itself the reward of a healing substance with its astonishing fragrance gained as a gift from undergoing the accepted “torture” of an inevitable decay. The tree, whose lifespan is limited by the presence of an insect naturally dies after a period of about 100 years of growth. Lying untouched on the ground it takes 4-10 years of maturation until it develops the precious resin from the deadfall through a special biochemical metamorphosis.
So referring to the union of death and rebirth the resin rich heartwood of the tree marks the line of a transition not only within the natural seasonal rhythms but also within the human life-cycle in general.
Ancient native traditions prescribe healing rituals of Palo Santo wood fumigations to remove negative energies and ensure “good luck”. It is also used for clearing the atmosphere in homes and as an insect repellent, the smoke of the burning wood reveals a realm of some very profound and practical applications within daily life.
The spicy scent of the tree radiates the embracing warmth of a very special wood with overtones of a light herbal, mint-like freshness.
Palo Santo is an aromatic wild-growing tree which belongs to the same Torchwood family like Myrrh, Frankincense or Copal. The name means “holy wood” and refers to an age-old healing practice structured in the knowledge and ceremonial tradition of South- and Mesoamerican shamans or “curanderos”. The tree is native to the tropical forests of Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Beside its former applications it is a rather new development that modern aromatherapy has put its focus on Palo Santo and the essential oil derived from it.
This magical liquid jewel is obtained by steam-distillation from the concentrated resin of the deadfall. In some small communities even the fruits of the tree are distilled in order to obtain another essential oil version of this beautiful tree.
From a medicinal level, due to certain chemical compounds such as limonene, carvone and others, Palo Santo has proven its benefit as an invaluable antiseptic instrument for the treatment of various injuries such as sprains, joint pains, wounds and others. It is also applied in special therapeutic formulas as a remedy against colds, respiratory diseases and headaches.
On the psychospiritual level Palo Santo assists in subtle energy work for meditation. It raises the mood of the practitioner and on the emotional level helps against depression and fear imbuing trust into hidden traumatic layers. Used in massage therapy the subtle energies of the essential oil work together to bring balance within the chakra system and enhance the electromagnetic field of the human aura.
Indigenous cultures say that the spirit of Palo Santo materializes itself in the essential oil and is responsible for its power and its healing properties.
How to Use it:
As a non-skin irritant it can be used directly on the skin for example the wrist the neck and the temples.
As a massage oil: Mixed with a carrier oil (i.e. sweet Almond oil, Sacha Inchi etc.) Also in combination with there essential oils such as Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood and other wood and resinous oils.
As a room fragrance: Also in combination with other essential oils.
As a meditation enhancer: Alone or in combination with other essential oils.
When traveling: A few drops placed on the wrists and back of the neck as a protective shield against environmental influences.
Palo Santo Hydrolat
As always in the distillation process this wonderful Palo Santo wood yields a beautiful hydrolat.
How to Use it:
As a Meditation Enhancer: Use as an ‘aura’ mist before yoga, meditation, etc.
Benefits: Help to ground and calms the mind.
Creativity Mist: Use as an ‘aura’ mist.
Benefits: Both calms the nervous system and awakens mental faculties. Great for work spaces to stimulate creativity and inspiration.
How to Make a Hot or Cold Compress: Saturate washcloth with 1/2 bottle cold or warm Palo Santo hydrolate. Ring out. Fold washcloth flat and place on the chest. Leave on for 10 minutes or more. Repeat as often as desired. *Using more hydrolat for your compress or diluting it with water (up to 1/2) is also an option.
Benefits: To clear the lungs and support breathing.
As a Clearing Room Spray: Spray around any environment many times a day.
Benefits: Enhances connection and uplifts the spirit. Purify from any negative energy. Very useful in hotel room and on hotel mattress to clear all the ancient energy of previous guests.
As a Yoga Mat Spray: Spray on, leave on for 1 minute and wipe off. Refreshes and purifies stale mats.
*Please test patch your particular mat first for compatibility.