Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens), Spanish for “holy wood,” is a relaxing aromatic tree found in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and other South American countries. You can find it sold in it’s naturally wooden form, as essential oil and resin. The wood can be burned similarly to incense. Simply light, hold downward at an angle for about 30 seconds, blow out the flame and let it burn in a fire safe dish (like a miniature cast iron cauldron). You can burn the resin over activated charcoal and diffuse the oil. The oil can also be applied to the body once diluted. Palo Santo is also used as a perfume and can be made into a tea!
The relaxing aroma is mainly used to relieve pain and stress as well as clear away negative energy. It has a purifying effect on the mind, body and spirit. More specifically, it treats arthritis (anti-inflammatory), headaches, sore throats, colds, flues, asthma, bronchitis and emotional trauma.
It also repels mosquitos, ants, termites and flies. The oil contains limonene which is found in insect repellents.
Like sage, burning Palo Santo is capable of resetting negative energy and is thought to neutralize conflicts before they even start. When smudging, set your intention. What do you want to bring into the space? Creativity, joy, abundance, harmony?
Palo Santo Tea
Shave down one stick of wood. One teaspoon is recommended but you can add more for a stronger taste. Use one or two cups of hot water. Steep for about ten minutes before straining (or you can use a tea infuser). Palo Santo can be quite bitter so sweeten with honey, stevia or agave nectar.
You can add other teas like green or chamomile. Or try adding ginger or golden seal.
Enjoy your cup of tea while setting an intention, centering yourself, deepening your connection to the world around you, healing any ailments, invoking protection, or for an energy boost.