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All to know about Palo Santo

February 12, 2021 4 min read

All to know about Palo Santo

Palo Santo is one of the favourite health and wellness products that we sell at our online shop. Some of you may have never heard of Palo Santo, while others love to burn this wooden incense stick in their homes. The sacred wood has many benefits and a very rich history.

As part of the citrus family, the Palo Santo tree has a soft fragrance of pine, mint and lemon. Its wood can be used in the form of essential oil, resin or by burning the wood sticks. In this blog, we’ll dive into what Palo Santo is, the benefits, and guide you on how to use it.

Buy ethically-sourced Palo Santo here.

burning palo santo

Where is Palo Santo from?

Did you know that using Palo Santo is not a new phenomenon? Palo Santo is a tree that is native to South American countries such as Peru and Ecuador where the best conditions can be found within dry tropical forests. 

Translated from Spanish to mean Holy Wood, the wood, resin, and oil from the tree have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. One of the most popular methods of using the tree is by burning the wood, in the form of sticks, chips or powder.

What are the benefits of Palo Santo?

While there is no scientific proof of the benefits, there’s a reason that Palo Santo has been used for centuries.

Here are some of the best-known benefits of Palo Santo,

  • Repel mosquitos

When burned, the fragranced smoke is known to deter ants, termites, flies and mosquitoes. The essential oil also has properties of insecticide and can be used as a natural insect repellent, and ideal during our hot summer nights to keep the mozzies at bay. 

  • Alleviate pain

There have been reports of Palo Santo bringing about various forms of pain relief. This includes relief from arthritis, headache, throat pain and other anti-inflammatory conditions. The associated benefits are mostly theoretical and anecdotal but are continuously used by those who see and feel a difference. 

  • Decrease stress

The calming effect that is brought on by the fragrance is known to support the immune and nervous system and help to reduce stress. Palo Santo is often burned before meditating to set up a relaxing space and creating an ideal environment for meditation or yoga.

  • Cleansing a space of negative energy

Palo Santo is often used for spiritual purification and energy cleansing in the home, yoga studio, healing centres and therapy rooms. It is believed that the burning of the smoke clears negative energy in any space and restores a sense of peace, tranquility, clarity, clear energy and calm.

palo santo burning

How to use Palo Santo?

We sell Palo Santo in a bundled pack of four wooden incense sticks for R120. These sticks have a long burning time and one stick could last you weeks, if you burn it daily, for a little while. You do not burn the entire stick at once, but rather just burn it for a short while.  

Burning Palo Santo is a fairly straightforward process, and here are the main steps. 

  1. Use a candle, lighter or matches to light your stick of Palo Santo by holding it at a 45-degree angle, facing downward to the flame.
  2. Let the stick burn for 30 - 45 seconds and then blow it out.
  3. A stream of smoke will rise from the burned end of the stick and fill the space, eliciting a gorgeous scent and woody aroma.
  4. Hold the stick in your hand or place it in an incense holder and walk around the room, letting the smoke waft, or just sit and share the smoke in a ritual motion. It also helps to set a specific intention while smudging, so you could commit your intention for example for cleansing, upliftment or healing - or whatever the intention is that you wish to evoke. To revive the embers, give it a gentle blow, or relight it. 

Make sure that you don’t let the flame burn on the stick for more than a few seconds. The smoke should come from embers and not a lit stick.

palo santo and sage

The difference between Palo Santo and sage smudge

We also sell a range of smudge sticks that serve the same purpose but are better for larger spaces. Our smudge range includes Open Heart, Protect, Healing, Meditation and other healing and wellness options.  Smudge is made from the leaves of the sage and other plants indigenous to South Africa, like impepho, and burns a much stronger scent.

You can read more about sage smudge and its benefits here.

Time to create a positive space

We sell both smudge and palo santo at our online shop, with the hope and intention that it will create a positive, safe and sacred space in your home. 

Read more tips on how to improve wellness in the home.

Each of our products is locally made in South Africa, with each purchase supporting a small, local business. Our products promote wellness, sustainability and inspire us to live better lives, take more care of ourselves and our loved ones and mindfully contribute. 

Everything is handmade with love and care, from us to you.  If you have any questions about our products or have a range of products that you’d like to be considered for our online shop please reach out to Lindy at lindy@mzansibeautiful.com.

Thank you for your support, we appreciate every one of you.

Candice Land
Candice Land



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