Palo santo essential oil facts and benefits

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Palo santo essential oil facts and benefits

Palo Santo essential oil Quick Facts
Name: Palo Santo essential oil
Scientific Name: Bursera graveolens
Origin Native South American tree from countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.
Colors Clear to pale yellow to light brown
Palo santo oil comes from the dead heartwood of the palo santo tree which grows on the coast of South America- also known as the “holy wood”. It must be at least two years old and come from the red wood to produce high quality oil. The longer the tree is dead the more powerful the oil. It is related to frankincense which can also be found in yogandha ground.

Palo Santo oil is a true aromatic treasure and a Floracopeia staple. It is renowned for its distinctive uplifting fragrance and its distinct healing powers. Palo Santo Essential Oil is rich in limonene. A natural purifier, use it in your diffuser to keep you and your family healthy through the winter months. Palo Santo oil is among the best oils to use via direct palm inhalation for its clearing and inspiring properties. It has settling, calming and grounding qualities, thus making it a great supporter for maintaining emotional equanimity, as well as a superb oil for spiritual upliftment.

Origin of Palo Santo Essential Oil

Palo santo essential oil comes from the palo santo tree, which has a botanical name of Bursera graveolens. The tree is native to Central America and is widely grown in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and the Galapagos.

The largest producer of this essential oil is Ecuador, where the trees are protected by environmental laws. It is illegal to cut down the trees, or even harvest the branches. The oil is extracted from deadfall and any remains of the dead trees, but even that requires a special permit from the government. In Peru, the citizens are allowed to gather fallen branches and twigs, but this activity is also regulated by the government. Just like in Ecuador, the Peruvians are not allowed to cut the trees or branches.

In South America, palo santo is traditionally used against “bad energies”, and would often be placed inside a home to cleanse it from any negativities or bad luck. Shavings of palo santo is burned by a shaman (medicine man) during rituals as the smoke is said to clear misfortunes and drive away evil spirits. The charcoal is also used in rituals to blotch the faces of the participants to cleanse their sprits.

Even today, palo santo is still used as incense for its purifying properties. Its essential oil is extensively used in aromatherapy, where it is diffused or applied to the base of the skull or on the spine to induce relaxation and remove stress.

Traditional uses and benefits of Palo Santo Essential Oil

  • Add several drops and apply as a cold compress to soothe and relax any specific area of the body.
  • Use a few drops in steaming water as vapor therapy. Its effects are very clarifying and pleasant.
  • Blend palo santo oil with any massage oil to relax tension and strain in the body, and provide comprehensive support.
  • The combination of Palo Santo with German Chamomile is very effective for all sorts of inflammations and with arthritis pain.
  • Palo Santo is traditionally used as an antiseptic and to remove impurities from the skin and body and home in South America.
  • It is a great oil for skin infections and helpful in cases of acne especially when combined with other skin healing essential oils like Carrot Seed, Helichrysum Italicum, and Manuka.
  • Palo Santo is used for calming panic attacks and anxiety.
  • It is a mood uplifter and quite helpful with depression especially when combined with other anti-depressive oil such as Blood Orange, Frankincense or Neroli.
  • Palo Santo oil has been used to massage the head and body.
  • Apply a few drops of Palo Santo topically to your temples, the nape of your neck, your heart, or the soles of your feet while meditating to ward off negative emotions.
  • Add a few drops of Palo Santo to your favorite lotion and apply before leaving the house to enjoy its woodsy scent throughout your day.
  • In aromatherapy sessions, it is used to treat panic attacks and anxiety.
  • It is also used for osteoporosis because it helps to build the bones, helping them to regenerate and build strength.
  • Applied on your skin, it helps to restore damaged skin and it helps to recuperate soft tendons injuries.
  • Massage therapist use this oil as a tool for relaxing massages and reducing inflammation, as it reduces muscular discomfort and helps improve swollen joints.
  • It is also helpful for some the most common respiratory infections such as asthma, cold, and flu.
  • Palo santo can be applied topically, as a compress, in the bath, through direct inhalation, or diffuser.
  • Add to carrier oil for an allover massage to support immune system function and healthy joints and muscles.
  • Use a few drops in vapor therapy to support immune function during cold and flu season.
  • Direct palm inhalation of one to two drops can be used to uplift the mood, calm and settle the mind, and promote a sense of peace (a drop of frankincense may also be added).
  • Diffuse Palo santo to ground, settle and calm the body, mind and spirit.
  • Diffuse with a few drops of lemon and one drop of peppermint to improve concentration.

Other Facts

  • It is a good repellent for mosquitoes and other insects.

Precautions

  • Do not take Palo Santo essential oil internally.
  • Possible skin sensitivity.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Pregnant women should avoid taking Palo santo oil because it may enhance uterine contractions.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

How to use Palo Santo

Dilute 50:50 with any carrier oil such as apricot kernel, sweet almond, grape seed or fractionated coconut oil to avoid skin sensitization and irritation.

  • Once diluted apply topically to pulse points and third eye to ground and calm you
  • Diffuse in home or office to cleanse and protect you
  • Use with yoga or during meditation to connect with your spirit and stay focused
  • Simmer in hot water and drink as a tea
  • Can be used on your dog to treat growths, fleas and ticks (consult your vet if unsure)

Palo Santo oil Facts

The essential oil is distilled from the heartwood of the Palo Santo tree. It is fascinating that the heartwood must be at least two years old and be from the red wood to produce the higher quality oil. The longer the tree is dead the more powerful the oil. It is related to frankincense which can also be found in yogandha ground. Palo Santo is said to have an emotionally uplifting and balancing effect. Often used for shamanic ritual, it is a valuable tool for meditation, enhancing creativity, and for tasks requiring sustained concentration. With a softness and sweetness similar to some species of frankincense, it is an ideal additive to massage oils.

Name Palo santo essential oil
Scientific Name Bursera graveolens
Native Native South American tree from countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.
Oil Color Clear to pale yellow to light brown
Flavor/Aroma Sweet, woody, citrusy and slightly minty.
Plant Parts Used Aged dead wood from fallen trees
Method of Extractions Steam Distillation
Commonly Blended with
  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Myrrh
  • Rose Otto
  • Douglas fir
  • Bergamot
  • Patchouli
  • Neroli
  • Lavender
  • Vetiver
  • Tangerine
  • Pine
  • Palmarosa
  • Spikenard
  • Ambrette
  • Amyris
  • Balsam of Peru
  • Buddha Wood
  • Guaiacwood
  • Orange Sweet
  • Siam Wood
Approx. Shelf Life 3 – 4 years
Traditional Uses and benefits
  • Apply a few drops of Palo Santo topically to your temples, the nape of your neck, your heart, or the soles of your feet while meditating to ward off negative emotions.
  • Add a few drops of Palo Santo to your favourite lotion and apply before leaving the house to enjoy its woodsy scent throughout your day.
  • In aromatherapy sessions, it is used to treat panic attacks and anxiety. 
  • It is also used for osteoporosis because it helps to build the bones, helping them to regenerate and build strength.
  • Applied on your skin, it helps to restore damaged skin and it helps to recuperate soft tendons injuries.
Other Facts
  • It is a wonderful repellent for mosquitoes and other insects.
Precautions
  • Avoid use during pregnancy.
  • Do not use Palo Santo essential oil internally.
 

References:

http://www.floracopeia.com/Essential-Oils/essential-oils-sub/wild-harvested-palo-santo-oil.html

http://thearomablog.com/how-to-use-palo-santo-essential-oil/

https://www.palosantowood.com/oil/

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