About Palo Santo
Palo Santo only comes from trees that die and fall in a natural way. They are then dried for 3-5 years and compressed, secreting its oil and acquiring its medicinal and aromatic properties. Palo Santo sticks are often used for ritual burning, the darker colour bark of these branches and trees is often discarded but my new incense cones use this previous by-product, reducing waste and giving a richer scent than normal Palo Santo sticks.
Palo Santo is a sacred wood that has healing properties and is native to the coast of South America. In Spanish, Palo Santo means “holy wood” or wood of the saints. It is a strong medicine that has been popularised for its heavenly presence in keeping energies grounded and clear. The aroma from Palo Santo is just incredible, very fresh with hints of mint and citrus, proving to be one of the most fragrant woods. It confers extraordinary blessings to those who use it. Burn Palo Santo for healing or cleaning and as natural incense.
Is Palo Santo Endangered?
The Palo Santo you buy from House of Formlab is all from the Bursera Graveolens tree. This tree is not endangered. Bursera Graveolens – is not filed on CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Palo Santo is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of botanicals such as Bursera Graveolens, Bulnesia Sarmientoi (also known as Verawood) and Guaiacum (often abbreviated to Guaiac) which is where much of the confusion has begun. Only Bulnesia Sarmientoi (Verawood) and Guaiacum (Guaiac) are listed as an endangered species. Bursera Graveolens is not listed as an endangered species.
Palo Santo smudging sticks from the Bursera Graveolens tree are not cut from living trees. This is a prohibited practice as the species is considered sacred. The holy wood is harvested only if it has fallen naturally. The fallen wood then needs 3 to 5 years of drying to produce the right conditions for the oils to be released and for it to burn and smoke correctly. These trees are still considered vulnerable and a lot is being done to support the many small communities which rely on the industry.
Our Palo Santo Incense Cone supplier practices sustainable harvesting and only collects fallen wood from the Bursera Graveolens (not endangered) variety.
About Smudging & Smoke Cleansing
Smudging, the ritual burning of holy herbs or wood, is done to clear a space or person of negative energies. If your home feels stale or sad, if an argument has taken place and the air still hums with anger, if unpleasant energy lingers after a visitor – these are times to smudge. One may also smudge one’s self to banish anger, ailment, sadness or illness.
Our physical eyes can’t perceive the toxins and energies that are floating around in the air, but our physical, emotional and soul body can feel it. By burning wood or incense as the ancients did, we can purify our spaces, body, auras, and all crystals we store.
How to smoke cleanse in a (nut)shell.
Open a window when you do indoor smoking so that the energy can flow away. Once you’ve cleansed a space, and the stagnant energy has been dispelled the space is left with a vacuum. At this point, it’s important to fill the space with the energy of love and white light. You don’t want your space filled with random energy that floats around, right?! You can burn your favourite incense, use an essential oil spray or light up a stick of fragrant Palo Santo and call in your desired energies.
On your merry herbal burning way!