Palo Santo is a tree that grows on the coast of South America, it is from the same family as Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal. Palo Santo a Spanish name literally means “Holy Wood.” The Palo Santo trees unlike hundreds of year old trees live only for 80 to 90 years. After their natural death, the tree remains in its natural habitat for 4 to 10 years to complete its metamorphosis. It is only then that its mystical properties come alive.
Live trees are never cut. Only the fallen trees and branches can be collected and must be allowed to dry and cure for a period of 3-5 years. During this time, a chemical transformation takes place and the sap, once fluid in the living tree, begins to crystallize and form deposits giving the Palo Santo its prized grains of orange and gold.
The fallen branches and twigs of the tree are harvested to use for smudging, today Palo Santo Sticks have become sought after to wore off negativity in ones home - for many centuries shamans have burned Palo Santo sticks in ritual prayer, ceremonies and for healing. the rising smoke of the lit sticks is believed to enter the energy field of ritual participants to clear misfortune, negative thoughts and to chase away evil spirits. Its use reportedly dates back to the Inca era.
The harvesting of this Sacred Wood is regulated by the government of Peru to ensure that the trees do not become over harvested. Collecting Palo Santo wood is practiced within the regulations which respects the sacredness of the wood and allows for the continued life of the tree. Unlike other species, the Palo Santo must fall by its own in order to extract the Palo Santo Essential oils and also get incense sticks which are used in aromatherapy. In this process not a single tree is cut down, doing so causes it to lose its properties. The wood that falls is what The Artisan uses to manufacture the products, and despite the fact that we don’t deforest, we do feel the responsibility to return to nature those fallen trees. We therefore support the Reforestation Project in Puerto Lopez, through a percentage of money generated by the sale of the products of Palo Santo, which is goes directly to the project. This funding enabled the creation of a greenhouse 6 years ago. Since then an estimated 40,000 trees have been planted.
The ultimate goal is to be able to create a forest of Palo Santo for everyone, which will generate oxygen and household work for the local people. Artisans are the ones who will execute the project and thus must continue their training and develop a culture of long-term preservation. All these activities are very important to secured the long-lasting supply of this natural Essential oil.
Like its close botanical cousins, Frankincense and Myrrh, it is rich in brain oxygenating terpenes such as limonene and a-terpineol which give the Palo Santo its uplifting and positive qualities.
This uplifting scent raises your vibration, a good way to prepare yourself for meditation. It is also said that Palo Santo enhances creativity and brings good fortune. The hints of mint and citrus also work well in keeping away mosquitoes and other flying insects.