What is Palo Santo and How Does it Work?

The A to Z of Holy Wood “Palo Santo” 

Palo Santo is a traditional remedy for stress, inflammation, and pain. Check out this guide to for its use and benefits.

Palo Santo is a tree native to Peru, Ecuador and other South American countries, it also goes by the name of Bursera. The regional meaning of Palo Santo in Spanish means ‘Hoy wood’. The tree produces resins with high fragrance and needs dry tropical forest lands to grow.

Palo Santo holds a special place in South America’s indigenous history for its medicinal purposes: relieving pain and reducing stress. Upon burning, the tree’s wood absorbs negative energy and clears it from your way, owing to its high resin content. To cleanse energy, simply light a Palo Santo stick and extinguish the flame, gently wave the stick in your hand or wave your hand over the stick to disperse the smoke: take it in and let out the negativity.

While the use and effects of Palo Santo may not be backed by mainstream science, people on the South American continent have been using it for centuries.

This guide will help you better understand the qualities of Palo Santo, from its usage to different forms.

Different Forms of Palo Santo 

Palo Santo is available in different forms and depending on the usage, you can choose it in:

1. Wood: The wood from the tree is converted into Palo Santo sticks, Palo Santo chips, and Palo Santo powder, made from tree branches, it is pure original wood

2. Resin: Palo Santo tree produces fragrant resins that can be taken down from the tree and used separately

3. Oil: The oil that we get from the wood and fruit of Palo Santo is made into essential oils that have medicinal and wellness properties.

Different Forms of Palo Santo 

Now that we have seen the different forms of Palo Santo, let us discuss the various ways in which you can use them:

Palo Santo Oil

The primary purpose of Palo Santo oil is aromatherapy. You can also use this oil during other stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, etc. If you have any pain in your body, you can apply the oil directly for instant relief.

Palo Santo Wood

We get Palo Santo sticks, chips, and powder from this wood. The sticks are burned as incense and release aromatic smoke. The chips and powder are also used in a similar manner.

Palo Santo Resin

The Palo Santo resin is also basically used as incense, but not quite the same. The resin is placed on a heated charcoal dish for burning, and the whole thing is put on a resin burner. As the resin burns, it produces a strong fragrance all over the area.

Benefits of Palo Santo

Based on the usage of different forms of Palo Santo, here’s a few uses of this tree:

It Is an Effective Mosquito Repellent

Traditionally, Palo Santo was used for driving away mosquitoes and warding off ants, termites, and flies.

There is some scientific evidence behind this: the Palo Santo oil contains an ingredient called limonene; known to be a naturally occurring insecticide, so it works well as a natural repellent for insects and flies.

Used as A Pain Reliever for Centuries

Palo Santo has been used as a pain reliever for centuries now and is known to take away painful vibrations from your body. For generations, indigenous peoples have used Palo Santo to cure headaches, throat pain, and arthritis.

Limonene is once again the ingredient that facilitates pain relief for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Limonene does this by sending signals of pain relief to the neural pathways: as observed in some studies.

It Helps Ease Stress

There are wellness advantages of using Palo Santo as well, mainly because of the fresh aroma of the plant which is known to relieve stress.

Palo Santo sticks provide purifying and cleansing energy for the body, leaving users with positive vibrations only.

It all comes down to limonene again, as the ingredient has anti-stress and cleansing properties. No studies on human subjects have been conducted so far and this claim cannot be backed through scientific proof: yet. But there are benefits, and people have not stopped using Palo Santo sticks.

These are some of the benefits of Palo Santo in whatever form it is used. You can try using Palo Santo in its different forms and improve your overall wellbeing.

Using Palo Santo

In this part, we’ll discuss how to use Palo Santo:

Palo Santo Essential Oils

● With a glass diffuser

● With a pot of hot water to make fragrant steam

● Apply it directly to the skin

● Enjoy the fragrance from the bottle

Palo Santo Wood

● Light the Palo Santo sticks with a match

● Hold the stick horizontally at 45 degrees

● Burn the stick for 30 seconds

● Blow out the flame and put it in a dish to inhale

Palo Santo Resin

● Burn the resin in a resin burner

● Put the resin in the charcoal disc and heat it

● Submerge the charcoal in water and smell it

● Melt the resin carefully on a charcoal plate to inhale the aroma


Palo Santo, which translates to “holy wood” in Spanish, has been a traditional cure for pain, stress, and other medicinal purposes for centuries, and people still continue to use it even today. Just make sure to buy it from a reliable store like Karma Living for the genuine quality and use.

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