That being said, the oils I use and discuss apply only to high quality, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. If you are new to using essential oils, please read my previous post "The Art of Essential Oils" for a basic introduction to how essential oils work and why you may want to incorporate them into your everyday life. I also touch upon a bit of history, the importance of using a quality oil, and where to purchase.
Often described as exotic, earthy, spiritual, grounding and intoxicating, Palo Santo is one of my favorite essential oils. It is also one you may want to consider adding to your "medicine" cabinet as research is (re)discovering some of the powerful healing properties available from this magical oil.
Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) is a tree that grows along the coast in South America and is from the same botanical family as Frankincense from the Middle East. Both have numerous healing properties, and in some cases Palo Santo may be may be used as a less costly alternative to Frankincense.
Palo Santo's properties contribute to a variety of benefits that support the mind, body and spirit. The list below offers some of the ways this intoxicating oil may be a beneficial addition to your oil collection. (or good reason to get one started!)
Although mainly considered to be a spiritual oil, Palo Santo offers some amazing healing properties that are currently being researched.* The essential oil contains a high limonene content (75-76%) making it an excellent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacteria, immune boosting, nervous tension, joint pain, and may inhibit cancer (specifically breast)*. The oil (and smoke from the wood), may also be used as a mosquito and bug repellant. I am currently using with Frankincense for a nodule that I have on my thyroid. I'll keep you posted on the results. I also add to coconut oil or vitamin E oil and apply use on my face as a moisturizer.
SpiritualKnown for its long history as a spiritual oil (along with frankincense, myhrr, sage), Palo Santo was used by the Incas and still used in a number of Shamanic rituals. Attributes: Opens the third eye and crown chakras, deepen meditations and spiritual awakening, cleansing, purification. Combine with Frankincense to enhance meditations and spiritual quests.
Most oils from trees including Western Red Cedar, Spruce, Cedarwood, and Frankincense, provide stabilization; grounding both physically and emotionally. Suggested uses: Balancing, grounding, calming, introspection, releasing anger & fear.
Dogs - fleas & ticks. As with any essential oil - always consult a veterinarian before using on your pets, especially with cats - they are extremely sensitive and even the inhalation can be fatal.
The name Palo Santo means "holy wood" or "sacred wood". Primarily recognized as a spiritual oil, Palo Santo was used by the Incas to purify and cleanse the spirit from negative energies and as a powerful medicine.
Most are probably familiar with the wood pieces from the Palo Santo tree, however, the essential oil is much more concentrated and versatile to use. Both have a sweet, balsamic and earthy aroma with incense-like overtones, which I find intoxicating!
The Palo Santo tree lives for 80-90 years. The essential oil can only be extracted from dead trees and fallen branches that have been left dying on the ground for a minimum of 2 years. The resin is driven into the hardwood when the wood dies and matures, thus developing its unique and powerful chemistry. The longer the tree is dead, the more powerful the oil. In Ecuador these sacred trees are protected and it is against the law to remove or cut down Palo Santo trees.
Direct Inhalation: Place a drop on the palm of your hand, rotate to rub into the center, then inhale with cupped hands. (stay clear of your eyes).
Diffusion: Straight or blended with Frankincense, Vetiver, Grapefruit or Lemon (any wood or citrus is nice). Chamomile & lavender added make a nice relaxing blend (for topical as well)
Topical (skin) - Neet on throat chakra, ears, temples, 3rd eye or with a carrier oil - I prefer coconut oil. I prefer to use neet (without carrier oil), however, always test your skin sensitivity. Use with carrier oil, purification, lemongrass as a natural insect repellant.
Note: Pure Palo Santo essential oil has a very concentrated scent ~ I love it ~ but if it feels too strong to you, I would suggest using with a carrier oil and adding a light citrus to lighten.
If you are interested in learning more or experiencing the magic of essential oils and herbs, join us for one of our upcoming workshops or retreats. Please visit www.turquoisebarn.com for more information.
Reference Guide for Essential Oils - Connie & Alan Higley
**when ingesting essential oils, please use precaution. There is much controversy on this top and not all oils are considered safe for ingestion.
NOTE: The information offered on or blog & website; in our workshops, classes, & retreats, represents the views of the author/presenter. The views & information offered are intended for informational purposes only and not intended as medical or health advice. We do not accept any responsibilities for any liabilities resulting from the use of this information. We recommend consulting with a licensed health professional before using essential oils, herbs or making any changes to your diet, exercise program, or lifestyle.