Palo Santo: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

Palo Santo

Palo Santo, meaning “holy wood,” is a mystical tree native to South America with a fragrant aroma reminiscent of pine, mint, and lemon. It is deeply rooted in indigenous wisdom and ancient healing practices, revered for its spiritual and medicinal properties. Here is an overview of Palo Santo, its benefits, and uses.

What is Palo Santo?

Palo Santo is a sacred tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal. Indigenous communities of the Andes use Palo Santo for spiritual purification and energy cleansing through a practice called smudging, where the wood is burned to clear negative energy and restore tranquility.

Benefits of Palo Santo

  1. Healing Properties: Palo Santo is known for its healing properties, acting as a natural remedy for colds, flu, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, and inflammation. It supports the immune and nervous systems, aids in faster recovery from illness, and may prevent various cancers.
  2. Cleansing and Purifying: Similar to Sage and Cedar, Palo Santo is widely used for spiritual purification and energy cleansings. Burning Palo Santo wood releases smoke that clears negative energy, restores calmness, and keeps insects away. It is believed to enhance creativity and create a pleasant, uplifting atmosphere.
  3. Relaxation and Meditation: Palo Santo’s calming effect makes it ideal for relaxation and meditation. Its earthy, sweet, and citrusy scent helps in getting relaxed, connected to oneself, and changing the energy in a room. It can be used before meditating or added to baths for relaxation.
  4. Physical Healing: Palo Santo is used to treat various physical ailments like colds, flu, anxiety, depression, joint pain, and headaches. It can be made into tea for digestive aid, immunity boost, flu relief, and stress reduction. The wood’s oil can be added to soaps, scrubs, and lotions for skin cleansing and moisturizing.

Uses of Palo Santo

  • Spiritual Purification: Palo Santo is used for spiritual cleansing and energy purification through burning or smudging.
  • Anxiety and Stress Relief: Burning Palo Santo can reduce anxiety, stress, and boost mood and focus.
  • Physical Ailments: Palo Santo treats colds, flu, anxiety, depression, and joint pain, and can be made into tea for various health benefits.
  • Creating Sacred Spaces: Burning Palo Santo can help in creating sacred environments for meditation and grounding.
  • Insect Repellent: Palo Santo can keep insects away when burned or used as an essential oil..

Palo Santo Side Effects

While Palo Santo is generally safe for most people, individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities may want to use caution when burning the wood as incense. It is also important to ensure that you are purchasing Palo Santo from reputable sources that follow ethical harvesting practices to protect the trees and the communities that rely on them.

  1. Skin Irritation: Some people may be sensitive to the smoke or essential oils of Palo Santo, leading to skin irritation or allergic reactions. It is recommended to perform a patch test before using Palo Santo.
  2. Respiratory Issues: Burning Palo Santo releases smoke, which can irritate the respiratory system of individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions. It is advisable to use Palo Santo in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Headaches: In some cases, the strong aroma of burning Palo Santo can trigger headaches in sensitive individuals. If you are prone to headaches, it is best to use Palo Santo sparingly.
  4. Nausea: The potent scent of Palo Santo may cause nausea or dizziness in some people, especially when used in confined spaces. It is essential to take breaks and allow fresh air to circulate.

Forms of Palo Santo

Are you curious about the different forms in which palo santo is available? Look no further, as we dive into the various types of this sacred wood and how they can enhance your spiritual practices and overall well-being.

1. Palo Santo Sticks

One of the most common forms of palo santo is in the shape of sticks or incense. These sticks are typically made from the naturally fallen branches of the palo santo tree and are used for smudging rituals. By lighting the end of the stick and allowing it to smolder, you can cleanse your space and invite in positive energy.

2. Palo Santo Essential Oil

Another popular form of palo santo is its essential oil. This potent oil is extracted from the wood of the palo santo tree and is known for its grounding and uplifting properties. You can use palo santo essential oil in a diffuser, mix it with a carrier oil for a calming massage, or add a few drops to your bath for a relaxing soak.

3. Palo Santo Resin

Palo santo resin is a concentrated form of the sacred wood that can be burned on charcoal disks. This powerful resin releases a rich and aromatic scent that is perfect for meditation and spiritual practices. Simply light the charcoal disk, sprinkle some palo santo resin on top, and allow the smoke to fill your space with its healing energy.

4. Palo Santo Soaps and Lotions

For those who prefer a more subtle way to incorporate palo santo into their daily routine, there are soaps and lotions infused with palo santo essential oil. These products provide a gentle and soothing way to experience the benefits of palo santo while nourishing your skin.

Where to Buy Palo Santo

Palo Santo can be found in the form of incense sticks, smudge bundles, essential oils, and decorative carvings. When purchasing Palo Santo, look for sustainably sourced products to support ethical practices and the preservation of the precious trees.


In conclusion, Palo Santo is a versatile and revered natural resource with a wide range of benefits for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, making it a valuable tool for healing, cleansing, and relaxation.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *