Palo Santo, literally meaning “holy wood” in Spanish, is a tree that is widely distributed throughout Central and South America. Palo Santo is used in South America in much the same way as White Ceremonial Sage is used in North America- to combat negative energy and to cleanse the space.
Palo Santo is different than many of the other smudging materials as it is fragrant in its raw form and does not necessarily need to be lit, though it usually is when being used for ceremonial purposes. Palo Santo is often used by Amazonian shamans in sacred plant spirit ceremonies; 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 Palo Santo tree belongs to the Burseraceae family which also includes Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal.
CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING
Traditionally, only the fallen branches and twigs of the tree are harvested, and this practice is regulated by the government of Peru to ensure that the trees do not become overharvested. Unfortunately, as Palo Santo has become more popular, the illegal harvesting and cutting of trees have also greatly increased. Consequently, if you are purchasing wild-harvested Palo Santo, it is important to do so from an ethical wildcrafter.
This Palo Santo comes from a 50-acre farm in Ecuador that contains both naturally occurring and replanted Palo Santo. They have replanted over 5000 Palo Santo trees on the land so far to ensure adequate supply for the future.
HISTORY AND FOLKLORE
It is believed that a tree or fallen branches must lie dead for 4-10 years before the medicinal and mystical properties of the wood begin to come alive. It is also believed that the branches of the Palo Santo that are felled by lightning have the highest concentration of medicinal and mystical properties.
What Makes it Green
No living trees are EVER cut in the making of our Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) products.
We collect only naturally-fallen trunks + branches from the dry forests of Ecuador & Perú, where this beloved wood is abundant in nature. We are proudly partnered with a network of native community associations who act as the gatekeepers & stewards of the forest while overseeing the sustainable management & ethical trade of their natural forest resources. Our Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) smudge sticks are gathered in nature, split by hand, and exchanged with Love, by the multi-generational families of the forest to help bring Palo Santo's incredible essence to its innumerable loved ones around the world.
We work alongside environmental agencies such as MAGAP (Ecuador), SERFOR (Peru), & the USDA (US) to support the protection & reforestation of the South American Dry Forests, from which our beloved Palo Santo tree grows its roots. We strive to set the gold standard within our niche industry by promoting responsible sourcing practices, regenerative forestation, ethical labor conditions, and a socially-responsible business model.
I use this product in my yoga room. The smell is divine and creates the perfect environment for my practice. Thank you!