Palo Santo essential oil comes from the aromatic Palo Santo tree in South America. It is closely related to frankincense and comes from the same botanical family (Burseraceae) as frankincense, although it is found in South America rather than the Middle East. It’s botanical name is bursera graveolens.
Like frankincense, Palo Santo is known as a spiritual essential oil. In Spanish, the name Palo Santo means “sacred wood,” indicating how highly this oil is regarded. It has been traditionally used by the Incas to purify and cleanse the spirit from negative energies.
The Palo Santo Tree
The Palo Santo tree is protected by the govenment – no living trees or branches are allowed to be cut. To harvest the oil, a permit is required and then only dead trees, or fallen branches from dead trees, that have been left lying on the ground for a minimum of two years can be used. This is because the resin will only go into the hardwood when the wood dies and matures – developing it’s unique and powerful chemistry. This chemistry is missing from cut branches or cut wood.
There are two types of Palo Santo trees from the North and the South. North Ecuador trees have white barks with large, heavy trunks. South Ecuador trees have red barks that produce twice the oil (this is due to the salty air which changes the wood). The most beneficial variety is the South Ecuadorian, red bark tree. This variety has a limonene content of 62-68%, which is very high for a tree. It has so much high-quality oil that is “bleeds” when cut.
Palo santo is an oil of many uses. Besides its spiritual uses, it has traditionally been used in South America as an antiseptic, to help with healing wounds, sprains and other injuries, clear negative energy and bring good fortune. According to medical aromatherapy the oil can be used as:
- an anxiolytic agent that counteracts panic attacks and anxiety
- for respiratory problems such as cough, colds, and asthma
- for headaches and migraines
- in massage therapy for pain and inflammation of the muscles and joints
Analysis show that Palo Santo oil contains high levels of limonene, a monoterpene compound that has been found to have chemo-preventive and chemo-therapeutic effects against several types of cancer. It is also rich in sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes and alpha-pinene.
Palo Santo has been shown to help with depression, ease joint pain and stop cancer from growing. A recent study from Tokyo shows that it has a 70% success in reducing cancer.
The constituents in Palo Santo essential oil are similar to Sandalwood. Having from 62% to 68% of the phytochemical limonene, it helps stops cancer from growing.
Studies have shown that limonene has anti-cancer effects. Limonene increases the levels of liver enzymes involved in detoxifying carcinogens. The Glutathione S-transferase (GST) is a system which eliminates carcinogens. Limonene seems to promote the GST system in the liver and small bowel, thereby decreasing the damaging effects of carcinogens. Animal studies demonstrated that dietary limonene reduced mammary tumor growth. (from http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/limonene.php)
The aroma can also be beneficial for meditation – those who use it in meditation report deeper concentration, seeing a beautiful blue color around them and some even feel the presence of angels.
Tips for Using Palo Santo: Palo Santo essential oil is great on bones and joints – rub 2-3 drops on joints to reduce bone discomfort. I always use a few drops on my back and/or neck after a chiropractic adjustment – it seems to help the adjustment last longer.
For broken bones, using a combination of Palo Santo, Idaho Balsam Fir and Frankincense essential oils helps with pain and bone rejuvenation. Most people notice a shortened recuperation time.
If you fall or bump yourself, apply a little Palo Santo to the area – you’ll feel better the next day or sooner.
Palo Santo combined with Frankincense essential oil is helpful for general pain relief, depression, emotional release, and spinal stenosis.
The oil is also used for skin care, especially acne or skin infections
Palo Santo can also be worn as a perfume to release negative energy.
Palo Santo has become one of my favorite aromatherapy oils. I love the way it smells, and actually prefer it to frankincense in both fragrance and effectiveness (especially on my achin’ bones) – maybe that’s because it costs less than frankincense and I tend to use it more freely.
If haven’t tried Palo Santo essential oil yet, do give it a try. You might find you really love it’s wonderful aromatherapy effects!
How to use: For topical use, apply 1-2 drops on affected area. For aromatic use, inhale directly as needed or diffuse/humidify for 10-15 minutes daily. Keep in a cool, dark place.
Caution: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician.
Ingredients: Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens) Oil
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* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Item No. #3607, 5 ml – Palo Santo Essential Oil