Palo Santo essential oil

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

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: bottle of palo-santo oil 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


Palo Santo Essential Oil — 7 Comments

  1. The Palosanto (Bursera graveolens) is a tree from the Ecuadorian dry forest which was used by Shamans to cure many diseases; this is the reason why the Spanish that settled here call tree “Santo”. (Editorial note: Santo mean ‘Holy’ in Spanish).

    The wood of the tree can process itself after it has died. Which a process of vapor current distillation (without chemical solvents) an essential oil that is used for Aromatherapy and massage

  2. I’ve only recently started using essential oils and can attest to their benefits thus far. I am 53, female, with “moderate to severe osteoporosis”. Although I have been prescribed medication that is purported to improve bone density, I have always been hesitant to take it. I would like to try the Palo Santa oil. Can you tell me how to use it in this instance? Thank you.

  3. Palo Santo essential oil is great on bones and joints – rub 2-3 drops on joints to reduce bone discomfort.

    I recently read about these experiences:

    My 89 year young mother-in-law was on 9 meds. One was Fosamax. She was frightened by all the potential side effects of the Rx’s and wanted off. She began a program of ICP, Comfortone, 6 oz. NingXia Red daily, Omega Blue, Super Cal., Polyzyme + bouncing on a rebounder 10 minutes 3x daily.

    After 30 days she had a bone density done and it showed no signs of osteoporosis and she was able to discontinue the Fosamax. Was the Fosamax doing it’s job, or did the exceptionally high quality nutritional support put her over the top? – Mary D.

    My 58 year old mother had a bone density test which revealed decreased bone mass. She started taking NingXia Red Juice and Super Cal and had been on these supplements about 6 months before a second scan was performed. The results of the bone density scan revealed no bone loss at all. In fact, her doctor told her she had the bones of a 30 year old. – Norman N.

    My 90-year-young mother just had a bone density scan because she has had severe loss of bone mass. Her rheumatologist was astounded because he said that she no longer has severe bone loss. He couldn’t believe that her bone density improved so much in 1 year. Now what did she do differently? She has been taking BLM for around 8 months, just 1 level scoop a day. She can’t take more because BLM is too high (for her) in potassium. I put the BLM in a ‘jigger’ of NingXia Red Juice with a dash (about 1/2 tsp.) of Coral Sea. I don’t know if it’s the combination or the BLM which did it. – Jean F.

    Low progesterone levels can also cause bone thinning. The new Progessence Plus Serum by Young Living provides natural micronized progesterone in liquid form. It’s easy to apply, all-natural (from wild yams), doesn’t need to be cycled and reasonably priced.

    Essential Oil Diva

  4. where can we find this original study?
    A recent study from Tokyo shows that it has a 70% success in reducing cancer.

  5. I love the aroma of palo santo, it is pure. It make me feel good I close my eye and before I go to work I inhale a little pit. So ar it been positive sense I have it. I notice more positive thing in my life. I recomend it.

  6. Donna,

    I haven’t heard of any contraindications with Palo Santo and dogs, but I’m not a vet so I can’t say for sure. If you use Palo Santo, or any other essential oil, make sure that you dilute it with either vegetable oil or almond oil.

    Remember that dogs are so much smaller than humans that they can’t take the oils undiluted. Also, apply a much smaller dose (of the diluted oil) on your dog than you would on yourself, depending on size. Most of the time, that’s about 25% of the dose for humans.

    To be safe, I would use about 20-30 drops of vegetable or almond oil per drop of essential oil.

    Be sure to use a very high quality oil and add it only to a natural base (nothing synthetic or chemical).

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