From the dawn of time, plants like sandal, maple, oak, etc., have been known for their innumerable benefits. They have been the source of livelihood for thousands of people across the globe day in and day out. However, one such tree has been present but hidden for generations: Palo Santo. This exotic giver of wood, resin and essential oil is a native of Peru, Ecuador and some South American countries’ dry tropical forests. This article will focus on five unknown things about Palo Santo wood.
1.Its unique terminologies
It is hardly common knowledge, but Palo Santo is often referred to as ‘holy wood’ in Spanish. This is because it was a name given to it by Spanish monks upon discovering its unique medical purpose to cleanse and heal. But on the other hand, this gnarly yet majestic tree from the South American rainforest also comes with a scientific name called ‘Bursera Graveolens’. Loosely translated, this means a bag of oil, signifying its naturally aromatic essential oil loaded with both energetic and healing powers.
2.Its need for a natural death
While Palo Santo has a lot to offer, an oddity it comes with is its need for natural death. This means that the trees need to fall on their own accord. Once the tree falls on the forest floor, it should be allowed to lie peacefully for many years. The reason behind this show of respect and sustainable approach is that it helps the wood gain its healing properties, the concentration of aromatic oils and irresistible fragrance resulting in relief from pain and stress.
3.It offers premium incense sticks
Now that we have realised the need for Palo Santo to spend years on the forest floor after its natural demise, it’s time to understand one of its major perks. As the tree collapses, most of it comes in contact with the forest floor. However, some branches stay afloat and never come in contact with the earth. The incense sticks made from these branches are considered premium in aroma, purification, healing powers, etc. Moreover, these woods are scarce and believed to hold the power of elevating one’s soul, according to Shamans.
4.Burn it down
While incense sticks are lighted and held upright in most cases, the rules differ for Palo Santo wood. Here, it would be best to light the tip, keep the flame steady for a few seconds and then blow it out. This will produce dense smoke and then slowly diminish, forming embers. The trick is to place the incense stick upside down in a fireproof blow so the embers accumulate. This is the process of smudging To ensure that the stick keeps on emitting essential oils along with energetic and healing properties, you can either blow on the embers or re-lit the stick several times.
5.A source of wisdom and spirit
Before the Palo Santo wood was introduced to North America, it was solely used by natives and shamans of South America. According to them, the tree holds uncanny powers to attract positive energy, ward off negativity, elevate concentration and meditation levels, and promote physical and mental awareness. For these reasons, the shamans turned to the plant’s spirit for almost all purposes. All they did was ignite a small piece of the wood and let the smoke do its work.
To sum it all up
It is true that medical science has made tremendous progress and has been able to help innumerable people across the globe. Yet, the traditional ways keep living with the Palo Santo wood and its use in aromatherapy. Its aroma, essential oil, and healing power are a force to reckon with and should, therefore, be treated with the utmost respect.