Of all the spiritual and ancient holistic practices you might see making a comeback, there is one beautifully cleansing wood I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more about. A renewed interest in these traditions means you may or may not be familiar with a little something known as palo santo.
Palo santo or "Holy Wood" is native to South America, commonly found in places such as Ecuador and Peru. The wonderful thing about this wood is it is wild crafted and sourced after the wood naturally falls from the trees. The rare essential oil itself can only be cultivated from the dead trees and branches.
The history of palo santo's use dates back to many cultures for thousands of years. Its uses include healing those of illness and building immunity, cleansing spaces from evil spirits and negative energies, and being lighted before sacred ceremonies and those celebrating occasions such as births and weddings.
Today, you may find the scent faintly in the background of your local yoga studio or in your natural beauty products. You can find the pieces of wood at health shops where you might commonly find incense as it's used in a similar way.
How to use it:
My favourite way to use palo santo is in my night-time routine. Lighting this wood is a sign that my senses now seem to recognise as a signal to wind down and begin to ready my body for sleep. I simply light the end allowing it to burn for a few seconds before blowing it out or letting it do so naturally and sweeping my space with it.
I also absolutely love adding some of the essential oil to my diffuser. I've searched for years for a sustainable and true source and finally found one in my native Canada from the Palo Santo Supply & Co. This citrusy woodsy smell is by far my favourite and I'm happy to have everything smelling this way!
In the mornings before starting my day, I enjoy lighting this once again or I simply dab some of the essential oil on pulse points. You can even blend it into your own homemade beauty products! It's also something I've incorporated into my meditation and yoga routines to cleanse the space prior to practice. I do the same throughout the moon cycle, honouring my surroundings during both the new moon and full moon of each month. The possibilities of its use are endless.
Although it's been my secret sacred ritual for years, I feel if you don't know about this wonderful wood you're missing out! It's such an enchanting scent with properties to enliven a healthier you and is something to be shared. I hope you'll find ways to incorporate this beautiful practice into your own life and routines.
Photos author's own