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Palo santo: what it is, how it is used and what are its benefits

S.cover all there is to know about this sacred wood, used in South America in the initiation rituals of purification, today it is also used by us in numerous fields thanks to its numerous beneficial properties. Do you know them all?

How many times have you heard of the Palo Santo, or have you seen people burn it like incense sticks, but you never really knew what it was used for or what its origin was?

“The Palo Santo is one plant native to Central and South America, mainly in Peru and Ecuador, from which a wood with an aromatic and citrus scent, very fresh and pleasant. Its use dates back to the ancient shamanic rites, during which it was burned to ward off evil spirits. The piece of wood is burned, the flame is extinguished and the smoke is spread in the houses or offices, passing it above all in the corners, where negative energies lurk. Afterwards, the rooms are ventilated by opening the windows and the smoke and negativity are released “, he explains Alice Manfroni, founder of Here After.

Why is it called Palo Santo?

Palo Santo is considered a sacred wood. According to legend, his plant blooms on Christmas day and comes used both in Christian rituals and in santeria to purify the air, as if it were an incense. THE curanderos, modern shamans, use it to bless the homes where sick or moody people live, but also to protect babies who are harassed by evil spirits. In Europe it has been adopted for purification rituals and to promote meditation.

Is Palo Santo sustainable?

This precious wood tree is not only sacred, it is also a protected species. For centuries the essential oil is obtained from naturally dead trees, which must have remained abandoned on the ground for at least ten years, when a tree is removed to obtain oil, new specimens are always planted, as a sign of respect for the venerated plant. On a theoretical level, therefore, its harvest is sustainable and its production is limited. In fact, the widespread consumption that is made of it, especially in the environments where yoga and other holistic disciplines are practiced, has led to an exponential increase in demand, which in turn has generated the birth of intensive cultivation. Not all Palo Santo have ethical origins and are sustainable, so it is important to check the origin of this wood.

The benefits of Palo Santo

Palo Santo has found a wide use in the modern world thanks to its many beneficial properties.

  • It has nourishing, moisturizing and soothing, emollient and refreshing properties for the skin
  • It acts as a repellent for mosquitoes and insects
  • It reconciles sleep and psycho-physical relaxation
  • It has antidepressant properties
  • Analgesic and anti-inflammatory
  • Relieves discomfort caused by coughs, colds, allergies and asthma

Palo Santo perfumes, candles and sticks


Los Humos Sagrados, Feuguia 1833 Fragrance based on Palo Santo, sage and agarwood (oud) inspired by pagan rituals in which sacred wood was burned to purify the spirit in the encounter with the divine.

@Elisa Leaci

Legnetti di Palo Santo, Here After (hereafterbeauty.com) Woods to burn to purify environments and to reconcile meditation.


Elixir N.2 Palo Santo, Bullfrog A journey through precious blends and magical filters that tell the occult side of nature in an Eau de Parfum version.


White Barn Candle Palo Santo, Bath & Body Works (on bathandbodyworks.it) 3-wick candle based on essential oils with notes of Palo Santo, warm amber and soft musk.


Purifying Palo Santo Hi, Aman (at beautyaholicshop.com) A moisturizing and nourishing body balm that supports skin repair. Astringent and protective, it helps stabilize collagen levels, reduce free radical damage and promote healthy, strong skin. The sacred wood of Palo Santo cleanses, protects and tones.


Palosanto EdP, Carner Barcelona The warm caramel, the sweet tonka bean blend with the intensity of Palo Santo. Top notes: Caramel, Indian davana, ruhm accord. Body notes: warm milk, Paraguayan gaiac wood, Venezuelan tonka bean, vanilla. Base notes: absolute vanilla from Madagascar, balsam from Peru, Australian sandalwood, musk.


Palo Santo Essential Oil, Anima Mundi The essential oil has numerous uses, to be used directly or in the diffuser to perfume the environment, to reconcile sleep or to purify energy.


Classic Shampoo, Rahua (on beautyaholicshop.com) Shampoo that strengthens and repairs damaged hair while hydrating and regenerating the scalp, allowing hair to grow longer and stronger. Contains Palo Santo oil with a relaxing effect.


Hydrolatum N ° 8 Palo Santo, Saint Charles Body and home spray obtained from a quadruple distillation of essential oils and has a great energizing power.


Palo Santo Ambient Spray, Ume (on 23stbeauty.com) Mist for the home 100% natural, purifies the space by counteracting negative energies and elevates the spirit, promoting meditation & relaxation.


Palo Santo candle, HHUUMM (on makeup.it) Natural soy-based candle with a relaxing effect.


Incense of the Churches of Rome EdP, Essentially Laura Mystical perfume that celebrates purification, meditation and healing rituals with a resinous, balsamic, woody, warm, amber and slightly acrid tone.