It is traditionally burned, similar to incense it is lit by lighting the shavings of the wood. It is said that it has been an integral part of life as an incense for the Incas, for South American people and continues to be to this day. In Peru typically a medicine man or a shaman would light a Palo Santo stick and the smoke would be used a way of clearing evil spirits, misfortune or negativity before a ritual can begin. Palo Santo has a distinct rich smell which the Inca's believed was pleasing to the Gods; even before the Inca times it was used for good luck, purification, spiritual protection and clearing bad energy.
The wood of the Palo Santo tree is saturated with many natural essential oils and is widely used to aid many ailments such as colds, allergies, headaches and much more. It is also popularly used in Peru and Ecuador as an insect repellent, finding that the smoke works well to keep away mosquitoes and flying insects.
The properties of Palo Santo wood makes it ideal for use in cleansing of places, people and objects, for clearing ceremonies and before meditation or prayer.
The Legend of Palo Santo
The Legend goes that a handsome and virtuous man called Cosokait fell in love with a young maiden, however his feelings towards her were not reciprocated and consequently his sadness made him tragically ill. Even on his death bed he called for the young maiden, but she still would not see him. Before his death he promised that he would always be with the maiden as protection and would never leave her. Due to a high fever, Cosokait died, but during the last moments of his life he repeated the name of the young maiden. It is said that because of Cosokait's devotion and love, a tree sprouted directly from where he was buried. This tree was said to be that of Palo Santo, and possessed all the sweet qualities and promises of protection that Cosokait had promised to the young maiden. The wood had a soft fragrance, when it was burned it would release a sweet aroma and thus the Palo Santo tree became a symbol of love and kindness.
All our Palo Santo products have been traditionally, legally and ethically gathered and harvested. Traditionally a Palo Santo tree lasts for around 80 years and the wood is only used once the tree has been dead for 4-10 years (when the tree is alive, the scent is completely devoid in the wood). It is only once the wood has been untouched where it has grown that it will then create its exceptional properties. All trees that have been used are harvested through a sustainable and natural process.