Palo santo is a type of wood that comes from the tree of the same name. It is indigenous to South America, and its name means “holy wood” thanks to the many healing and spiritual properties it carries.
Much like sage, the smoke of palo santo is so powerfully cleansing that almost every shamanic ritual in South America incorporates burning it. It has a piney, mint and citrus like smell that’s really quite unique – so unique that it’s hard to believe that you’re burning wood when you smell it.
For generations, medicine people, Incas, and other tribal people in the Andes have used palo santo wood for healing.
The spiritual properties come during the death of the tree. Each tree lives for up to 90 years and then lies dead for at least four years before any wood is harvested for rituals. It’s during this time, when the living tree transforms, that it gains its sacred properties.
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