Palo Santo Essential Oil Uses and Benefits


The Palo Santo tree (Bursera Graveolens) belongs to the same botanical family (Burseraceae) as Frankincense. However, it grows in South America, not in the Middle East. Just like Frankincense, Palo Santo is known as a spiritual oil. It was traditionally used by the Incas to purify the spirit from negative energies. Even its Spanish name reflects how highly esteemed this oil is: Palo Santo means “holy tree” or “sacred tree”

A little history

Palo Santo is a rare, unique essential oil from Ecuador. The natives of Peru and Ecuador have used its powerful healing properties for thousands of years.

This essential oil is only allowed to be obtained from fallen trees. Trees live up to 80-90 years. After that, a tree must remain in its natural environment for 4 to 10 years. It is believed that only then all the necessary alchemical processes can take place. Only then does the oil acquire sacred and mystical properties and is of the highest quality.

Palo Santo is an oil with a deep national tradition. It was used by the Incas to perform rites of energy cleansing from negative energies and to attract good luck. It is now used by Andean shamans in healing ceremonies. 

Characteristics & properties

Palo Santo essential oil is extracted from tree branches by steam distillation. It is a 100% natural product of light, slightly oily consistency of pale yellow color.

The molecular composition of Palo Santo gives it antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic, antiviral, and sedative properties.

The resins and oils found in Palo Santo wood are extremely useful. They have cleansing properties that help during meditation and increase the flow of energy in the body, enhancing the mood. And its scent provides an immune-boosting effect.

The scent is like a combination of incense, cedar, oregano, and citrus. Sweet, tart, and enveloping. It can be added to an aroma lamp or applied to the body. Its scent, as well as the smoke of the Palo Santo tree, brings you back to earth and evokes a sense of calm. It helps to let go of negative feelings. It also helps you to relax and protect and harmonize your energy.

Suggested uses

1. The easiest way to use it is to apply 1-2 drops to your wrist. The fragrance of Palo Santo will stay with you for several hours.

2. If you are stressed, anxious, or have sleep issues, inhale the oil vapors using different diffusers: aroma lamps and rocks, candles, inhalers.

3. In case of insomnia or severe stress apply 2 drops of the essential oil to your wrist or solar plexus area 2 to 3 times a day, and always 30 minutes before bedtime. You can also put 3-4 drops on a handkerchief and leave it on your bedside table.

4. Palo Santo oil has also proven its usefulness in a variety of meditative and yoga practices. Use it in a diffuser 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session and 30 minutes before it ends.

5. Add a few drops of it to a bucket of water when cleaning.

6. Since Palo Santo oil has no distinct color it can be added a few drops to the washing machine drum instead of the conditioner drawer. You will get a light, unobtrusive pleasant smell that will overpower the chemical odor detergents.

7. Use it instead of traditional air freshener sprays. In this case, you can play with the water and oil ratio until you find what you like. Just mix the oil with a pinch of salt or baking soda and add distilled water.

8. If you enjoy using essential oils during massage, a combination of Palo Santo and ginger is good for relieving cramps and pain in the muscles and joints.

9. Palo Santo oil is also a great antiseptic to clean the air in your home or office with. It combines wonderfully with bergamot and lavender oils to purify and harmonize the environment.


Palo Santo is often compared to white sage and myrrh. It has a wonderful aroma, which is difficult to compare with anything you know. It’s sweet and spicy at the same time, with a slight hint of incense, sometimes a little citrusy but fresh, light, with a touch of floral notes. Palo Santo is very special, it calms your thoughts and creates a cozy atmosphere in your home.