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Your Full Guide to Palo Santo

Palo santo (holy wood), or in its scientific name, bursera graveolens, has been used in various different traditional medicine for years. The palo santo tree is native to Peru, Ecuador, and other South American countries. Both physical and spiritual healing properties are attributed to it in more than one culture. Let's see what it is and how it can benefit you. 
palo santo wood stick burning
It can be used in three forms: solid wood sticks, resin incense, or as an essential oil. Palo Santo is a potent source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which can be harnessed to reduce inflammation and pain. A dominant active chemical in Palo Santo is limonene, which is anti-inflammatory and can protect the barrier of cells. 
You can incorporate Palo Santo into your life through aromatherapy: either diffuse or inhale the essential oil directly, or burn the wood sticks like incense. Set the tip of the stick aflame for a few seconds, and then blow it out and allow it to diffuse its aromatic smoke. The resin is also used as a form of incense, burned on a smoking charcoal disc. Whether you use the wood stick or the charcoal method, keep them in a fire-resistant container. 
palo santo

Palo Santo can be used to treat several types of inflammation-induced pain: arthritis, headaches, and a sore throat. This also may be related to limonene, which can inhibit certain neuronal pathways, according to a 2016 study made on animals. To relieve pain, use the essential oil diluted in a carrier oil and apply it to the affected area. To treat a sore throat, use wood shavings and steep in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add honey and enjoy your tea. 

Palo Santo smoke can also be used to repel mosquitos thanks to the limonene. The chemical is also used in natural insect repellent products. 

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using Palo Santo oil or incense. 

If you're using Palo Santo for spiritual cleansing or energy healing, make sure you purchase a respectfully-sourced tree, as this tree is considered sacred to some cultures. It can be harvested from naturally fallen branches. The oil can be produced from the fruits, without causing deforestation. 

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