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Palo Santo Essential Oil: Its Benefits & Many Uses

Overview Of Palo Santo Oil

Curious about this woodsy & mystical oil? Palo Santo oil packs a long list of benefits you should know about from cleaning to rejuvenating your skin. Read on to discover how to make the most of this comforting oil.

What Is Palo Santo Oil?

Sourced from sacred trees grown in South America, Palo Santo wood has long been used in traditions to calm the mind and connect with the spiritual world. During the Day of The Dead in Mexico, Palo Santo is used in rituals as incense to help the living find solace and the dead achieve a peaceful afterlife.

The spiritual oil also has a wide range of uses beyond religious ceremonies. It is often prized for its health-based properties.

Palo Santo essential oil is often extracted through the steam distillation of Palo Santo bark which is tapped from Palo Santo trees. This extraction method is the most effective way to harness the “essence” of the plant and help its benefits shine through.

Fortunately, the popularity of the oil and its excess harvest (even deforestation) has not put the Palo Santo trees in the endangered list.

Palo santo oil is steam distilled from the Bursera graveolens plant. The Journal of Essential Oil Research has more details about its chemical composition. (1)

Name Palo Santo Essential Oil
Botanical Name Bursera graveolens
Native to South American countries (Peru, Ecuador)
Main ingredients Limonene, alpha terpineol, carvone
Aroma Sweet woody with mint and citrusy fragrance
Blends well with Black pepper, Clary sage, frankincense, rose, vetiver, sandalwood, lemon balm, myrrh, sandalwood and cypress essential oils
Category Woody / Earthy
Substitute Myrrh, frankincense or vetiver essential oils

Palo Santo Oil Benefits

Palo Santo is a versatile oil that you can use to elevate your skincare and overall wellness. Here are some of its many benefits:


Good for Youthful Skin

If you struggle with dry or flaky skin, Palo Santo oil can save the day! It’s full of nutrients and moisturizing properties that keep your skin dewy and gorgeous.


It Relaxes the Senses

Palo Santo’s aroma uplifts your mood and cleanses the space of negativity, placing you in a calm state of mind for journaling or doing some yoga. It also grounds your senses the minute you step into the room, which can be a heavenly experience after a tiresome day.


Oil to Repel Bugs

Benefits of Palo Santo extend beyond health-based uses. It is used to repel bugs as well. (But yes, bugs do pose a health risk.) The content of limonene and the chemical composition of the oil are useful in driving away the bugs. It is these chemicals that drive the insects from the plants as well.


Useful in Soothing the Body

A few drops of the oil can be mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and applied topically to soothe the skin, muscles and joints.


Oil for Relaxation

The aromatic molecules (odor) of the oil of Palo Santo enter the limbic system through the olfactory system and stimulate it. This reduces negative thoughts. It can be inhaled or applied on the temple or chest.

Just make sure it is not undiluted and be mindful of the quantity applied. Shamans from ancient times smudge the plant extract on your skin as it was used to clear negative energy by driving away evil spirits. It was considered holy wood.


Improve Rest Quality with Palo Santo Oil

The oil induces relaxaxtion when applied on the skin. (Do not apply the oil on your skin without dilution.) Palo santo benefits those with hectic lifestyles.

How To Use Palo Santo Oil

Its woodsy scent that inspires peace, Palo Santo is a great choice for self care and relaxing the senses after a busy day. Here are some ways you can use Palo Santo oil for everyday concerns:

Palo Santo Oil For Self-Care

Palo Santo For Spiritual Uses

To the indigenous people of the Andes, Palo Santo is more than just wood. The smoke from Palo Santo has long been used as incense to restore tranquility usher in peace in the spiritual world. Diffusing 2–3 drops of Palo Santo around your room creates feelings of inner peace for better yoga and meditation sessions.

Palo Santo For Mental Wellbeing

The woodsy aroma of Palo Santo has been used to induce relaxation. When the oil is applied to your chest like a vapor rub, it releases any sensations of tenseness and tightness that come with panic attacks. You can also massage the oil onto your wrists to slowly ground yourself.

Palo Santo Essential Oil Benefits For Homes

Palo Santo For Repelling Bugs

Palo Santo is a solid, aromatic wood that has been used for centuries as a natural insect repellent. The scent is extremely effective against mosquitoes and flies, making it a great choice for keeping your loved ones safeguarded. The oil can be diffused or conveniently diluted in a small spray bottle to repel bugs on hikes and camping trips.

Palo Santo For Cleaning

Whether you’re looking for a natural way to freshen up your home or deodorize musty cupboards, Palo Santo is packed with a comforting aroma that leaves you feeling at ease no matter where you are.

How To Use Palo Santo Essential Oil

The most popular uses of Palo Santo are for skincare and aromatherapy. Depending on how you use it, Palo Santo can really help you elevate your everyday life.

  • Palo Santo For Skincare

Palo Santo oils are great for troubled skin. Not only are they rich in nutrients, but they’re also effective cleansers that clear congested pores and keep breakouts under control. For a crystal-clear complexion, blend 1 drop of Palo Santo oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply the mixture daily.

  • Palo Santo For Cleaning Sprays

Palo Santo has a comforting woodsy scent that creates a relaxing ambiance when used as a cleaning spray. Simply blend 7–15 drops of it with ¾ cups of water in an 8oz spray bottle. If you’re simply looking to freshen up the room, you might consider using slightly less Palo Santo oil for a milder and gentler scent.

  • Palo Santo For Diffuser

While you can inhale the scent of Palo Santo straight from the bottle, diffusers can create a calming space for meditation, yoga or other spiritual practices. Here are some tips when using an aroma diffuser.

Direction To Use:

  1. Set it up according to the manufacturer's instructions
  2. Place it at least 2-feet above the ground to get the full benefits
  3. Fill the tank with filtered water to reduce mineral buildup and extend the life of your diffuser
  4. Don’t hold back! Most people add about 3 to 15 drops per 100ml of water
  5. Experiment and mix and match essential oils to create a unique scent
  6. Take time to play around with the diffuser settings to find a spray setting that suits you

DIY Recipes With Palo Santo Essential Oil

Palo Santo has a paradoxical aroma, it is calming and grounding yet energetic. It is widely used in aromatherapy for meditation. Here are a few recipes with Palo Santo oil that you can use.

DIY Recipe #1 - Citrusy Overload

  • 4 drops of Palo Santo essential oil
  • 4 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops of sweet orange essential oil


  • Add the oil drops into an aroma diffuser.
  • Diffuse the aroma in the morning and afternoon to spread an energetic citrusy vibe to the whole room.

DIY Recipe #2 - Unique Recipe with Unique Oils

There are many essential oils that are not known to many people. These oils are not rare, but people are averse to trying them out and stick to the popular ones. Here is a recipe made with essential oils that are unique.


  • 4 drops of Palo Santo essential oil
  • 5 drops of Opopanax essential oil
  • 6 drops of angelica root essential oil
  • 3 drops of yarrow essential oil
  • 7 drops of benzoin essential oil


  • Add the oil drops into an aroma diffuser.
  • Skip a few oils if you do not have all the listed oils.
  • Diffuse it in the evening

DIY Recipe #3 - Herbal Aromatics


  • 5 drops of palo santo essential oil
  • 5 drops of Melissa essential oil
  • 3 drops of carrot seed essential oil
  • 5 drops of Helichrysum essential oil


  • Add the oil drops into an aroma diffuser.
  • This blend works well spring time

DIY Recipe #4 - Simple Life


  • 6-8 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of palo santo essential oil


  • Diffuse and relax

Safety When Using Palo Santo Oil

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects. Generally essential oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid any adverse effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to certain compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
  3. The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These maybe made from substandard sources.
  4. Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
  5. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  6. Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
  7. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  8. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  9. Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
  10. Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
  11. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  12. Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
  13. The oil may cause embryotoxicity; consult a doctor before use.
  14. Always do a small patch test before topical application.
  15. If aromatherapy is performed directly from the bottle, make sure that the oil does not touch the skin.
  16. The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  17. If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
  18. Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used by those with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.

Recommended Palo Santo Oil Products

Searching for some soul-soothing scents? Add our pure Palo Santo oil and others like it to your shopping bag.(4)

Frequently Asked Questions
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