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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 medicinal properties; helping to treat headaches, soothe panic attacks, bolster immunity and relieve breathing issues.

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 endanger 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)
Properties Antimicrobial, antidepressant, antioxidant, antimutagenic, nervine, anti-inflammatory, relaxant, sedative
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:

1

It restores youthful skin

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

It soothes skin irritation and reverses the damage due to oxidative stress.

Palo santo oil is also one of the essential oils that have antibacterial properties. It is effective against Staphylococcus aureus which causes a lot of problems to humans. A report published on this subject can be found online. (2)

2

It boosts immunity

The ancient practice of burning Palo Santo helps to naturally purify the air and support a healthy immune response. As an essential oil, it’s known to help bring allergic reactions under control, ease congestions and fight colds.

3

It treats headaches

Known as a healing resin, Palo Santo essential oil is considered as natural painkiller that soothe headaches away. The oil has a comforting quality that also combats the stress that accompanies headaches. Just a few drops can result in a clearer headspace and day-long focus.

4

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 stress-filled day.

5

Oil to Repel Bugs

Benefits of Palo Santo extend beyond therapeutic 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 is useful in driving away the bugs. It is these chemicals that drive the insects from the plants as well.

Palo santo essential oil is one of the few oils that have shown high activity against the parasite Babesia duncani, which may be caused by ticks.  The research published in 2020 cited black pepper and garlic oil as the two oils which had potent activity against B. duncani. (3)

6

Can Palo Santo Treat Cancer?

It’s too soon to say. But the oil has anticancer and antitumor properties which have been ratified in certain studies. The high content of limonene can cast antitumor properties on certain cancer cells. More scientific evidence is needed to prove this ability of the oil and its constituents are under investigation.

7

Useful in Lowering Inflammatory Conditions

The oil of Palo Santo has anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in lowering inflammation in the tissues. The diseases that this oil can be used for are as follows – joint pain, headaches, stomach problems, respiratory problems (cold & cough) and muscle aches. A few drops of the oil can be mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and applied topically at the affected region of the body. It has been used for thousands of years to treat pain from arthritis.

To ascertain the anti-inflammatory properties of the indigenous plant Bursera graveolens, a research was carried out. The phytochemical and pharmacological study used a 50% hydroalcoholic extract from the plant, which later showed anti-inflammatory effects under lab environments.

8

Palo Santo Improves Immune System

This oil is known to eliminate toxins from the body thus boosting immune system. This can be achieved by inhaling the oil or by applying it topically. A few drops of the diluted oil can be massaged into the lymphatic nodes to stimulate immune system.

9

Decrease Pain

Whether it is chronic pain or short term pain such as muscle pain after workouts, the nervine and antispasmodic properties of the oil offers relief. It can also be massaged along the nerve to reduce pain due to neuropathy and other disorders in the nervous system.

Palo santo oil is used in the traditional medicines of Peru and parts of South America. It is known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The research you can read here has proved these properties and has also segregated all the constituents of the oil.

10

Stress, Anxiety nausea, and Depression No More

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, and lowers heart beats and blood pressure, thereby reducing anxiety and stress. It can be inhaled or applied on the temple or chest to relieve stress. The d-limonene is one of the compounds found in Palo Santo and has been proven to contain stress relieving properties. Just make sure it 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.

11

Improve Sleep with Palo Santo Oil

The sedative nature of the oil is evident from the fact that it reduces stress levels, lowers heart beats and blood pressure and provides relaxation even when applied on the skin. (Do not apply the oil on your skin without dilution.) Palo santo benefits those with sleep disorders get restful sleep.

How To Use Palo Santo Oil

TA 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 Health

The woodsy aroma of Palo Santo has been used to reduce your anxiety when things get stressful. 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 Oil 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 powerful antibacterial properties and 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 anti-inflammatory properties, 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

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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