Palo Santo Smudging Benefits

Palo Santo Smudging Benefits

This article will highlight the benefits of Palo Santo smudging and what you should know about this sacred tree that comes only from South America.

Palo Santo is one of the natural wood that has been used for centuries by the native South Americans, and only in this century, made a household name among the new age and yoga practitioners.

However, we would just like to share with you some of the vital information about Palo Santo, that probably not many people talk about. This includes smudging by using Palo Santo.

Palo Santo Smudging Benefits and What You Should Know

Smudge Stick Palo Santo Malaysia
Lighting a Palo Santo smudging stick.

There are many people selling Palo Santo, and over here in Malaysia, you can also find them being sold online on websites and social media, and also on popular market places like Shoppee and Lazada.

With the fast-moving Internet generation taking over the retail world, it is a shame to know that there are people who will just sell things for the sake of selling them to make a profit.

What is frightening is that everyone seems to know a little about everything, and with the Internet, anyone can be a specialist overnight and claim they know certain products.

This has led to a lot of confusion and misleading information about many products, and when you come to natural healing products.

They include Palo Santo, White Sage or Frankincense resin, and people then to just scrap the information online and just pass it on, which is a shame.

Benefits of Smudging or Burning Palo Santo;

  1. Cleansing A Space – The most common use by smudging and cleansing away any negative and bad energies, restoring balance and purifying a space. Best done in the mornings and with good intentions.
  2. Purifying Your Aura – Used to cleanse and purify ones aura bu smudging  yourself or a person from down to up and then down again. Make sure a good intention is set when doing this.
  3. Destress, Relax and Meditate – Great for those who practice meditation, yoga or if you have had a bad day, burn the Palo Santo stick and just relax while enjoying the scent.
  4. Repels Insects, Bugs and Mosquitos – This is a natural insect repellent which has been used for centuries. Great for outdoor events, trekking, hiking, camping or even in your home. Light the stick and place it nearby.
  5. Treats Minor Illnesses – Works to reduce nausea, headaches and even sinus congestion by burning and smelling the fragrance and not the smoke.
  6. Brings Luck and Good Fortune – Some believe by placing a stick of Palo Santo in their bag will help to bring luck and good fortune.
Palo Santo Smudging Stick
The smoke from the Palo Santo Smudging Stick after being burned.

Palo Santo Tree, Common Names and Scientific Name

We all know the common name, and the scientific name for this tree is bursera graveolens, which grows in Peru, Northern Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, and at the coastal dry forests of Ecuador.

The tree is known to be discovered by Spanish Monks, which in turn named it ‘Holy Wood’, which translates as Palo Santo or ‘Wood of the Saints’.

The Palo Santo tree is also found in the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and also on the Galápagos Islands.

The history of Palo Santo is not documented enough, but research claims that it has been used during the Inca era of the Andean civilizations until this very day.

Palo Santo Tree
What a fallen palo santo tree looks like. Photo by YLDist.

How is the Palo Santo Tree Harvested? 

The Palo Santo tree can never be cut down while it is still growing. In South America, it is only permitted to be harvested long after dying a natural death.

The tree simply does not give us what we need unless we respect it and harvest it in a sustainable manner that is accepted by society.

The tree must die a natural death, followed by years on the forest floor that its essential oils and healing properties develop, giving the wood the power to purify, attract positive energy, heal and smell.

At the end of the day, sustainable harvesting of Palo Santo is strongly practised among the local people of South America, but then again there are unscrupulous people who defy these practices for the sake of money.

Smudging Stick Palo Santo
The real Palo Santo smudging sticks from Peru.

Fake Palo Santo

With a worldwide demand for Palo Santo, there has been a rise in bad practice where people have been duped, especially online, when sellers just send sticks of unknown wood which are not Palo Santo.

Often, people get cheated when buying large amounts for resale, where other unknown wood pieces are included in the bulk order.

And there are also cases of people selling unethically cut Palo Santo trees, which don’t have the oils that have developed naturally. They then soak the wood in Palo Santo oils to give it the smell and pass it off as the real thing.

Another small matter to highlight is the freshness of the Palo Santo wood as there are some people who overstock to monopoly the market by hoarding them. They then sell them off at a much later date and the freshness is no longer prominent.

How to burn Palo Santo Sticks
A guide on how to burn Palo Santo sticks. Photo by WikiHow.

Palo Santo Local Customs

According to local customs in South America, Palo Santo is widely used against bad energy and often termed “Palo santo para limpiar tu casa de la mala energía, palo santo para la buena suerte” translated as “Palo santo to clean your house of bad energy, palo santo for good luck”.

Peruvian medicine men reputedly use Palo Santo to clear misfortune, negative thoughts prints, and evil spirits in people, homes or spaces.

Palo Santo Smudge Sticks Malaysia
The Peruvian Palo Santo Sticks that we sell.

Effects of Burning Palo Santo

No two people are the same and there are people who feel a peculiar discomfort when in the presence of the Palo Santo aroma.

If this happens to you, do not be discouraged as this is all part of its purifying effect and gradually you will grow enjoy its natural fragrance as the wood’s cleansing and purification takes effect.

Some people are instantly attracted to the scent, while others may not be. This is normal, and a common trait in humans. Just like some people like a rose fragrance while others dislike it.

After burning the Palo Santo smudging sticks, you can put the embers out in an ashtray, incense bowl or fireproof container.


This article on the Palo Santo smudging benefits and what you should know is created for anyone who requires additional information about this natural product.

There may be other websites that may explain it in a different way, but it is entirely up to you to make judgement on what and how you should do it.

At the end of the day, whatever you decide, please make sure that you practice safety when lighting the Palo Santo sticks and keep this away from children.

If you have questions, or would like to see, touch and smell the Palo Santo smudging sticks, please visit our shop in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.

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