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Five Things to Love About Palo Santo

by Rona Berg

It seems like everyone is loving Palo Santo (“holy wood”) these days.

Favored by Incan shamans and healers throughout history for its spiritual and healing benefits, the essential oil is also loaded with skincare and aromatherapy benefits: it is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, plus it helps relieves stress.

Burning a smudge stick of Palo Santo is said to remove negative energy and promote the positive. We spoke with Sarah Villafranco, M.D., and founder of Osmia Organics (launching a Palo Santo Body Mousse), about the five top benefits of Palo Santo.

1. Palo santo essential oil is anti-inflammatory and can ease muscular tension in a massage oil or balm. It is also great for sore muscles or joints after exercise.

2. Palo santo is high in limonene, making it useful in the management of headaches, panic attacks and asthma flares. When inhaled from an aromatherapy inhaler or just from a clean tissue with a few drops of the oil, palo santo can ease anxiety, chest tightness, and even early migraine symptoms.

3. Palo santo has been used for centuries as a meditative and spiritual aid. The wood is burned to clear negative energy and usher in prosperity and mental clarity. The essential oil may be diffused to facilitate meditation or prayer, similar to the oils of palo santo’s relatives, frankincense and myrrh.

4. Palo santo is a natural mosquito repellent. Wearing a body oil or perfume with palo santo essential oil keeps the bugs at bay, and a few drops of oil in a ceramic candle diffuser can replace your citronella candle - with a modern (yet ancient) twist.

5. Palo santo wood is harvested from the forest floor after aging there for several years after the tree has fallen naturally. No live trees are harvested to obtain palo santo essential oil, and strict regulations are developing in South America to ensure that the future of this beautiful species is protected.

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