Palo Santo Essential Oil
Palo Santo is a revered tree native to South America. It is considered a cousin to Frankincense Oil because both share similar constituents (primarily Limonene), slightly similar aromas and because both have similar applications.
Palo Santo Essential Oil is gaining more widespread use within holistic aromatherapy. However, there is great concern regarding the sustainability of Palo Santo Essential Oil as Palo Santo trees are endangered. When purchasing the oil, it is very important that you ensure that you are purchasing it only from reputable suppliers that are mindful and actively support the sustainability of this revered tree.
Loosely translated, Palo Santo means Holy Wood. Palo Santo has been used for hundreds of years by native shamans for spiritual applications. For those that integrate essential oils within meditation, prayer or other spiritual applications, Palo Santo is an oil to pay close attention to.
I personally find the oil to be particularly grounding and calming, and I see it as an important oil for use within Chakra applications. I am repeatedly reading that use of the oil or burning of the wood can help clear a space of negativity.
The aroma of Palo Santo is uniquely sweet and woody. Palo Santo Essential Oil loosely reminds me of an intoxicating combination of frankincense, atlas cedar, sweetgrass, lemon and a subtle hint of mint.
Emotionally, Palo Santo Essential Oil is grounding and elicits a sense of peacefulness and calm. I can see the possibility for Palo Santo Oil to be helpful for anxiety, emotional trauma and depression.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Clear - Pale Yellow
Strength of Initial Aroma
Sweet, woody, citrusy and slightly minty.
Palo Santo Essential Oil Uses
Highly regarded for spiritual applications, uses within vibrational work and clearing negativity. Insect repellent. Possible use for coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments.
Joint pain, inflammation, general aches and pains, arthritis, headaches, allergies, migrain, stress, anxiety, panic, dizziness, nervousness, concentration, immune system support, negativity, respiratory infections, circulatory stimulant. [Neryls Purchon and Lora Cantele, Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Toronto ON: Robert Rose, 2014), 93.]
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents.
[D.G. Young, S. Chao, H. Casabianca, et al. Essential Oil of Bursera graveolens (Kunth) Triana et Planch from Ecuador. (Journal of Essential Oil Research 19, 2007), 525-526. Web site: Aromatics International. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 379.]
Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 3.4%. They also indicate a risk of hepatotoxicity and precaution to avoid use of the oil if it has oxidized. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 379.]
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General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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