Peru, Wood, Sticks from Peru (SKU 4580)
Roughly chopped sticks of resinous Palo Santo incense wood, wildharvested from naturally fallen trees, from Lima district of Peru. Each Palo Santo stick measures approximately 14 cm long.
More information about Palo Santo can be found here.
Palo Santo has a long tradition of healing and ceremonial uses in different cultures throughout the South American, African, and Asian continent. Palo Santo is very populair in South America and highly valued by shamans since thousands of years for its powerful healing assets.
In the shamanic tradition, shredded or powdered Palo Santo is burned on charcoal discs. The smoke can either be inhaled or used as fumigant to cure, tranquillise, and cleanse. It has an exceptionally peaceful, woodsy and comforting scent that carries a strong energy of healing and purification. Its wide range of enjoyable aromatic notes are unique and uncharacteristic to any single aromatic component. It is physically grounding and stabilising, and it will release negative emotions and energies. In addition, Palo Santo can be used as a tea, and as an alcohol extract. The oral consumption is assumed to tranquillise and to accelerate and support healing. Moreover, the essential oil of the Palo Santo tree has many applications in aromatherapy.
Only naturally fallen wood produces the strong resinous character and the sweet, woody odour that Palo Santo is well known for. The oil increases in strength with increasing time of being dead, as the resin will only migrate into the heartwood when the wood dies and ages. Thus, the highest quality oil and the most odorous wood is obtained from trees that are fallen over for a long period of time. Palo Santo trees live for about 80-90 years and to develop its spiritual and odorous properties, the dead tree has to age for about 4-10 years. The trees are growing wild and are used only in small, sustainable quantities and without impacting on the environment. The exportation and supply is, in addition, restricted and supervised by the government to ensure the longevity and safety of the trees and to prevent living trees from being cut.
An extensive article on the Palo Santo tree and its uses can be found here.
Other names: Bursera graveolens, Palo de la vida o Santo, Sacred Wood, Holy wood, St. Anthony`s wood, Palosanto, Mallka Waki.
The incense, Palo Santo or "Holy Wood" (Bursera graveolens), originates from a short, dense tree that belongs to the Burseraceae or Torchwood family - a family that also includes myrrh and frankincense (Boswellia carteri). The Burseraceae family typically displays fragrant oleo-gum resins that come from the tree heartwood and are consequently burned as incense due to their ethereal odour (Langenheim 2003). Even though the wood is primarily used as incense or to extract essential oils, also the leaves, fruit, bark and roots are harvested and used.
The trees grow in dry, tropical forests, like the Andean region, and are native to Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, and the Gran Chaco region (northern Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and the Brazilian Mato Grosso). The tree has a soft wood and only carries green leaves in the wet season; it grows preferably close to river banks, and is often inhabited by Brazilian fire ants that protect the holy tree from invaders.
The sweet woodsy Palo Santo scent comes from its aromatic ingredients that are composed of d-limonene, alpha-terpineol, carvone (Crowley 1964), phenolic compounds, flavonoids, quinones, antocyanidines, and also several unidentified agarofurans (Yukawa et al. 2004), which are found in the aged heartwood. Sesquiterpene viridiflorol is the main compound (~71%) contained in the holy Wood.
For those who love to experiment with the alchemy of combined scents, Palo Santo goes very well with the following incenses: Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), White Sage (Salvia apiana) and Copal (Dacryoides peruviana).
Crowley KJ. J. Chem. Soc., 1964; 4254.
Yukawa C, Iwabuchi H, Kamikawa T, Komemushi S, Sawabe A (2004).Terpenoids of the volatile oil of Bursera graveolens. Flavour Fragr. J. 2004; 19: 565 - 570.
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