Palo Santo – Definition, uses and how to burn it

Palo Santo, Holy Wood or Sacred Wood in English, is a resinated wood originating mainly from the Andes. However, it is popular worldwide and known for its magical, purifying, and relaxing properties.

But what exactly is it? What are its uses? And finally, how to burn Palo Santo? Learn in this post!

Holding a big piece of Palo Santo
Holding a big piece of Palo Santo. If you find one of these, chop it before burning… please!

What is Palo Santo?

Palo Santo is a natural wood-shaped incense. Its formation is totally natural, it does not require human intervention. Therefore it is free of toxins.

The “Bursera graveolens” tree, native to the west coast of South and Central America, is the “producer” of this wonderful natural incense. After naturally dying and falling, the resin we know is collected from it.

It is common to find this resin sold in stores in small sticks to be lit and used in healing and purification rituals and also to relieve stress.

By lighting the tip of one of them, it burns and releases its properties through its white smoke. Moments later it naturally puts out.

If you wish, you can light the stick again or save for later use. Because of this, a single stick can be used several times.

Therefore, Palo Santo is an excellent option that can be used in conjunction with “normal” incense sticks – preferably natural ones – or alone.

A big piece of Palo Santo
I like keeping these big pieces of Palo Santo inside drawers and the wardrobe. Eventually, I chop them into sticks. They never lose their smell.

Palo Santo usage

Palo Santo has several benefits and it can be used for:

  • Purifying the environment and cleaning negative energies;
  • Calming the mind and relaxing the body;
  • Assisting in meditation;
  • Clearing the respiratory tract;
  • Flying mosquitoes away (YES!).

If you feel that your house or any room in your house is heavy, you can simply light it up and spread its smoke in this room.

However, bad energies come and go. To prevent negative energies from accumulating again, you can follow one or more of these 10 simple spells to protect your home.

Before meditating you can also light a Palo Santo. In addition to calming your mind and body, its scent will help you to enter the meditative state.

If you suffer from breathing problems, its smoke will also help you. It has anti-congestive properties.

I burn it virtually every day. In addition to the properties mentioned above, it is also a great insect repellent. Burning some before going to bed helps us get a night of better sleep and it also protects us from these demons who try to suck our blood.

In scientific terms, some of the components that make up this resin are:

  • Limonene;
  • Terpineol;
  • Menthofuran
A big piece of Palo Santo seen from the top
Palo Santo aroma gets into the clothes and into the bed sheets too!

How to burn Palo Santo?

There are 2 ways to use and burn Palo Santo. Below you will find a video in which I teach these 2 ways and after the video, you will find the written instructions:

Steps 1 through 4 describe the most traditional method. Steps 5-8 describe another method that I think is better.

Total Time: 5 minutes

Set one end of the stick on fire and wait for it to start burning.

Some traditions, such as Inca, suggest using a flame that is as natural as possible. Therefore, instead of lighting directly with a lighter or match, it is better to light a candle and place the tip of the stick in the flame of this candle.How to burn Palo Santo

Let the tip burn for a few seconds or a minute.

Let the tip burn for a while. Just watch it.How to burn Palo Santo - Let the tip burn

Shake to erase.

When you notice that the flame has burned enough, shake the stick until it goes out. This will release a white smoke.How to burn Palo Santo - Shake it

Spread the smoke around the room.

Ready! Now just spread the smoke around the room or the entire house. The stick will put out naturally. If you wish, just relight it by repeating steps 1 through 3. You can also save it for use on another occasion.

Method 2 – Prepare an incense burner, small Palo Santo chips, a candle and a charcoal disc

This method is similar to the method of burning aromatic resins and dehydrated herbs for rituals.

Place small chips of Palo Santo over the lit charcoal disc

Light a charcoal disc in a candle flame, place it inside an incense burner, and place the chips on the burning disc.How to burn Palo Santo using a charcoal disc - Light the disc

Let the chips burn and enjoy the energy

You don’t have to keep looking at the resing burning. After placing it on the burning charcoal disc, just leave it there and it will burn slowly and burn completely. If any parts are left to burn, simply turn them over the charcoal disc.How to burn Palo Santo using a charcoal disc - Place Palo santo on the Burning disc

Take this chance to harmonize the environment for a long time

Unlike Method 1, this method causes small chips to burn much longer, releasing more smoke for more time.

Where to buy Palo Santo?

Before buying Palo Santo, make sure that the seller or brand is offering the real product.

For example, in Rio de Janeiro I once bought a bag. When I lit it at home, it burned completely and the smoke was black. They sold me some piece of mint-smelling wood (?).

Therefore, try to know its origin.

In there are several sellers selling Palo Santo. By reading the reviews you can choose some for you. This one seems to be a great option! By using our links you support our website too! Touch the image below to buy yours.

If you wish to use the second method and you don’t have the materials, here they are:


So this is Palo Santo, used for centuries by shamans and healers in the Americas. Do you already use it? Will you start using it now? Tell me your story in the comments below! I answer all!

Thank you and let the Goddess guide you!

Photo of author

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check my YouTube Channel!

2 thoughts on “Palo Santo – Definition, uses and how to burn it”

  1. Great article, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have used Palo Santo purchased from a metaphysical store that is reliable and I just recently bought a box of it at Walmart of all places but I didn’t even consider it could be fake! I’m checking the box label now and am about to burn some to see what color the smoke is and how it smells.
    I have really enjoyed your articles.
    Blessed Be ???


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