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What is Palo Santo & What are its Forms, Uses, Benefits, Side Effects

What is Palo Santo?

Palo Santo is a sacred tree that is native to South America. It grows in the very dry tropical rain forest and produces fresh resin. In Spanish, it is also known as holy wood.

For many years its Palo Santo’s wood, resin, and oil have been in use for medicinal purposes such as treating pain and stress. It is also known to clear negative energy.

There are numerous benefits of Palo Santo, but there is not much scientific proof to support them.

Forms of Palo Santo

Palo santo can be used in various forms such as:

Oil: Essential oil can be derived from the wood and fruit of palo santo.

Resin: The wood of palo santo contains a very aromatic resin. It can be extracted and used separately.

Wood: The wood of palo santo is available in the form of sticks, chips, and powder. It comes from the branches of the tree and is 100% wood.

Benefits of Palo Santo

Benefits of Palo Santo

There are numerous therapeutic and medicinal benefits associated with palo santo.

Repels Mosquito

Palo santo is known to repel mosquito and can help get rid of ant, termites, and flies.

The essential oil of palo santo is mainly composed of limonene. Limonene is a substance that has insecticide properties and is used as a natural insect repellent(1)

However, its effect to repel mosquito needs to be researched more.

Reduces Pain

Giving relief from pain is another benefit of palo santo. It can help people with arthritis, headache, and throat pain.

Limonene present in its essential oil is related to this pain-relieving effect of palo santo. Limonene is known to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties(2)

A 2016 study showed the pain-relieving effect of limonene to be linked with inhibition of certain neuronal pathways(3)

This benefit is completely anecdotal and lacks hard proof. Additional research is needed on the same.

Improves Stress Response

Palo santo is used by many as a relaxing agent. It eases stress. It is believed to have a purifying and cleansing effect on the body and mind.

An animal study found inhaled limonene to have anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties.(4)

It was also found that ingesting limonene decreased signs of stress on rats.(5)

More human studies are needed to prove its effectiveness on humans.

Uses of Palo Santo

The different forms of Palo santo available can be used depending on the benefit it is being used for.

Palo Santo Oil

In aromatherapy, Palo santo oil can be used for inhalation. It can also be used while doing yoga, meditation, and performing other stress-relieving activities.

Palo Santo oil can also be applied to the skin to relieve pain.

Palo Santo Wood

The wood of palo santo can be used as an incense stick. It releases aroma smoke into the air. The chips and powder of the wood are also used in the same way.

Palo Santo Resin

The resin present in palo santo wood is used as incense. The resin is placed on a heated charcoal disc in a resin burner that releases the resin’s aroma.

Side Effects Of Using Palo Santo

There are not any major side effects associated with the use of palo santo. Still, it is important to use it with caution.

If using the oil for the first time, it’s important to perform a patch test. This is to check the sensitivity towards palo santo. If the skin feels irritated stop using the oil immediately.

Those with lung or breathing problems, it is important to avoid burning palo santo as its fragrance would aggravate the symptoms.

Pregnant and breastfeeding females should avoid using palo santo oil or incense.

Where Can We Get Palo Santo From?

Palo santo can be easily obtained from traditional medicine stores, plant shops, gift boutiques, health markets, apothecaries, and metaphysical stores.

Palo santo has been in use for centuries for pain, inflammation, and stress. It helps clear out negative energy. It can be used in the various forms it’s available in.

Make sure to buy it from a reputable seller, so that what you get is pure and can provide maximum benefits.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 4, 2020

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