Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) is a highly revered and sacred wood, native to South America with most oil production happening in Ecuador. The Bursera graveolens tree has a short trunk, long branches and superficial roots. In Peru, the Palo Santo tree is protected by the government – no living trees or branches are allowed to be cut. To harvest for either oil or incense production, a permit is required, and then only dead trees, or fallen branches from dead trees, that have been left lying on the ground for a minimum of two years can be used. Optimally the wood needs to have contact with the earth for as long as possible, as the resin is driven into the heartwood when the wood dies and matures on the ground, birthing its potent chemistry. When preparing to distil, the wood is stripped down and ground to a powdered form. Palo Santo essential oil is a highly aromatic and potent oil, when used wisely and with integrity, reverence and respect, the benefits are profound.
Palo Santo has anti-depressant, anti-microbial and antiviral properties supporting the respiratory system when diffused into the air and the joint and muscular system when used topically. Palo Santo smoke has been used for millennia by indigenous people to deter mosquitos and to remove negativity and obstacles, easing anxiety and fear by calming the central nervous system and many other beneficial attributes that we will discuss here.
Healing Energetics of Palo Santo
Palo Santo invites helping spirits, encouraging us to accept, allow and surrender. Palo Santo invites us to do deep shadow work. It works between the worlds, allowing us to go to deeper into places of wounding within ourselves to heal, while feeling supported, protected and grounded.
The fact that its potency increases as it lays on the forest floor, speaks volumes to its healings powers when it comes to shadow work.
Essential oils and plant medicine can so richly support us by working on many levels - mind, body and spirit, and Palo Santo in particular encourages us to do the work to face our deep fears, look them directly in the eyes, and to choose love. When we feel protected, held and nurtured, the invitation to go deeper within ourselves to uncover what is holding us back and what we need to heal, is revealed.
Palo Santo is one of the essential oils in my synergy named Otorongo, created to honour my medicine path in Andean Shamanism. Otorongo is a Quechua word for Puma/Jaguar. I chose to use Palo Santo in my Otorongo synergy because they have similarities. Both Palo Santo and Otorongo protect us energetically and archetypally.
My intention when blending the recipe of essential oils for Otorongo, was to create an aroma that would imbue the energy of Jaguar as a protective archetype, and also to inspire a remembrance of WHO WE ARE, setting intention for healing of our ancestral line. Choosing Rosemary as the ‘herb of remembrance’ and Cinnamon leaf to add some ‘teeth’ bring imaging of a great cat holding our backs as we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. This potent synergy exudes a rich, fresh, warming and spicy aroma, wonderful for environmental scenting, as well as in a diffuser or used topically as a protective anointment.
To make an Otorongo Spritzer, add 30-40 drops of Otorongo Synergy to 80ml distilled water. Spray over the head and back of neck for energetic protection.
Palo Santo Spritzer is a beacon of light and energetic protection containing Lavender and Palo Santo essential oil. This ceremonial mist lovingly creates sacred space and supports releasing fear & anxiety as we venture into the dark.
Otorongo and Covid Hand Sanitizer
60-80 drops Otorongo Synergy
1/2 C. Everclear Grain Alcohol
1⁄4 C. Aloe Vera Gel
Blend together in a glass container with hand pump and shake well before use.