Helen Keller once said that “Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” It’s the only sense directly interconnected with emotions thanks to the limbic lobe of the brain, and the only one that never sleeps. Thus it’s also closely related to lucid dreaming. For these reasons, when received this stimulus literally enchants us. Palo Santo, used as a sensory experience in a therapeutic context, particularly in an aromatherapy session, provides an experience that’s not only sublime, but also quite effective.

Found mostly in South America, the Palo Santo tree, is known as “the Sacred Wood” and also as bursera graveolens. A magical tree of extraordinary medicinal properties, the wood contains aroma compounds that are particularly evident when the wood is burned as firewood or distilled. Centuries ago, Inca shaman and healers in the Andes Mountains spread word of the wood’s cleansing and protective gifts. Among the indigenous Maskoy people, it’s believed that the smoke from a campfire of Palo Santo drives away evil spirits from the village – and the clarity with which it burns makes this evident.

palo+santo5

In aromatherapy, it’s commonly used in the form of essential oils obtained by the steam distillation of the trunks of the tress. This oil, placed directly into the nose or steamed through a vaporizer, serves to release tension related to stress and depression.

Unlike with other plants or trees from which incenses are traditionally extracted, Palo Santo requires only the lighting of a small piece of the dry wood such that it releases a plume of smoke into the atmosphere. This aromatic wood-smoke is credited with the ability to increase vibrations in the body and so it’s recommended for use when starting a meditation

Palo Santo is so rich in properties that each part of the tree can be used for medicinal purposes. These include uses as a purgative, a sedative, an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, a diuretic and as an anti-carcinogenic. At the metaphysical level, some groups consider it an effective repellent of negative energies.

Significantly, the benefits of Palo Santa can only be enjoyed some four to ten years from the time when the trunk dies. Collectors of Palo Santo wood generally take samples only from parts of the tree in the soil, and from trees that have died from natural causes. This gives the wood a very different spirit, and one that gives us all that’s been absorbed by the tree from the forest. This allows us to apprehend those same mysteries and via a most delicate bridge between us, a mere scent.

*Image via awildpoppy.com

Helen Keller once said that “Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” It’s the only sense directly interconnected with emotions thanks to the limbic lobe of the brain, and the only one that never sleeps. Thus it’s also closely related to lucid dreaming. For these reasons, when received this stimulus literally enchants us. Palo Santo, used as a sensory experience in a therapeutic context, particularly in an aromatherapy session, provides an experience that’s not only sublime, but also quite effective.

Found mostly in South America, the Palo Santo tree, is known as “the Sacred Wood” and also as bursera graveolens. A magical tree of extraordinary medicinal properties, the wood contains aroma compounds that are particularly evident when the wood is burned as firewood or distilled. Centuries ago, Inca shaman and healers in the Andes Mountains spread word of the wood’s cleansing and protective gifts. Among the indigenous Maskoy people, it’s believed that the smoke from a campfire of Palo Santo drives away evil spirits from the village – and the clarity with which it burns makes this evident.

palo+santo5

In aromatherapy, it’s commonly used in the form of essential oils obtained by the steam distillation of the trunks of the tress. This oil, placed directly into the nose or steamed through a vaporizer, serves to release tension related to stress and depression.

Unlike with other plants or trees from which incenses are traditionally extracted, Palo Santo requires only the lighting of a small piece of the dry wood such that it releases a plume of smoke into the atmosphere. This aromatic wood-smoke is credited with the ability to increase vibrations in the body and so it’s recommended for use when starting a meditation

Palo Santo is so rich in properties that each part of the tree can be used for medicinal purposes. These include uses as a purgative, a sedative, an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, a diuretic and as an anti-carcinogenic. At the metaphysical level, some groups consider it an effective repellent of negative energies.

Significantly, the benefits of Palo Santa can only be enjoyed some four to ten years from the time when the trunk dies. Collectors of Palo Santo wood generally take samples only from parts of the tree in the soil, and from trees that have died from natural causes. This gives the wood a very different spirit, and one that gives us all that’s been absorbed by the tree from the forest. This allows us to apprehend those same mysteries and via a most delicate bridge between us, a mere scent.

*Image via awildpoppy.com

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