How to Spot and Use Authentic Palo Santo

Kristen Lagos

Are you fascinated by palo santo and want to use it in the most authentic way possible? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we'll share with you the knowledge and wisdom passed down from generation to generation on how to spot and use authentic palo santo. From sustainable harvesting practices to the telltale signs of fake palo santo - we got you covered!

The Importance of Authentic Palo Santo

Before we dive into the different ways to identify authentic palo santo, let's first understand why it’s essential to use only authentic palo santo wood for spiritual purposes. Palo santo is packed with spiritual and healing benefits, but when you use fake palo santo, the effects are diminished.

In today's market, many fake products claim to be palo santo, but only authentic palo santo wood has the sacred energy and powerful properties that have been revered by indigenous cultures for centuries.

When you use authentic palo santo in your spiritual practices, you will be able to harness the powerful properties of the plant. Its soothing scent can calm the mind, cleanse negative energies, and invite positive vibrations into your space. Plus, by investing in authentic palo santo, you are also supporting the communities that harvest it sustainably.


How to Spot Authentic Palo Santo Wood

Now that you know the significance of using authentic palo santo, let's get to the fun part- distinguishing it from imposters.

1. Look Into Sourcing

You can ensure you're buying ethically and sustainably when you purchase it from a trustworthy source. Sustainable harvesting means that the trees are only cut down after they have naturally fallen, ensuring no harm is done to the environment or the community.

Why Does Sourcing Matter?

As mentioned earlier, investing in authentic palo santo also means supporting the communities that harvest it. Fairtrade practices ensure that these communities receive fair wages and working conditions, allowing them to continue their traditional ways of life.

Buying fake palo santo or supporting unsustainable practices not only harms the environment but also exploits indigenous communities. By choosing authentic palo santo, you are making a conscious effort to protect both.

Check For the Scientific Name

Authentic palo santo comes from the tree species Bursera Graveolens, known as "holy wood." This name is given for its sacred and mystical properties. So, be sure to check the scientific name before making a purchase.

Did You Know: Authentic Palo Santo Needs to Be Aged?

The most potent and authentic form of palo santo is obtained from trees that have naturally fallen and aged for a minimum of three years. During this time, the wood goes through a process of transformation, developing its unique aroma and purifying properties.

So, when looking to buy palo santo, make sure it has been aged for at least three years; otherwise, it may not have the same powerful energy and properties.

2. Smell and Feel the Palo Santo

Authentic palo santo has a distinct scent that is hard to miss. It has a woody, sweet, and slightly earthy aroma that instantly brings a sense of calmness and tranquility. Also, the wood should feel heavy and solid in your hand, not flimsy or hollow.


Authentic Palo Santo Scent

To further explain the scent of authentic palo santo, it is often described as soft and subtle yet powerful enough to fill a room. Its aroma can also vary slightly depending on where the tree was harvested, but it should always have that distinctly sweet and woody fragrance.

Authentic Palo Santo Texture and Color

Another way to spot fake palo santo is by its texture and color. Authentic palo santo has a smooth, oily texture with a light brown to yellowish color. In contrast, fake palo santo may feel rough and dry, with a darker or reddish hue.

3. Watch Out for Additives

In today’s market, you may come across palo santo products that are mixed with essential oils or resins to imitate the scent of authentic palo santo. These should be avoided, as they do not possess the same energy and properties as pure palo santo.

What additives are added to palo santo and why?

Some additives that may be added to palo santo include synthetic oils, fragrances, and resins. These are often added to enhance the scent or color of the wood, making it more appealing to buyers. However, these additives can also dilute the authentic energy and properties of pure palo santo.

How to Use Palo Santo

Now that you have learned how to spot authentic palo santo, let's explore some ways you can use it in your spiritual practices.


Like sage, one of the most common ways to use palo santo is through smudging. By burning palo santo sticks and letting the smoke fill your space, you can cleanse and purify the energy around you. It's a powerful ritual often used before meditation, yoga, or other sacred ceremonies.


How do I smudge?

You can start smudging by lighting the tip of your palo santo stick and allowing it to burn for about 30 seconds before gently blowing out the flame. Let the smoke spread throughout your space, focusing on areas that feel stagnant or heavy.

Self-Care Rituals

Due to its calming properties, palo santo is also often used in self-care rituals. You can light a palo santo stick and let the smoke cleanse your aura, inviting positive energy into your being.

How do I incorporate palo santo in my self-care routine?

You can use palo santo essential oil during a relaxing bath or while practicing mindfulness meditation. This makes for a smoke and fire-free option. Another great idea is to place a few wood shavings in a bowl of hot water to create an invigorating steam facial.

Cleansing Crystals

You can also use palo santo to cleanse your crystals. Simply pass the smoke of a lit palo santo stick over your items to remove any negative or stagnant energies. While doing this, it may be helpful to visualize all the negative energy exiting with each cloud of smoke.

Why do crystals need cleansing?

Crystals can absorb negative energy over time, so they need to be recharged - palo santo smoke can help. To clear negative energy stuck on your crystal through the burning of palo santo wood, hold the wood by the crystals and allow your crystals to become immersed in the powerful smoke.

To clean crystals with palo santo oil, it's important to never put an essential oil directly on your crystal. Instead, put the essential oil in a diffuser and allow the spiritual purification process to present itself in an uplifting aroma.

Setting Intentions

The aroma of palo santo is said to enhance meditation and spiritual practices, making it an ideal tool for setting intentions. As you burn palo santo, focus on your intentions and visualize them coming to life.

What are the benefits of setting intentions?

Setting intentions can help you stay focused and motivated toward your goals. It also helps you manifest positive energy and attract abundance into your life.

When should I set intentions?

You can set intentions anytime, but some people prefer to do it during a new moon or when starting a new chapter in their lives.


Creating Sacred Spaces

Palo santo can also be used to create a sacred space for meditation or spiritual rituals. By burning it in a designated area, you can invite positive energies and set the mood for your practices.

Meditation and Manifestation

The calming and grounding properties of palo santo make it a perfect tool for meditation and manifestation. As you inhale its soothing aroma, focus on your breath and visualize your desires.

The wood's purifying properties can help remove any blocks or negative energies hindering your manifestations.

Healing Properties

Aside from spiritual healing purposes, palo santo also has numerous physical and emotional healing properties. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can help with respiratory issues, headaches, anxiety, and stress.

What other healing properties does palo santo have?

Some other healing properties of palo santo include its ability to boost the immune system, improve sleep, and alleviate allergies. It is also believed to have antidepressant effects and can aid in emotional balance and grounding.

Overall, it is a powerful tool for promoting holistic physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Decorative Purposes

Aside from its practical uses, palo santo also makes for a beautiful and meaningful decoration in your home. Its unique aroma will continue to fill your space even when not burning, reminding you of its powerful energy.

In fact, in Peruvian culture, it is believed that placing a piece of palo santo in your house or workspace will bring good luck and ward off negative energies.

How else can I decorate my home with palo santo?

You can display palo santo sticks in a decorative bowl, incorporate them into your home decor, or use them as incense holders. The possibilities are endless!

All in all . . .

From its authentic and pure form to its various uses in spiritual practices, it is clear that palo santo holds a special place in the hearts of many mystics and spiritual seekers. Its powerful properties, calming energy, and unique aroma make it an essential tool for those seeking inner peace, healing, and growth.

So the next time you come across this mystical wood, remember to choose authentic palo santo for the best experience.

Wondering where to find some? Check out our meticulously selected collection here.