What Is The Difference Between Palo Santo and Sage For Energy Cleansing

Kristen Lagos

If you've ever been curious about the difference between using palo santo and sage for energy cleansing, you're not alone. Both of these sacred plants have long been used to cleanse and purify energy, clear negative auras, and create healing environments.

While they both offer powerful spiritual benefits, some distinct differences can help you decide which one is best for your particular situation.

Read on to learn more about the differences between palo santo and sage!

What Is Energy Cleansing?

Before we dive into the differences between palo santo and sage, let's first discuss energy cleansing as a whole.

Energy cleansing is the practice of using crystals, plants, or other objects to cleanse away negative energies and create a balanced environment for healing. You can use this type of cleansing to clear your aura, as well as any space in which you wish to create positive energy.

What Exactly Is Energy?

When we talk about energy in the context of energy cleansing, we are referring to a type of invisible force that is believed to flow through all living things. This energy can become stagnant or blocked, which can lead to feelings of unease and discomfort.

It can go by many different names, such as "Prana," "Chi," or "Aura," but whatever you call it, the important thing to remember is that this energy affects our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

blocked energy

What Causes Blocked Energy?

Negative emotions, stressful situations, and physical ailments can all cause our energy to become blocked or stagnant. This can lead to feelings of depression, exhaustion, anxiety, and other negative emotional states.

Additionally, by putting yourself in situations where the energy is negative and stagnant (such as people who are chronically negative or unhappy), it can be hard to stay positive and focused.

An important part of maintaining your energy is practicing awareness in everyday situations. Start by being incredibly present when feelings of negativity come up; don’t attach yourself to the feelings, but just observe them.

Ask yourself what narratives, beliefs, and situations are creating these feelings(and thus, are affecting your energy).

Then, change your narrative. If that means looking at things from a different perspective or stepping away, give yourself permission to do so.

However, sometimes that’s easier said than done, and we can’t always help the situations we run into.

This is where energy cleansing comes in.

The Importance of Energy Cleansing

Many people choose to perform energy cleansing rituals because they believe that it can help them manifest their goals, attract positive energies into their lives, and improve their overall well-being.

Whether you’re looking to increase your productivity, move bad energy, reduce stress levels, or simply create an atmosphere of peace and harmony, energy cleansing can be a powerful tool for creating the life you desire.

Overview of Palo Santo and Sage

Now that you understand the basics of energy cleansing, let’s take a closer look at palo santo and sage. Both of these sacred plants can be used to cleanse and purify energy, clear negative auras, and create healing environments.

However, there are some key differences between the two that will help you decide which one is best for your needs . . . 

palo santo

Palo Santo

Palo santo is a sacred tree native to South America and is translated to "Holy Wood" in Spanish. It has long been used by shamans and healers to aid those on their spiritual journey. Burning palo santo sticks is said to bring about good fortune, repel negative energy, and create a calming and serene environment.

It’s best used in small spaces such as bedrooms, meditation rooms, or personal healing rituals. It most commonly comes in stick form, but you can also get cones or an oil mix. Whether it is sticks, cones, or oil, it all has the same effect.


Sage, such as white sage, has long been used in many cultures to clear away negative energy. It’s believed that when you burn sage, the smoke helps to purify and cleanse any environment it enters.

Sage is often used to cleanse and clear a space before rituals, ceremonies, or meditation practices. It’s also believed that sage can help attract positive energies into your life and create a healing atmosphere of peace and harmony.

Sounds similar to Palo Santo doesn't it . . . so what's the difference?

Key Differences Between Palo Santo and Sage

Now that you know a bit more about the benefits of using both Palo Santo and Sage for energy cleansing, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the two.

Different Scents

One of the most notable differences between palo santo and sage is their scent. Palo santo brings a sweet, woodsy smell that many people find calming and soothing.

On the other hand, sage has a strong, herbal scent that many people find to be earthy and grounding. Depending on your preferences, you may find one scent more pleasant than the other.


Different Processes

When it comes to using palo santo or sage for energy cleansing, there are some key differences in the process. Palo santo should be burned directly, while sage needs to be smudged by using a feather or fan to disperse the smoke throughout the space.

Physical Differences

When it comes to physical differences between palo santo and sage, there are a few key distinctions. Palo Santo is a woody tree species that is indigenous to South America. It has a strong aroma when burned and can be used multiple times until all of the essential oils have been released.

On the other hand, sage is an herbaceous plant that is native to many parts of the world. Sage is gathered and then dried before it is used for energy cleansing, and while it can be used multiple times, it needs to be replaced once the scent has dissipated.

Origins of Sage and Palo Santo

The History of Palo Santo

Palo santo has a long history of use by indigenous peoples in South America, particularly in the Andes region. The wood was traditionally used in shamanic practices for spiritual purification purposes, to clear evil spirits, and to attract positive energy and good fortune.

As well as purifying the air, it promoted spiritual healing in ceremonies. It was believed that palo santo had medicinal properties and could treat colds, headaches, stomachaches, and even emotional pain in some communities.

Besides being used as sacred plant medicine, palo santo wood was also used for practical purposes by the indigenous populations of the Amazon basin. In addition to repelling mosquitoes and other insects, it was used in soaps and perfumes.

The History of Sage

Sage is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, but it can now be found all over the world.

Similar to palo santo, sage has long been used as a tool to invite positive spirits in, as well as to ward off negative energies.

In many native cultures, plants are more than living things - they are seen as having souls and spirits. The same is true for sage.

In ancient times, burning sage served as a means of connecting to the spiritual realm and the earth's spirit. The burning of white sage with intention allows the sage's spirit to lend its cleansing and protective energy to your space, body, and energy.

sage and palo santo

Which One Should I Use?

When choosing between palo santo and sage for energy cleansing, the main factor will be personal preference. Some people may prefer the sweet woodsy scent of palo santo, while others may find the herbal aroma of sage to be more pleasant.

Additionally, certain people may find that one process is easier than the other – some people may prefer to burn palo santo directly, while others may find smudging with sage to be more convenient.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Enhancing Your Cleansing Process

Palo santo and sage make excellent tools for energy cleansing, but they can be even more powerful when combined with other crystals or herbs. For example, adding a few pieces of selenite to your palo santo or sage bundle can help amplify its effects.

Similarly, you can combine a few sprigs of rosemary with either plant to create a potent mix of energy-cleansing goodness. To further enhance your cleansing ritual, try adding some sage oil or palo santo essential oil to your burning bundle for a deeper cleanse.

Where Can I Get Palo Santo or Sage From?

If you're looking to add palo santo or sage to your energy-cleansing rituals, you can find both of them in our sacred offerings catalog.

No matter where you buy your palo santo and sage from, it's important to make sure that you're purchasing ethically sourced palo santo and sage. This will help ensure that the plants are harvested responsibly and will not harm local ecosystems or farmers.


Palo santo and sage are both excellent spiritual tools that are used for energy cleansing. They each have distinct properties that can be used to raise your vibration and create a healing atmosphere of peace and harmony.

Depending on your individual preferences, one may be better suited than the other for your specific needs. With regular practice, either palo santo or sage can help you create a safe haven for yourself or your family to relax and recharge.