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Incense Journal

Natural incense info from music to listen to while burning incense to incense history

What Are the Benefits of Burning Palo Santo?

Mike Pare


The Piney, resinous smoke of palo santo wood has a regal or holy association. This South American tree, Bursera graveolens  is a relative of the Frankincense tree of Africa. Palo santo contains a high concentration of d-limonene, an aromatic molecule found in citrus and frankincense among other botanicals. The wood of the tree used for incense can only be harvested from dead trees, the longer the tree is dead, the better the oil and wood.  It has been used for centuries in household and ritual use. Here are the top five uses of Palo Santo.

  • Clears the mind. Often burned while meditating to provide mental clarity and focus the mind.  The scent is centering and grounding.
  • Space cleansing. Spiritual cleaning with smoke, aka smudging, is a practice that goes back for ages. 
  • Anti Bacterial and insect repellent.  Palo santo essential oil is traditionally used as an anti-bacterial agent. Using palo santo incense reduces unwanted odors, bacteria and viruses. Also bugs don't like the smell.  Go away mosquitoes!
  • Evokes past memories. The sense of smell is strongly associated with memory. 
  • Calms pets down. Word has it that dogs like the smell of Palo Santo. 

Our Copalo incense cones contain palo santo wood powder, white copal tree resin, and red cedar powder.