Why it is Important To Use Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens) in a Sustainable and Responsible Way

The Palo Santo tree is one of the most widely used aromatic trees worldwide thanks to its healing properties and its pleasant aroma.

It is also called as sacred wood or by its scientific name Bursera Graveolens, it is native to the dry tropical forests of some countries in South America including Ecuador which is considered one of the richest countries in terms of ecosystems.

In ancient times the shamans and several healers of the first cultures that settled in Ecuador used the Palo Santo tree and its healing properties to heal the soul and the sick. At present, this type of practice with this sacred wood has gained more strength and has gained great popularity which has caused it to spread throughout the world.

To use the Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens) tree, you must know that this tree has a life cycle of around 30 years when this tree dies naturally it must rest for 2 to 4 years in its natural environment, that is when This sacred wood manifests all its healing properties and we can take advantage of them, including large amounts of Limonene, a medicinal terpene known to be a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic agent that can be used if you use its essential oil.

Img Source: organicspamagazine.com

Currently, we can find the Palo Santo in different presentations such as soaps, essential oils and incenses among others. Being 100% natural products and derived from Palo Santo will help relieve the symptoms of the flu, allergies, asthma, cough, migraine, stress and fatigue, clean and eliminate the bad vibes of the home, helping to obtain a better meditation, relaxation and search spiritually.

In addition to its healing benefits, using this sacred wood helps protect and restore dry forests.

Although it sounds crazy, it is true, since by acquiring palo santo and its derivative products, you financially help the artisans and families involved in the collection of this sacred tree, therefore it will keep them taking care of the trees and the forest in its whole.

Img Source: enceremony.com

But if the inhabitants of the surrounding communities of the dry forests do not find customers who acquire this sacred wood, they will most likely begin to cut the trees to use the land in short-cycle crops, raise cattle, make constructions, or in something that helps them financially.

Keep in mind when purchasing Palo Santo or any product derived from this sacred tree, be sure to obtain them from reliable sites, that work responsibly and sustainably, that carry projects of reforestation and respect for the environment and its natural resources.

In Ecuador, there are companies like EcuadorianHands that are dedicated to the trade of Palo Santo and derivative products, sustainably and responsibly, and part of their profits are used in their reforestation program which they put into practice every year since some of their objectives is the restoration of the dry forests of Manabí where the Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens) tree lives.

Img Source: shopify.com

In 2016, they managed to plant around 5,000 Palo Santo trees in the commune of Joa in Jipijapa Manabí.

January 2019 they reforested 4000 trees of palo santo more together with the farmers and people close to the forest in Joa, here they were taught the proper way to work with the Palo Santo, and in December of the same year they joined the campaign “planting a tree with us ”where 500 trees of palo santo were planted on the hill of Montecristi.

In this activity, people of all ages participated, mostly children, who were part of the boy scouts, and learned that the Palo santo tree is a species that lives a long time and that the tree they planted that day would be able to Take advantage in 35 years in the future.

It should be noted that all these trees that have been reforested have been georeferenced to be able to constantly monitor them and be able to care for them.

Img Source: shamansmarket.com

In this 2024 they plan to reforest 4000 more Palo Santo trees starting from January. The method they use to reforest is the transplant, which consists of entering the forest and determining the areas with overpopulation of Palo Santo trees of 1 year of age, since being all together in one place, they will have difficulty developing by lack of space, what they do is leave a tree of natural regeneration and extract those that are nearby and relocate them in an area where there is no vegetation so they can continue with their development normally.

This is a clear example that using Palo Santo in a sustainable way and from responsible companies, we are helping to preserve the environment and dry forests.

Remember: The Palo Santo tree is not harvested, it should only be collected once it has died naturally. A cut Palo Santo tree has no value, since it does not contain its medicinal properties, nor does it smell.