Considered the aromatherapy of ancient spirits, and literally translated into “Holy Wood”, Palo Santo is gaining popularity as the new “it girl” in the new age, essential oils world. With aromatherapy tinged notes including citrus and frankincense, it’s a clean, strong scent used everywhere from yoga studios to your wise grandmother’s living room.  From warding off mosquitoes (as well as evil spirits) to healing arthritis, many believe that this mystical wood is one the most beneficial elements in the essential oils market.

First used by the Incas, the Palo Santo tree and its concentrated essential oils have been widely used in folk medicines and by shamans (“medicine men”) for centuries because of the tree’s perceived spiritual applications. Its smoke is also thought to be so powerful that it has become a staple in sacred rituals, working as a spiritual cleanser and smudging incense.

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Found throughout much of Central and South America, it’s not as simple as just finding this tree. In order for the Palo Santo to gain its healing properties it must die, and not just any death. The trees (which live for up to 90 years), must only die from a natural death of a wise old limb or tree. After this death, the tree must remain in its natural habitat for 4 to 10 years to complete its metamorphosis. Only then, say believers, do its sacred, medicinal and mystical properties come alive. Now THAT’S aromatherapy.

These 7 reasons show just what Palo Santo does and how you can incorporate its usage into your lfe.