What Is Palo Santo? From Wood to Essential Oil


 Palo Santo Smudge


Native to Central and South America, the Palo Santo Tree (  Bursera graveolens )  can be found growing wild among the costal forests from Mexico to Ecuador.

Since the time of the Incas,  these trees have been held sacred by shamans and healers throughout the region for their use in purification ceremonies of both home and body. When burned as incense, the dried fallen wood of theses trees emit a white fragrant smoke which is used to ward off evil &  purify spaces and people  of "mala energía" ( bad energy ) through an acts of ritualistic cleansing. Interested in learning how? Read our guide to cleansing with Palo Santo. 






Made using wildcrafted Palo Santo, sustainably harvested by our partner farm in Ecuador. 

We've spent years searching for the right Palo Santo, sampling from as many companies as we could find But none were able to capture the true ethereal, balanced aroma of Palo Santo. Until I finally found my partner farmers in Ecuador, who not only have the highest quality Palo Santo I’ve ever experienced – but are also fiercely committed to sustainability and reforestation.

In the past 5 years, they have worked with local college students and volunteers, teaching them indigenous agriculture methods while planting over 11,000 new Palo Santo trees back into the coastal rainforests of Ecuador.


MIZU Palo Santo


The Palo Santo essential oil we use is wild harvested in a very unique process; Coming from a native grove in Ecuador, only the wood of fallen branches or remains of dead standing trees are used.  This wood is allowed to age and mature, typically for a minimum of 2 years, in which time the wood's internal chemistry shifts and it’s oils begin to develop. This aging process is the magic that gives this Palo Santo it’s uniquely potent scent.

Interestingly, the wood harvested from living trees does not react to the same aging process, which is needed to fully develop the scent.  According to local lore, it’s said that the spirits of the Palo Santo trees are carried into the essential oil, and are responsible for it’s fragrant essence. 


For those unfamiliar with Palo Santo, it’s scent is captivating and distinct. Many experience it’s essence as a mixture of sweet, woody earthy tones with light touches of citrus , cinnamon and a slight medicinal, minty undertone. This oil alone is an incredible aid in mediation and welcome addition to any yoga practice. In the aromatherapy world, Palo Santo holds a very calming quality and is commonly used to help combat anxiety and panic attacks.

MIZU Burning Palo Santo

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