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The Holy Wood

When a holy stick is burned, part of a 50 year old tree is burnt….

That is because  the Palo Santo is only harvested once it dies!

 

Wildcrafted and using sustainable practices, the harvested wood from a Palo Santo tree comes from fallen branches and trees that lie dead for 5 to 10 years. This magical tree is one of the treasures of the South American coast.

There is a mystic symbolism to it, and the people of Manabi-Ecuador know it, that’s why it has been used for centuries in folk medicine, as a strong energy purifier and cleanser.

 

Its scent is described as “sacred”; when burnt, it produces a white smoke and spreads a sweet intense woody smell, with hints of mint and citrus that is used in spiritual rituals to bring good fortune.

But that is not all; the Palo Santo is believed to have medicinal and therapeutic healing powers to help with the relief of common colds, inflammation, headaches, and stress; it’s also good as a liniment and as a sudorific.

 

Easy to find in Manabi, every house has it, especially to repel insects, which is another benefit, due to its rich concentration of limonene. The wood chips also make nice scented decorations.

For those who harvest this particular tree, it is well known that there is a male and a female Palo Santo tree that grow in a group of one male per each eight females. The wood of the female tree is heavy, solid, yellow and can live up to fifty years. Meanwhile the male tree, is fragile, light, of a white color and lives up to 200 years.

Shamans say that this tree has a distinct spirit that lives in the wood long time after it’s death!

 

To the inhabitants of Puerto López, on the other hand, this holy wood, brings several export opportunities. The wood and its derivatives are sent to the United States, Canada, France, England, Spain and Italy.

There is an Italian merchant, for example,  that has lived in Puerto López for over fourteen years and produces a wide variety of  items that come from the Palo Santo. Among them are: essential oil, incense, shampoo, soap and body lotion.

 

We love Palo Santo for its many uses and we would love you to try it for yourself when you come to Las Olas Ecuador!

Call us today @ +1 (888) 406-8660 or contact us online to learn more about Las Olas. And don’t forget to take some Palo Santo back home when you leave to remember Las Olas and your time in Ecuador!