Palo santo essential oil  is known for its powerful antioxidant abilities. Also called holy wood, palo santo essential oil comes from the palo santo plant.  In fact, it’s in the same family as that of frankincense and myrrh. And just like its cousins, this essential oil is useful to treat a variety of conditions. For example, it can fight free radical damage, relieve headaches, and reduce stress. One of the most prominent and well-known uses of this oil, however, is to repel bugs. Read on to learn more about the fascinating history this essential oil boasts!

Palo Santo: A Spiritual Connection

The palo santo tree has strong spiritual and mystical ties, and as such, shamans and other medicine and spiritual leaders have used it for centuries.  In fact, common practice was to use it to clear negativity out of an airspace, similar to the notion of using sage.  Its scent is sweet and woodsy, with slight undertones of both citrus and mint, making for a truly unique fragrance. Thanks to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, there is a wealth of good palo santo essential oil can do.

Palo Santo Essential Oil Health Uses

1. Headache Treatment

You can treat migraines and stress-induced headaches naturally with palo santo essential oil. For instant headache relief, diffuse the oil at home and inhale the vapors. You can also try rubbing palo santo oil and coconut oil onto your temples and neck for pain relief. (1)  Use with caution, however, as some people find that fragrances worsen migraine symptoms.  Try a small sniff from the bottle before diffusing it or using it on your face.

2. Immune System Enhancer

It’s true that your body naturally detoxed on its own accord. But when its overloaded with toxins and pollutants, your body needs your help to rid itself of the gunk. You can do this with a proper, organic diet and by drinking plenty of pure, filtered water. However, you can also help your body detox with the power of essential oils. And palo santo essential oil can aid in this process because it naturally helps support the immune system. For example, it can help reduce inflammatory responses caused by a poor diet, pollution, stress and illness. Combine several drops of pure palo santo oil with hot water to use it as a detoxifying agent. (2)

3. Cold or Flu Remedy

As mentioned above, palo santo essential oil promotes a healthy immune system. Furthermore, palo santo oil works to improve blood circulation and give you a natural boost of energy.  As such, this essential oil works well for fighting a cold or the flu. For example, it can help reduce feelings of nausea, dizziness and congestion. To help fight viruses and infections, apply a few drops of palo santo oil to your chest, or add some to your warm bath water.  You can also diffuse the oil while you sleep, keeping the diffusing mechanism close to your bed, such as on your nightstand.

4. Stress Reducer

Palo santo oil can help reduce pain, anxiety and insomnia when inhaled. Apply several drops of palo santo essential oil mixed with a carrier oil to your head, neck or chest to reduce anxiety and promote a more restful night’s sleep. You can also diffuse it next to your bed while you sleep, or add several drops to pre-bedtime bath. Want to reduce stress throughout the day? Of course you do! To bust stress in its tracks, pour palo santo essential oil into an essential oil necklace. This will give you the ability to sniff it all day long. Alternatively, simply take the bottle itself with you to work, or wherever the day brings you.

As this essential oil helps relieve stress and can remove an air of negativity, it’s the perfect candidate for use in meditation. Diffuse it prior to or during your meditation practices to achieve a relaxed and positive state of mind. Remember, you don’t have to set a large segment of time aside in your day to meditate. It can be as simple as diffusing palo santo or another relaxing essential oil, then taking five or ten minutes to center yourself while repeating a meaningful mantra.

5. Bug Repellent

Many years ago, palo santo wood chips were used as an incense to keep mosquitoes away.  You can still do the same today with the essential oil. Why use store-bought repellents with questionable ingredients when you can use the power of an essential oil, instead? Use palo santo oil as a natural bug and mosquito repellent by combining it with water and spraying it directly onto your skin or clothes. (3)

6. Pain Reliever

Palo santo essential oil’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can help treat muscle and joint pain caused by arthritis, injuries, neck pain, back pain and sore muscles. Apply several drops of the oil with a carrier oil to the affected area three times per day. You can also try adding palo santo oil and Epsom salts to a warm bath to relieve pain. (4) However, if your pain is accompanied by inflammation, be sure to follow your bath with an ice treatment. Heat can worsen inflammation, while ice works to decrease it.

7. Allergy Treatment

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory abilities of palo santo oil, it makes for a fantastic natural allergy treatment. Inhale the oil for relief from allergy symptoms. Palo santo oil can also help relieve other inflammatory conditions, such as digestive issues and asthma symptoms. You may also consider diffusing the oil for relief of these symptoms. Some scents, however, may worsen asthmatic symptoms for some people. Start with a singular sniff from the bottle to see how it affects you.

Side Effects of Palo Santo Essential Oil

There aren’t any outstanding side effects to consider with this essential oil. However, as with any essential oil, it may cause skin irritation, such as a rash, or an allergic reaction. Test a small amount on a small area of your skin before you apply liberally. Furthermore, internal use of this essential oil may result in nausea or vomiting.  If you are pregnant or nursing, you should avoid use of most essential oils, especially internal use, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.