Also knows as (aka) Holy Wood)
Country of Origin
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Clear – Pale Yellow
Strength of Initial Aroma
Palo Santo Essential Oil smells woody, sweet, balsamic and slightly fruity.
Possible Substitute Oils
Blends Well With
Balsam fir, black pepper, blue spruce, clary sage, copaiba, cypress, frankincense, lavender, melissa, myrrh, rose, sandalwood, spurce (black), vetiver, silver fir, white fir
Palo Santo Essential Oil Uses
Bronchitis, joint pain, inflammation, general aches & pains, arthritis, headaches, allergies, migraines, stress, anxiety, trauma, panic, dizziness, nervousness, concentration, immune system support, negativity, respiratory infections, circulatory stimulant, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiseptic, anticancer, antioxidant, eases cough, relieves menstrual pain, decongestant, expectorant, enhances creativity, grounding, relaxing
Source: Neryls Purchon and Lora Cantele, Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Toronto ON: Robert Rose, 2014), 93.
Major Constituents Palo Santo (Wood) Essential Oil
- Germacrene D
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of typical constituents.
Source: D.G. Young, S. Chao, H. Casabianca, et al. Essential Oil of Bursera graveolens (Kunth) Triana et Planch from Ecuador. (Journal of Essential Oil Research 19, 2007), 525-526. Web site: Aromatics International. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 379.
Source: Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) is considered Critically Endangered in Peru according to page 17 of the report Threatened, Endangered and Vulnerable Tree Species: A Comparison Between FRA 2005 And the IUCN Red List. Although the IUCN Redlist defines Bursera graveolens as being of least concern, Dr. Kelly Ablard shared this clarifying statement:
Bulnesia sarmientoi is classified as endangered by the IUCN and is trade-protected by CITES. Bursera graveolens is not endangered, it is possibly in more peril having received the status as critically endangered in Peru per the 2005 Global Forest Resource Assessment (GFRA) which follows guidelines set out by the IUCN. Although this status may have changed since 2005, unless there is sound evidence stating otherwise, we advise working with the species as reflected by the most recent assessment. [Kelly Ablard, PhD, Email Communication: Palo santo: the importance of botanical names, September 24, 2019.]
Palo Santo Essential Oil Safety Information
Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 3.4%. They also indicate a risk of hepatotoxicity and precaution to avoid use of the oil if it has oxidized. Reading Tisserand and Young’s full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 379.]
Recommended Dilution Range
3.4%; see above safety information.
General Safety Information
Do not take essential oils internally nor apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Read, Birkat Natural’s, Guide to Diluting Essential Oils, for general dilution information. If you are currently experiencing pregnancy, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, have any other medical problem, or are otherwise under the care of a physician, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Carefully read Birkat Natural’s Essential Oil Safety Information page, before using any essential oil. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made by Birkat Adonai Farm, LLC as to the medicinal value of any products from Birkat Adonai Farm, LLC. The information presented here is for educating our customers about the traditional uses of essential oils and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products. If you have any questions, please call or email us for further information.