What’s up with Palo Santo + Cultural Appropriation?
If you haven’t tried out our new Limited Edition Palo Santo + Clary Sage, you need to! The reviews are in and it’s unanimously fantastic. We chose Palo Santo because of its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that make this scent an extra-strength BO buster with staying power. Not to mention its power to purify living spaces, soothe frayed nerves, and delight the senses.
We made sure to source it ethically and sustainably, thanks to our amazing Palo Santo supplier, Sacred Wood Essence. As with all things that come from other cultures, it’s important to treat Palo Santo with respect. Our Palo Santo is sourced from a community that benefits from the business of exporting, takes care of their forests, and is happy to see Palo Santo be enjoyed around the world.
How We're Ethically Sourcing Palo Santo
Is it okay to use Palo Santo? For generations it’s been used by Indigenous Shamans and Healers as a holy way to dispel evil spirits and cleanse negative energy. Palo Santo, translated to “Holy Wood,” originates from Indigenous peoples in Central and South America. It’s known for its presence in traditions and ceremonies as a powerful way to cleanse, clear, and protect.
While this is one of the many incredible ways Palo Santo is used, it isn’t the only one. For example, In Ecuador it’s an integral part of everyday life. Since Palo Santo is rich in limonene, it has strong antimicrobial properties so people will use it to ward off biting insects or kill viruses. Us? We added it to our Pit Liquor formula so it can kill the bacteria in your pits.
Because it is used by Indigenous communities for both sacred work and practical applications, Palo Santo can be appreciated by many people in many contexts. We never want to disrespect the traditional ways in which a plant is used. That’s why sourcing Palo Santo ethically is perhaps one of the best ways to honor it.
We chose our exclusive supplier Sacred Wood Essences because they have a single-source supply and they maintain a longstanding close relationship with their collectors in Sancán, a coastal town in Ecuador.
Sacred Essence employs locals to collect and process the wood right at the source. The indigenous people working are happy to share this plant medicine with the world because they rely heavily on their Palo Santo harvesting skills to make a living. The wood isn’t used in any specific religion or tradition. We love this partnership because we’re directly helping create local abundance in that community while delivering you an incredible and effective natural deodorant.
How We’re Sustainably Harvesting Palo Santo
Ethically sourcing the Palo Santo is one piece of the puzzle but It’s equally important that we’re sustainably harvesting Palo Santo. Sacred Essence never cuts down Palo Santo trees, which is actually illegal under Ecuador’s strict conservation laws. After strong annual storms knock Palo Santo trees down, the fallen wood must remain on the forest floor for up to a decade to allow the aromatic resins to develop and cure. Great things take time and Palo Santo is worth waiting for.
The icing on the cake is that when a Palo Santo tree falls in the Ecuadorian coastal forest, Sacred Essence just plants more. We’re proud to partner with them to bring you one of our best Limited Editions yet. It’s fresh like a forest, with citrus and green undertones, while Clary Sage adds a subtly floral herbal note. Grab yours now while you still can!
For more information on this sustainably harvested wood, check out these videos from our partners at Sacred Wood Essence: