The palo santo, in addition to its attributes to smoke for cleaning purposes, has repellent properties against annoying mosquitoes.
Its use does not require science. A lit match on the pieces of wood placed in an old pot or a bracero is enough to let out the smoke that has a pleasant, almost sweet smell. Its aroma is easily permeated in the rooms and prevents the entry of insects that are agitated especially on hot, humid and rainy days.
In the Ecuadorian fields, the large trees are cut into firewood, from which the rods (pieces of approximately 80 to 85 centimeters) are extracted, which are then sold in the city.
In Peru it is a 100% sustainable resource and all parts of the tree are used in one way or another. This tree dies naturally and only after 3 or 4 years of having fallen does it manifest its properties. No tree is cut down and the Palo Santo that is marketed must be certified by the Ministry of Agriculture of Peru, which guarantees a rational use of it and is essential in forest reforestation projects. Anyway, there is illegal traffic.
Currently, and given the great demand for the product, an action to repopulate the Palo Santo forests is being carried out in some areas of the Pacific coast of Ecuador and there is already a government regulation for its collection and export that must be complied with.
The Palo Santo tree
In the book “The vernacular use of trees and plants in the Santa Elena peninsula”, by Roberto Lindao Quimí and Karen E. Stothert, it is literally stated that the palo santo (Bursera graveolens) “is a small tree, the branches are very thin and very small leaves. The flowers dry up and fall, without being harvested ”.
Palo santo contains oleoresins and essential oils. The infusion of the leaves relieves the attacks of whooping cough. It usually reaches between 12 and 15 m high, its bark is smooth grayish or blue-green.
It grows in the Galapagos, in the Chongón-Colonche mountain range and other dry sectors of Ecuador.
Advantages of Palo Santo over chemical repellants
Insecticide sprays are an effective means to combat flies and mosquitoes and according to the OCU, all these products base their effectiveness on the use ofpyrethroids, What are theysynthetic chemical compounds that mimic the workings of natural pyrethrins and they act on the nervous system of insects.
But keep in mind that They are dangerous products and that for correct use you must follow the manufacturer's instructions. For example; reading the instructions for use of a standard insecticide such as Carrefour brand “Max insecticide concentrate”, we can see that it clearly indicatesWhat guidelines must be respected to avoid problems.
- Do not use in the presence of pets or people.
- Do not use directly on food or containers that will contain food.
- Do not spray for more than 7 seconds.
- Leave the room closed for 10 minutes.
- Ventilate after 10 minutes.
And betweenrisk phrases you can read:
- Extremely flammable.
- It can cause dryness and cracking of the skin.
- Very toxic to aquatic organisms, it can cause long-term negative effects on the aquatic environment.
- Keep away from children.
- Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
Uses and tradition
- Palo Santo is used to expel negative energies and attract positive energies. Balance the energies, seeking and increasing all positive.
- Helps control current illnesses caused by stress giving peace and harmony. That is due to its physical and spiritual cleansing properties.
- Its aroma helps to deepen the spiritual moments of meditation and contemplation.
- Aphrodisiac: its earthy and enigmatic quality helps to improve the romantic and spiritual relationship in couples. It can be used in the bedroom so that couples have a more intimate, loving and happy moment.
- Shamans use them in their sessions to clean and purify environments against evil spirits, bad vibes and negative forces.
- It connects us with human love, increasing the ability to give and receive.
- It encourages meditation as it relaxes the mind and induces a feeling of abandonment. It is widely used in practices of Yoga, Reiki, Aromatherapy, ...
- It relaxes us and transports us to a unique atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
- Relieves nervous tension.
- Eliminate domestic conflicts.
- It is used by breathing it to lift the mood, remove stress and against asthma.
- The scent of the stick serves as a 100% natural mosquito repeller, ideal for children's rooms.
- It has antidepressant, diaphoretic, diuretic, purifying, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antifungal properties, among others.
- Helps prevent flu (element: Alpha-Pinene).
- It performs an antiseptic function, destroying microbes to reduce the possibility of infections (element: Terminen-4-OL).
- Antivirals (element: Sesquiterpene).
- Its main component is Limonene (62.88% in Palo Santo). This powerful element helps prevent stomach, liver, breast and skin tumors.
With information from: