Medicine

Medicine

Hello everyone. This is me under a Palo Santo tree earlier this year. I just posted a longer video on Instagram IGTV. Please take a moment to watch @sacredwoodessenceIn January 2019 there was a wave of viral posts that suggested Palo Santo was endangered and that anyone selling or buying it was contributing to deforestation. I am here to tell you that it is not true with our source in Ecuador and I'm happy to share my story with Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens). I first visited this tree on the coast of northern Ecuador in the winter of 2010. At the time I was selling Palo Santo essential oil and I wanted to offer the sticks as well, however I did not have a direct connection to the source. My mission was to travel to Ecuador and meet the family processing this amazing sacred tree. I had concerns that the tree was being cut down, so I wanted to make sure it was not before I invested my time and energy to create a business. When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to meet such a lovely family. My source family was shocked that I had ventured all the way from California to meet them and learn more. I was quickly educated and assured that no trees were being cut down within the protected dry tropical forest. It was illegal to do so and a cut tree had no value as the rich aroma and essential oil develops only after natural death and the trees have sat on the ground for 4-10 years.My source family undertook many years of investigation and education while working with local agencies, communities, and governments to replant trees back into the forest. Over 30,000 trees have been planted back as part of a restoration project. My source has assured me that there is much Palo Santo hidden in over 1 million hectares of dry tropical forest to meet the increasing demands. It was a match made in heaven and we immediately had a strong connection. This relationship is still vibrant to this day. The ecosystem where Palo Santo thrives has been devastated over the last 50 plus years due to agriculture, clear cutting for cattle grazing, human development and over all logging. These viral posts painted a picture that Palo Santo being popular or trendy was the reason for its endangerment. This is absolutely not true. Palo Santo actually adds value and incentive to protect these lands while restoring the forest for future generations. It provides jobs for families in rural areas to collect, cut, process, transport and work with the raw materials. Another interesting fact that led to confusion is that there’s another tree that grows in the Gran Chaco region of South America that is also named Palo Santo. This tree species, Bulnesia sarmientoi, is totally different from the Bursera graveolens Palo Santo that most of us have come to enjoy. It grows in central South America and it is in fact endangered. Why? It is a hardwood that grows tall and straight, which makes it great for building and making posts. It is a beautiful mahogany type of tree and it also produces an essential oil and incense that is sold in markets and online. Somehow these trees got mixed up and Bursera graveolens mistakenly received the bad press. Bursera graveolens actually is not good for building, as it is very curvy, knotty, oily, and full of bug holes. It is important to know that we at Sacred Wood Essence are dedicated to the ethical harvest and preservation of this magical tree. It is beautiful that people are concerned and that this awareness has been brought to the forefront. If you have any comments or questions, please reach out. Feel free to share this post with your network and tag anyone you would like to know about these truths. Thank you everyone for your support and trust. Palo Santo is a beautiful tree that is a gift and a treasure to the world. Many blessings to you.

Posted by Erik Suarez on Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Palo Santo

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