Palo Santo is extremely rare, as it’s an endangered species, only fallen down trees can be harvested. The region in which B. graveolens is found stretches from northern Mexico to Peru in South America. It has been saying that Palo Santo application is illegal because it is an endangered wood and the therapist uses come because we cut the live palo santo but, What is the reliable truth of this information? This tree is not only sustainable but for every candle you purchase, you plant a palo santo tree in the dry tropical forest in Ecuador. Ecuadorian hands is also apart of this project. Palo Santo is commonly used in sticks of from 4 to 6 inches long, and from 1/4 inch to 5/8’s of an inch thick. Suarez explains that there could be serious consequences for farmers if people stopped buying palo santo. This tree species is highly valued for the long, straight, durable lumber it produces, as well as for the fragrant resin its wood contains, which is frequently used in the manufacture of soap and incense sticks. B. sarmientoi, which is also called palo santo, produces dense, hardwood that exhibits characteristics of mahogany. DoubleBlind's newest course: Using Psychedelics for Growth. That means Dogfish Head is making beer in barrels made from endangered wood. Our palo santo comes from El Artesan, a company that is apart of the palo santo project. Fact: In June of 2014, the Bolívar Tello Community Association, from whom we source the Palo Santo for all of our Sacred Wood Essence products, was awarded the United Nations Development Programme’s, for their Palo Santo project’s outstanding effectiveness in reducing poverty through biodiversity conservation and sustainable business practices, http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T32028A68085692.en, natureandculture.org/our-process/sustainable-development/the-palo-santo-project/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecuadorian_dry_forests. Concerned smudgers took to social media to alert the #witchesofinstagram and #healersoftwitter to essentially boycott the wood, purporting that there are only 250 trees left in the Gran Chaco region, and anyone who buys or sells palo santo is contributing to the extinction of the tree. The answer starts with what palo santo is. Not only does our tree-planting program ensure an abundant future for this delightful tree, but it also preserves and restores habitat for a host of critically endangered endemic plants and animals. Learn More. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. More scientific research needs to be done to understand why, but when it comes to Palo Santo, a cut tree is a bland tree. Your email address will not be published. It’s a tale of mistaken identities—an archetypal story as old as either species of palo santo. Let's Shroom! Even popular beer companies use this wood. threatened with over-exploitation … but not the one we sell (, Here’s an easy way to tell the two types of Palo Santo apart: Palo Santo from the threatened, tree is dark and reddish, akin to mahogany. That’s an area greater than the ranges of North America’s Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias combined! The self-care and wellness industries have a dark shadow. Maison Palo Santo sources our aromatic tree from a trusted supplier from Ecuador, where they harvest Bursera graveolens. We only gather wood from fallen trees that have aged at least four years, allowing the resins to naturally develop. Ayales, who sources wood from an indigenous family in the Chiclayo region of Peru, warns that not every business in the space operates ethically. Thank you so much for posting truth on this subject. A few factors are at play. This tree species is highly valued for the long, straight, durable lumber it produces, as well as for the fragrant resin its wood contains, which is frequently used in the manufacture of soap and incense sticks. Not only does our tree-planting program ensure an abundant future for th. Is palo santo safe to use, or is buying holy wood depleting the planet and fueling exploitative work practices—all so we can cleanse our crystal grids and rid our spaces of negative energy? For home use, palo santo essential oil should be derived from the Bursera graveolens tree, which is technically not endangered. Local farmers or indigenous families who’ve made palo santo farming their life typically uphold sustainable harvesting practices. Unfortunately, B. sarmientoi is endangered. It keeps them alive within their small economy.”. According to a report from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), indigenous cultures used B. sarmientoi for a number of reasons, from cooking utensils to burning the rose-scented wood in marriage ceremonies to extracting its oil. One type of Palo Santo is endangered and is under government protection. The tree is now endangered in Peru. Anyone who spends time on the ground in the arid subtropical coast ranges of southern Ecuador will quickly encounter an ecosystem under duress. We don’t use Palo Santo because it’s harmful to an endangered tree called the Palo Santo tree and the cultures that depend on it. Lately I have heard quite a few people inquire about Palo Santo and it's 'endangered' status. The dead branches are actually what provides the … With the help of you, our customers! But not every business within the spheres of self-care, wellness, and spirituality are locked in a cycle of exploitation. Each time we burn Palo Santo, we at Sacred Wood Essence first offer our intention to the land, the plants, the animals, and the people of Ecuador. Your email address will not be published. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc. produces a beer called “Palo Santo Marron” that’s aged in barrels made of B. sarmientoi. https://www.ecuadorianhands.com/en/blog/285_preservation-of-the-dry-forests-of-ecuador-palo-santo-joa-manabi-project-50-has.html. Read: Beyond Mushrooms: The Mysterious, Magical World of African Plant Medicine. Land used for growing palo santo has more economic value than decimated land used for cattle ranching. The inhabitants of the surrounding communities live from the trade of Palo Santo. “This is how many indigenous people survive, and it’s vital that we support the ones doing ethical work. Palo santo isn't endangered, but its tropical dry forest habitat is threatened. There can be regions with smaller populations that may list the plant’s regional conservation status as endangered at certain times. With the help of you, our customers! The trees used for spiritual practices are a different verity and must never be cut down to for this use. The tree was considered an endangered species until 2019 when the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published its review. These types of harvesting practices contribute to the environment, particularly reforestation of the Tropical Dry Forest, an extremely sensitive region the B. graveolens tree range passes through. Bulnesia Sarmiento – Endangered Palo Santo. Here’s an interesting fact for those of you who love our Sacred Wood Essence Palo Santo smudge sticks and essential oils: The aromatic tree commonly known as Palo Santo in the US (. ) This tree species is highly valued for the long, straight, durable lumber it produces, as well as for the fragrant resin its wood contains, which is frequently used in the manufacture of soap and incense sticks. Late-capitalism is shameless in the way it advertises, exploits, and profits—so, it’s smart to be skeptical about where you spend money. In order to produce the resin we enjoy for its delightful healing aroma, Palo Santo requires a natural death and a prolonged aging period. Palo Santo in medical terms is known as Bursera Graveolens that grows in abundance throughout South Americas – now coming to the question, whether it is endangered? Although these trees share the name Palo Santo (the name translates from Spanish as “Sacred Wood,” an allusion to the incense commonly burned at Catholic mass), they are two totally different species that grow in different parts of this vast Spanish-speaking region. We understand and share your concern for the sustainability of our Mother Earth, for the need to respect and preserve her blessings, and for the need to honor the traditions of the cultures who have shared their wisdom with us. With deepest blessings and sincere gratitude. That depends on who you ask. Allegedly, there are companies that prematurely cut down trees and sell the wood. Des propriétés curatives lui étaient déjà reconnues depuis l’antiquité ! The "Palo Santo" (Bursera graveolens) used in aromatherapy and various spiritual practices is a tree that originates in the dry forests of Ecuador & Perú, and is a species known as " Bursera graveolens." Palo Santo is an endangered tree under government protection. Each fallen tree is replaced with a new seedling, and logging of the trees is strictly forbidden. The two 10,000 gallon barrels used were allegedly made pre-prohibition. It’s listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conversation of Nature. In conclusion, we would like to say thank you for supporting us for all these years on our heart-forward mission. “In a sad twist, the misguided call to boycott B. graveolens actually hurts the livelihoods of farmers in Ecuador, which can also lead to forest-clearing for cattle grazing and other land-degrading industries,” Suarez says, highlighting the intrinsic stewardship of small, often indigenous, farmers. It’s hard not to feel jaded when marketing tactics in the guise of spirituality and self-care become a cultural norm. According to an article published by The New York Times, Palo Santo is not endangered and is just a victim of mistaken identity. Bulnesia Sarmiento, the threatened type of Palo Santo, grows in the Gran Chaco region of northern Argentina and southern Paraguay. Indeed, the forests where the type of Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) that we provide grows are under a great deal of economic pressure as well. Anyone who spends time on the ground in the arid subtropical coast ranges of southern Ecuador will quickly encounter an ecosystem under duress. The dramatic spike in demand has even spawned rumors about endangerment over the past year, causing stark confusion—panic, even—among consumers and practitioners. This Holy Wood grows mainly in Latin America, Peru & Ecuador, and are ubicated in dry woods, most known as the dry jungles. by Cassandra Davis | Jul 31, 2019 | Sustainability | 1 comment. Serious work is ongoing to try to preserve the remaining Palo Santo trees, and to begin the growth of new trees. A once sacred practice is now a commercial trend that has, in … In a sad twist, the misguided call to boycott Bursera graveolens removes opportunities for sustainable livelihood in Ecuador, which actually then encourages forest clearing for cattle grazing and other land-degrading industries, while it does nothing to address the overconsumption of Bulnesia Sarmiento in Argentina and Paraguay. is delightful tree, but it also preserves and restores habitat for a host of critically endangered endemic plants and animals. For decades, this spectacular landscape in southern Ecuador has been threatened by land clearing and unsustainable agricultural practices such as unregulated cattle grazing and biofuel crops. There is a misconception that the Palo Santo that is used by energy practitioners is an endangered tree species. Many have been left to wonder: Is palo santo safe to use, or is buying holy wood depleting the planet and fueling exploitative work practices—all so we can cleanse our crystal grids and rid our spaces of negative energy? When she’s not working, you can find her doing yoga to Ravi Shankar or figuring out how to get to the nearest beach. Fact: In the ten-plus years since we founded Sacred Wood Essence, we have helped to plant over eighty thousand Palo Santo trees in the Manabi region of Ecuador. According to an IUCN conservation report published on March 1, 2019, B. graveolens is classified as a species “of least concern.” In other words, it’s not endangered on a global scale. Summer Rayne Oakes, a Brooklyn-based environmental scientist and author of the forthcoming book How to Make a Plant Love You and host of Plant One On Me, explains that while palo santo … One of these species, a mahogany-like tree known to botanists as Bulnesia sarmientoi, actually is threatened with over-exploitation … but not the one we sell (Bursera graveolens). “In my experience, [natives] have expressed happiness that we enjoy it,” he says. So, with so much confusing information out there, and so many critical problems in need of our attention and positive intentions, is the use of the Bursera graveolens-type of Palo Santo good for the forest or not? According to the United Plant Savers Medicinal Plant Conservation, there are less than 250 mature adult trees in … Besides the obvious environmental factor, it is not advised to use fresh live wood for aromatic purposes. As a company whose business model is built around selling this aromatic wood, we at Sacred Wood Essence hope to earn your trust by providing you with facts. Palo Santo is endangered in Peru (report hasn’t been updated since 2005 source). DoubleBlind presents: How to grow mushrooms online course. Il est donc logiquement utilisé lors d’événements, de cérémonies, de fête… While we at Sacred Wood Essence acknowledge and honor the good intentions of the people spreading this information—indeed, we share their desire for a more harmonious relationship with our Mother Earth—we would like to clear up some confusion on this issue and map out a way forward for sustainable production of this beneficial, delightful wood. However, according to the New York Times, the country controlling the region gets to determine whether or not a plant is endangered, as … “But there’s another reason, too. Our newest course: Using Psychedelics for Growth. The only way to legally harvest palo santo is to take from a tree that’s naturally fallen over — and have a permit from the government to do so. Recently, there has been a lot of press in North America and beyond about how Palo Santo is endangered. Fact: In the ten-plus years since we founded Sacred Wood Essence, we have helped to plant over eighty thousand Palo Santo trees in the Manabi region of Ecuador. The Palo Santo tree is currently endangered and is on a watch-list. What little is left outside of a few scattered reserves is mostly fragmented secondary growth? Both this tree species and the Bulnesia Sarmiento share the same name of … Palo santo is indeed endangered, but that palo santo is the Bulnesia sarmientoi. "Palo Santo… The problem with this harvesting method is the wood won’t generate its renowned majestic scent. While the palo santo tree isn’t endangered, cattle ranching, corporations sourcing rubber, and development has decimated massive portions of the Tropical Dry Forest. In that time, they’ve also planted over 80,000 B. graveolens trees in the coastal Manabi region Ecuador. Publication date: 01/10/2019. Endangered or Not. Is Palo Santo Endangered Traditional healing and spiritual ceremonies use the aromatic wood of the palo santo tree. About 15 years ago, [B. graveolens] was put on a watch list in Peru because it was impacted by the destruction of dry tropical forest, which is where palo santo grows. It’s found in the Gran Chaco region, which extends from south-eastern Bolivia through western Paraguay and connects parts of Brazil to northern Argentina. Adriana Ayales, owner of Anima Mundi Apothecary in New York, is a rainforest herbalist from Costa Rica. But the report from 2005 is outdated, though people sometimes still refer to it.”. For instance, it’s an inherent part of these business models to take what’s needed and never deplete an area. Beyond Mushrooms: The Mysterious, Magical World of African Plant Medicine, Vancouver Becomes First City in Canada to Decriminalize All Drugs, MDA: Everything You Should Know About the “Sass Drug,” What is MDA, and MDA vs. MDMA, This “Psychedelic Peer Support Line” Will Help You Through Your Next Trip. In the name of supporting small or indigenous-owned farms—especially in a post-Covid-19 world—I argue yes. The sand-hue palo santo wood that we burn to clear negative energy is an entirely different tree species called B. graveolens. Another species, namely, Bulnesia … The farmers he works with have harvested palo santo for 20 years. “Once you become used to smelling real palo santo, you can always tell if the wood you have is actually sustainably sourced.”. It is illegal to cut down or damage live trees. It’s a claim that is partially true, and needs some clarification. Although palo santo has become very popular, the tree isn’t endangered. This land is home to many endemic species of plants and animals at risk of extinction. One example of a severely threatened animal that relies on the Ecuadorian Dry Forest is a bird known as Esmerelda’s Woodstar (Chaetocercus berlepschi), a vivid green hummingbird that makes its living pollinating wildflowers in the shade of Palo Santo trees3. As long as you’re conscious about where your money is going and you’re burning it with sincere reverence, we need to continue burning palo santo. And there is more good news… You can purchase ethically sourced palo santo … As this article in the New York Times explains, palo santo is NOT endangered internationally. In modern times, the wood is primarily used to build furniture, picture frames, and other home goods, making it a valuable export. They fuel a corrupt gem and mineral trade, in which citrine or Himalayan salt crystals are hounded from foreign lands where miners are subjected to deadly working conditions—all so we can stick a carnelian yoni egg where-the-sun-don’t-shine and ward off bad vibes. According to Suarez, native holy wood farmers don’t have an issue with it, as holy wood is used in everyday life from repelling bugs to curating the energy of a room. “It’s as if I’m in the presence of a treasured old friend,” she says. Thank you for doing great work! There is also a lot of misinformation on the internet. © 2020 DoubleBlind Magazine | Privacy Policy. Palo Santo good for the forest or not? Infact buying palo santo can help this tree. Le Palo Santo des Incas servait à attirer la chance et repousser la négativité. The amount of misinformation and opinion being presented as truth is disappointing and indicative of the fast information culture we live in. This forest type, known to ecologists as the Ecuadorian Dry Forest, has been severely damaged by centuries of deforestation, overgrazing, and erosion due to unsustainable farming practices, So, with so much confusing information out there, and so many critical problems in need of our attention and positive intentions, is the use of the. The Palo Santo is commonly known as a native species of the dry-tropical forests of Ecuador. The reality is that the Bursera Graveolens tree is NOT endangered. The Palo Santo also known as Bulnesia is a source of particular confusion, as the wood in question is aromatic and classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. While the logging of Bulnesia Sarmiento in the Gran Chaco is a serious ecological problem, as is the deforestation that is happening across South America and the world beyond, the production of Sacred Wood Essence Palo Santo smudge sticks and essential oil from Bursera graveolens is actually contributing to reforestation and sustainable livelihoods in the arid hill-country of coastal Ecuador2. This highly revered tree has been praised for its pleasant aromatic … Depuis la nuit des temps, il est traité en tant qu’arbre sacré aussi appelé bois de santal. In other words, buying wood from corporate chains worried more about a bottomline than the land, may potentially support a less than ethical supplier. Even so, others argue that there’s no way around appropriation, and burning the wood is nothing more than Western entitlement. / The Palo Santo Project The Tumbesian dry forest is home to numerous endemic species – or species found nowhere else on the planet – but is as endangered as the Amazon rainforest. A few blog posts went viral claiming that the palo santo tree is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of endangered species. The truth is palo santo tree is endangered. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “The confusion lies in the fact there are two different species of trees called palo santo,” says Erik Suarez, founder of palo santo company Sacred Wood Essences that sources wood from a small family farm in Ecuador. It’s common to hear claims that Palo Santo use has caused the tree to be endangered. You may have seen articles claiming that palo santo is an endangered species. Thankfully, there are laws from the Yucatan to Peru that outlaw cutting down palo santo trees. We take a hard look at the facts, shine a light on a common misunderstanding, and show you how you can enjoy palo santo sustainably. Was this article helpful? Here’s an easy way to tell the two types of Palo Santo apart: Palo Santo from the threatened Bulnesia sarmientoi tree is dark and reddish, akin to mahogany. As such, the cultivation and harvest of Palo Santo is actually ideally suited to a sustainable business model that emphasizes an intimate working relationship with the land. It also comes from a massive region spanning from northern Mexico to Peru, and even the Galapagos Islands. The Palo Santo tree is currently endangered and is on a watch-list. Sadly, only 1% of this original forest type remains today. Many of our customers have been told that supporting companies such as Sacred Wood Essence that import Palo Santo from South America may encourage deforestation in its source region. Let's Shroom! Fact: In the ten-plus years since we founded Sacred Wood Essence, we have employed many families who have received a direct economic incentive to preserve the forests that provide them with a livelihood. Although there isn’t much of a market for this, Suarez contends, it can happen because most consumers don’t have the luxury of burning palo santo before buying it. Her relationship with palo santo is deep; the smell alone evokes a sense of safety and love. The wood is left on the ground for ten years to gain strength, and then only the heartwood of the tree can be used. The first: a case of mistaken identity. We can use it to avoid the bad vibes, clean a room, attract good luck and achieve a deeper connection in the meditation. While the palo santo tree isn’t endangered, cattle ranching, corporations sourcing rubber, and development has decimated massive portions of the Tropical Dry Forest. This month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the first time released a review of bursera graveolens’s conservation status and declared it “of least concern.” So why the confusion? In a sad twist, the misguided call to boycott, removes opportunities for sustainable livelihood in Ecuador, which actually then encourages forest clearing for cattle grazing and other land-degrading industries, while it does nothing to address the overconsumption of, Indeed, the forests where the type of Palo Santo (, that we provide grows are under a great deal of economic pressure as well. Palo Santo is a versatile wild tree that has become endangered. In America, it’s skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade. But Palo Santo also grows in Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Galapagos. Many of these small businesses also plant palo santo trees. We invite you to do the same, with an open heart, reassured that our work is restoring a heritage we all may share. Palo Santo from sustainably harvested. Much of the confusion about Palo Santo may arise from the fact that there are actually two South American trees called Palo Santo, and they are both frequently enjoyed for their fragrances. To many cultures and traditions, the palo santo has been a heaven’s gift, having some usages and different forms. “If a tree has an induced death or did not naturally die, it does not release its smell,” she says, referencing that this is common knowledge among palo santo farmers. The reality is that the Bursera graveolens making conscious purchases use the aromatic of... €œLeast Concern” by the New York Times explains, palo santo reality is that the Bursera graveolens tree, its. 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