Behind the Scenes At the Palo Santo Eco-Project in Ecuador

Palo Santo, meaning “holy wood” or “sacred tree,” has a long history of use in the traditional ethnobotanical medicine of South America.

Palo Santo trees have been dangerously exploited in South America, especially in Ecuador. Forests are now decimated in many parts of the country where the trees once grew abundantly. The preservation of the last remaining Palo Santo forests is critical.

The largest remaining population of Palo Santo trees in South America grows in the Parque Nacional Machalilla in Ecuador. Our distiller has been involved in the careful ecological harvesting of deadwood in this park for over six years. Only the branches and trunks that have fallen naturally are gathered; there is no cutting of any live trees. The harvesters are careful to not damage the areas surrounding the trees and do not create any new footpaths or roads. There is no waste of the harvested wood: every piece is either distilled or used as medicine or incense.

Our distiller has done extensive research into the propagation and cultivation of Palo Santo trees and is now able to propagate saplings and save young trees from areas that are being deforested for development.




Palo Santo is a true aromatic treasure. Renowned for its uplifting fragrance and pronounced healing powers, it is a natural purifier. Its settling, calming, and grounding qualities make it a great ally for maintaining emotional balance.

Palo Santo is said to have a spiritually uplifting effect. Often used for shamanic ritual, it is a valuable tool for meditation, enhancing creativity, and for tasks requiring sustained concentration. With a softness and sweetness similar to some species of frankincense, it is an ideal additive to massage oils. Floracopeia founder David Crow has written an entire book entitled Sacred Smoke: The Magic and Medicine of Palo Santo.




11 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes At the Palo Santo Eco-Project in Ecuador

  1. Excellent information about Palo Santo. The Sacred Tree …

  2. Thank you for sharing this video! It deeply touch my soul as you walked through the woods finding the ‘dead’ wood, which brings us life. I had to go get my Palo Santo and felt myself there. 🙂 Wonderful work….

  3. Fascinating! So wonderful to see these caretakers of nature’s treasures. May their work continue to be carried on by generations for millenia to come🙏🏼

  4. Yes, the video energizes by showing the love and care that is taken with the trees, both living and post-living.

    Thank you so much!

  5. So sweet. I had just gone to Carl’s Pharmacy in Aspen to buy a couple of oils. Someone had bought up all the tea tree they had and I will order from you as I’m about to travel to Asia and tea tree is a must! A friend gave me Floracopeia Palo Santo and Tulsi for my 70th birthday September 1st. They had attended one of your Boulder programs with me some years ago. We are all aficionados and this video reminds me why. Thank you and blessings.

  6. Do you make the oil from the roots of the tree? He said its very consentrated stronger. If you do does it cost more?

    • Floracopeia Customer Service says:

      The oil is made from the dead wood meaning that it is sustainable and does not put harm the tree

  7. Andrea Mercier says:

    That was beautiful. The video, the man describing the tree giving life in death. In the end he is taking in life through the smoke, cleansing his being with the smoke. Imagine being there immersed in that biome, the smoke opening your pores. You interact with the smoke with your hands exchanging your essence with the life your releasing, exchanging life with life…..Your microbes are re-balancing with the energy of the universe in that moment. Witness the power and forces of the universe. It is what is not seen that is true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *