Palo Santo, meaning "holy wood" in Spanish, is a tree that is widely distributed throughout Central and South America.
Palo Santo is used in South America in much the same way as White Ceremonial Sage is used in North America- to combat negative energy and to cleanse the space.
Palo Santo is different than many of the other smudging materials as it is fragrant in its raw form and does not necessarily need to be lit, though it usually is when being used for ceremonial purposes. Palo Santo is often used by Amazonian shamans in sacred plant spirit ceremonies; the rising smoke of the lit sticks is believed to enter the energy field of ritual participants to clear misfortune, negative thoughts and to chase away evil spirits. Its use reportedly dates back to the Inca era.
Use a candle, match or lighter to ignite your stick of Palo Santo. Hold at about a 45 degree angle pointing the tip down toward the flame. Allow it to burn for about 30 secs to 1 minute and then blow out. Move about your workspace, home, car, bathroom or anywhere you would like to clear the energy. The rich smell will also bring peace and clarity to the moment along with good feelings . When finished, place the stick in a fire proof bowl of metal, glass or clay. The glow will end on its own unless you blow on the ember which will keep the smoke going. Always use caution and respect when working with fire.