Finding Ethically-Sourced Palo Santo Copy
The tradition of burning of Palo Santo (and sage) for spiritual purposes comes from indigenous Native American cultures. South American Shamans would cut the wood from bursera graveolens trees that had already fallen and been lying on the ground for several years.
In recent years, westerners have become interested in both sage and Palo Santo. Demand (and prices) has skyrocketed.
The increased price of Palo Santo has created some problems, as well as some positive effects.
Problematically, some unethical harvesters are cutting down live bursera graveolens trees to sell the wood. If this trend continues, it may threaten the species as a whole and put bursera graveolens on the endangered species list.
On the bright side, the increased price of the wood is allowing indigenous peoples to create conservation programs around bursera graveolens habitats, and harvest Palo Santo in an ethical, traditionally appropriate way (only harvesting from fallen trees). Even better, the increased price of the wood is incentivizing native peoples to use large areas of land to grow bursera graveolens, rather than clearing those lands for animal agriculture.
Please make sure to buy ethically sourced Palo Santo, rather than just whatever happens to be cheapest on Amazon.