Bursera graveolens, also known as Palo Santo (holly wood) is a natural wood that grows in centro and South Amrica. For centuries the Incas and other indigenous cultures burned Palo Santo as a spiritual remedy ,commonly used for cleansing, purifying and to get rid of calamity. Palo santo may be burned, similar to incense, by lighting shavings of palo santo wood till it becomes charcol.
In Peru, shamans, or medicine men, light palo santo sticks, the rising smoke help them to enter the "energy field" of ritual participants to "clear misfortune, negative thoughtprints, and 'evil spirits'". Peruvians harvest fallen branches and twigs of the B. graveolens tree, a practice that is regulated by the government of Peru, so trees are not cut for wood harvesting. The charcoal of palo santo sticks can also be used for ritual smudging.