What’s really the difference between them?

If you’re new to Palo Santo and Sage, you might view them as some trendy incense... You wonder, what's really behind all the attention?

The world is booming over them! From busy city hoppers to lovers of calm and spirituality, Sage and Palo Santo are poppin' on everyone's socials, and you frequently get a whiff of them at your friend’s houses – and, not without a reason.

Here's the thing.

We gravitate towards them because each holds a specific property, a function of their own, which spans beyond a pleasant scentscape.

Why do people use them?

Sage and Palo Santo’s properties are, predominantly, cleansing and dissolving of unfavourable energies. You can diffuse heavy energies from spaces, objects, crystals – and even your own aura. Many also believe in their medicinal properties.


Palo Santo’s background, benefits and uses

First used approximately 500 years ago by the Indigenous Peoples of South America, Palo Santo wood means “holy wood” in Spanish. Originating in Peru and Venezuela, it also grows in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ecuador, among other South American countries.

South American cultures use Palo Santo to free spaces, objects and people of “mala energía” (meaning “bad energy”). In this process, good, or as we prefer to call them, high energies, are more likely to reside in their place.

Not only is Palo Santo used for energetic purification, it is also believed to provide soothing for pains and bad fortune.

Its distinct smell and spiritual properties emerge from the essential oil within, which is most potent in branches laying at the forest floor for years.

You'll find it in form of sticks and chips.

Palo Santo sourcing practices

In 2014, the Bursera Graveolens tree (Palo Santo) was taken off the list of endangered species, on which it was placed in 2006. Placement on this list meant that legally, the wood could only be sourced from branches which have fallen off naturally.

Although that is no longer the requirement, we still choose to source our Palo Santo sticks within areas where collection involves broken branches only.

And how about sage?

Although information on when it was first used varies, herb-burning has been around for centuries, and is thought to date back as far as 4500 years ago.

White sage is one of the most popular forms used widely, as it is a sacred herb for Indigenous Peoples of America. Although, common sage and lavender sage are also used by people of different cultures.

Burning sage, or, as referred to by native cultures in America, smudging, is another form of cleansing, yet it differs slightly from Palo Santo.

Not only does sage neutralise unfavourable energies – it provides a clean slate and dissolves all energy, including the bad.

Top tip: sage oil extracted from fresh leaves can be used to soothe insect bites.


It is entirely up to you if, when and which tool you choose to use. However, Sage is great to use on objects (including crystals), allowing for new inventions to be cast; while Palo Santo is great for spaces and your own immediate environment: your aura.

Please be aware: if you choose to use Sage and Palo Santo in your practices, do your best to ensure they are sourced responsibly, and that your use comes from a place of light, with respect to the cultures who have used them from the very beginning.

Have you learned something new today? Would you like to hear more about caring for your crystals?

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Burn incense, carry crystals,
trust your intuition...

Good luck,
The AK Vibes Team

   READ NEXT: Sourcing and processing Blue Chalcedony at our own factory!

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