How differentiate the 100% real palo santo vs fake wood
Palo santo has become a very popular incense nowadays, which makes the product in high demand and sensitive to counterfeiting: How can we tell a real holy wood from a fake one?
Fake palosanto certainly exists and is more common than you think. The quality of each palo santo depends on many factors.
When it comes to holy wood, quality is everything. There are a number of factors that can affect the quality of palo santo, including the age of the tree, the time of harvest, the climate, the natural decomposition time in the sun, and the preservation process of the palo santo.
a) Age : One of the most important factors in determining the quality of this sacred wood is the age of the tree. Older trees produce higher quality wood, so if you can find sticks that come from older trees, you are more likely to get a higher quality product. This fact breaks the myth that palo santo with small holes are “bad”, on the contrary, the holes are proof of a longer decomposition time of the dead tree.
b) Collection time: The time of year in which dead holy wood logs are collected can also affect their quality. Palo Santo that is harvested in late spring or early summer (in warmer and less humid conditions) is typically higher quality than Palo Santo that is harvested in winter or fall.
c) Weather: Weather can also have an impact on the quality of palo santo. If the tree is grown in an area with a hot and dry climate it will produce better quality wood than if it is grown in an area with a cold and humid climate. The climate originating from the north coast of Peru, specifically in Piura and Tumbes, ensures the best quality.
d) Time of natural decomposition in the sun: The adequate time of natural decomposition in the sun (3 to 10 years) of the palo santo trunk before turning it into sticks can also affect its quality. If the wood is not properly cleaned and dried before it is made into sticks, it can also affect the quality of the finished product. Many unscrupulous Peruvian companies are cutting down live trees and drying them using artificial methods. It is easy to detect these products because they are lighter in color, have little odor and usually develop a dark layer of fungus within a few months.
e) Conservation process: Finally, the way of this wood is preserved can also affect its quality. If wood is not stored properly, it can lose some of its potency and become of lower quality.
How can we make sure that we have bought a good palo santo?
The tree that produces palo santo grows only in certain parts of South America and is protected by international laws to ensure its survival (CITES). In Peru it is regulated by SERFOR, a state agency under the Ministry of Agriculture. This makes the wood even more rare and expensive. When purchasing palo santo, it is important to be able to identify a real, high-quality product. Here are some features to look for:
1. Color: The first is that the wood must have a deep and intense brown color. If it’s lighter in color, it’s probably not real palo santo. Popularly known as Palo Blanco. There are also certain Chinese companies that sell other wood scented with essential oil of palo santo.
2. Smell: The sacred wood has a very distinctive smell, sweet and earthy. If the wood doesn’t have this scent, it’s probably not good palo santo.
3. Texture: The stick should be solid and not hollow and very difficult to break or chip.
4. Burnt: It should be light and easy to burn, some rods have high content of oil or solidified resin.
5. Ashes and smoke: The ashes should be white and powdery.
6. Origin: the authentic palosanto in the world market has origin only in Peru and Ecuador.
If you can find palo santo that meets all of these criteria, you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality product.
How to buy high-quality and legal palo santo?
When looking for holy wood it is important to remember a few things to buy the best quality product. First of all, make sure the source is trustworthy. There are many places that sell palo santo, but not all of them are legal, many of the exporters of this product have huge lawsuits, confiscations in sea and air ports and convictions for the illicit trafficking of this valuable resource. Do some research and read reviews before buying from a particular seller.
Palo santo isn’t cheap, so if a seller offers it for an unusually low price, be wary. It’s important to remember that you get what you pay for, and in the case of palo santo, quality is key.