Palo Santo means "Holy Wood" and is used in cleansing and purifying rituals in much the same way as White Sage Smudge. It is a wonderful, deeply aromatic wood which has been used by the Incas and people of the Andes for many centuries. It's purpose is to purify and cleanse, to get rid of evil spirits and influences and it's smoke is believed by many to have healing and therapeutic powers. This material is from Peru.
Smudging ceremonies using herbs, resins, Palo Santo Wood and incense are a custom of many indigenous cultures throughout the world, including North American indigenous peoples. Traditionally used in rituals, ceremonies and for spiritual purification, house blessings and spiritual cleansing. The smoke is believed by many to cleanse either a space or the body and aura, drive away negative energy and help reconnect with mother earth. Make sure the room where you are smudging is well ventilated. Open all the doors and windows. This is essential to not only drive out the negative energies (provide them with a route out) but also as a health precaution. Do not use if you suffer from Asthma or have respiratory issues. Do not use near infants or young children or anyone who is or may be pregnant. Do not leave burning smudge unattended! If you are just starting out with smudging don't be too worried about which instructions are 'correct' or 'work best'. Do what works best for you and 'feels right’ for you. Your 'intention' is a key component of the ritual so be clear on what you want to achieve and keep that in mind as you perform the ritual. At the end of the ceremony make sure the stick is extinguished. You can crush the end in sand or dirt, place the cover of the pot over it or simply place the stick in the open water container. Just be sure the stick is extinguished before it is left.