Long time blog readers might remember Ecuadorian Hands. This South American company ethically and sustainably sources natural products like tagua nut beads and I have been fortunate to have reviewed them before (see my tutorials linked below).

About 6 years ago, they also sent me some palo santo (Spanish for "holy stick") wood beads. I made a simple elasticated and beaded mala bracelet with these.  The tutorial is here

The wood from the Bursera graveolens tree is collected from dead trees from the seasonally dry tropical forest of Manabi province along the coast of Ecuador (marked on the map below):

The tree is in the same family as frankincense and myrrh.  The citrus-pine smell reminds me of sandalwood, another scented tree which grows in Asia and Australia.  Palo santo has been burnt as incense or the oil rubbed on bodies since the time of the Incas in purifying rituals.

Update : There are actually two species - Bulnesia sarmientoi which is endangered due to illegal logging. Ecuadorian Hands works with Bursera graveolens which is not endangered. Their reforestation efforts of Bursera graveolens will ensure their long term survival and not fall to the same fate as the other species. They move saplings from overcrowded areas to barren ones and nurture their growth. They have also started growing new ones from seeds dropped by the trees during the rainy season. 

They work together with the agricultural faculty of the Technical University of Manabi as well as with local native communities. 

Extra trees anywhere on our planet, especially since we are losing so much forest and jungle each year, is good for us.  Trees not only absorb carbon dioxide but they also produce more oxygen than they need. Approximately 7-8 trees are required to produce the oxygen one person needs per year. 

Last year, they began making red bracelets with palo santo beads for sale which helps finance their reforestation program and new nurseries.  I received one as well as other palo santo products for review.

These are nicely packaged - here is the front and back of the small box. 

As you can see from the reveal below, each bracelet comes with a small vial of palo santo oil to recharge the scent on the wood bead as needed. 

It is a simple cord bracelet with a sliding knot which just happens to be in my favorite color!  

These adjustable cord bracelets are super light to wear.  Here are my tip if you have never worn this kind of bracelet before.  You do not need another person to help you tighten the bracelet. Just place a finger or thumb on the knot against your wrist. Then use your other fingers to pull and tighten.

I just tuck the ends of the cord around the bracelet itself to keep them out of the way. You could also shorten the cords by making new knots and trimming. 

I know some of you might like to wear cord bracelets all the time, including in the shower.  But not this type because the wood bead needs to be kept dry. 

Ecuadorian Hands is giving away 12 of these bracelets to help raise awareness and support for their environmental project. 

You can also purchase loose 9 mm round palo santo beads, soaps, incense sticks and other products from their website. 

The palo santo essential oil is available in a larger amount. Like all essential oils, the scent is strong. 

It also needs to be diluted with carrier oil before applying to the skin.  Enjoy it for the scent it possesses. Some people like it because it relaxes them.  Incense is also used in meditation, to help focus the mind. But it's not a good thing for your lungs to burn incense indoors. A better way is to heat the essential oil with the right apparatus.

Palo santo is rich in limonene which is also a major component in the oil of citrus fruit peels. This is why some people think palo santo could also be used as a mosquito repellant. Unfortunately other essential oils have not been found to be good insect repellants even at higher concentrations and it may well be the case with palo santo oil even if applied very frequently.  Next summer, I will test it out when I go camping.  Given my experience with ineffective citronella candles, I suspect several smoky incense palo santo sticks will be needed, not just one. And a person needs to be pretty close to the smoke for it to be effective. 

Palo santo is sacred to Indigenous people - they use palo santo incense sticks in their sacred rites such as their smudging ceremonies. They believe the wood removes negativity and purifies. 

If you'd like to win one of 12 Palo Santo bracelets from Ecuadorian Hands,  please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is for US only.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, January 24, 202. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM