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Palo Santo vs Sage: The Correct Time to Use Each One

Palo Santo vs Sage: The Correct Time to Use Each One

For centuries, spiritualists have used the powers of nature in order to cleanse themselves and the world around them. 

Plants and trees have special healing powers that, when burned, will release energy. 

Two amazing gifts nature has given us are palo santo and sage. Both of these can be used to help us heal, grow, and cleanse. 

They can bring so much to your life when used correctly and respectfully, so it is important to know how and when to use them! 

In this article, I will be looking at palo santo v sage and the differences between them.

So, when should you use palo santo, and when should you use sage? 

Palo Santo vs Sage – The Difference

Both sage and palo santo have a long and rich history, used by Native American and Latin American cultures for centuries.

Palo santo translates to holy stick and healers have long used this plant to cleanse and purify. 

The act of burning sage (known as smudging) has long been a huge part of Native American tradition and is a sacred spiritual and medicinal plant. 

If you are new to palo santo and sage, I would strongly recommend you take time researching and understanding their history and culture before using them.

This means that you can be mindful and respectful when using the plants. 

When it comes to palo santo vs sage, their main difference is that sage cleanses your space of negative energy, whereas palo santo brings forth positivity. 

Sage is normally understood as being more powerful than palo santo, as it can rid the space of both negative and positive energy.

It really does totally cleanse the area in which it is burned, which is really helpful if you are wanting a complete refresh. 

Palo santo, on the other hand, is much more gentle.

Burning it can also cleanse the space of negativity, but it does so by adding positivity. It will never take away any spirits or positive energy, but add more positivity to the area. 

Palo Santo vs Sage – The Correct Time To Use Each

Palo Santo vs Sage

Now we know the general differences between palo santo vs sage, we can look at the times when you may need to use a certain one specifically. 

When To Use Palo Santo Instead Of Sage

I would never recommend burning sage every day, but palo santo is a great spiritual tool to use daily.

Because of the gentle and positive energy that is released when it is burnt, it can add a nice boost to your vibes that won’t overwhelm you. 

This means that you can incorporate palo santo into your daily spiritual routine. 

Palo santo moves energy into the space you are in, so it can unlock creativity and inspiration.

If you are suffering from a creative block, or need new ideas for a project, burning palo santo can open up your mind to fresh inspiration. 

Palo santo is great to burn when setting intentions for yourself and the upcoming months.

When meditating and setting intentions, burning some palo santo will bring a boost to your energy, allowing you to truly focus yourself on where you want to be and what you want to do. 

When To Use Sage Instead Of Palo Santo

When it comes to palo santo vs sage, one key difference is their strength. Palo santo is gentle, whereas sage is pretty powerful. 

Because of this, I would be careful how often you burn sage. This is because it has the ability to get rid of all energy in the space, both positive and negative. 

However, burning sage from time to time is absolutely necessary in order to rid you and your home of any negative energy.

Think of it as having a ‘deep cleanse’ from time to time, completely refreshing the energy around you. 

You will also wish to use sage instead of palo santo if you have recently been through a heavy or negative experience.

If things have been particularly tough for you, for example, if you have fallen out with a friend, reach for some sage. 

Burning sage will rid you of the negative energy, allowing you to draw a line under what has happened and move on. Its amazing powers will clean all negative energy around you.

Unlike palo santo, which moves energy into the space, sage will move the energy out of it. 

Another key difference when it comes to palo santo vs sage is how they work with you. Palo santo works more with your inner world, such as your creativity and intentions.

Sage, however, works better with the outer world. You will want to use sage when dealing with outside negative forces, as smudging will repel them and cleanse your space. 

Palo Santo vs Sage FAQs

comparing palo santo vs sage

Both sage and palo santo are amazing spiritual tools. However, before using them you must research and understand them properly. 

I am going to look as some questions you may have in regard to palo santo vs sage, in order to make sure you are confident before using them! 

Can Sage And Palo Santo Be Used Together?

A question that often gets asked when sage and palo santo are mentioned is if they can be used together.

Because one repels negative energy and the other brings forth positivity, it makes sense to burn them together, right?


You should never burn sage and palo santo together, but rather use them one after the other.

If you burn both at the same time, the energy in your space can get confused, and you may not get everything you should out of the process. 

However, sage and palo santo can really complement each other well if used one after the other. 

Remember how sage gets rid of all the energy in the space? Well, this means that it gets rid of positive energy too. It completely cleanses!

So, burning some palo santo after smudging sage is a great way of bringing fresh positive energy into the space you have just cleansed. 

With sage, you are cleansing and letting go of negativity and past issues.

After you have smudged sage, and it is out, burn some palo santo to set intentions and bring fresh energy to your life. 

Is Sage or Palo Santo Better For Cleansing?

Both sage and palo santo can be used to cleanse the space around you. However, they do so in different ways. Because of this, neither sage nor palo santo is better for cleansing.

Rather, they are different

Palo santo is good for a general cleansing, bringing forth positivity.

Sage is more useful when you want to completely cleanse your surrounding space, especially if there has been a whole load of negative energy floating around. 

Many people will say that sage is better for cleansing because it is stronger and really rids the whole area of energy.

I really think that it depends on what type of cleansing you are wanting. 

Sometimes, sage can be a bit too intense and therefore palo santo might be better for cleansing. This is because it uses positive energy to cleanse.

Whilst sage can also get rid of positive energy in the space around you, palo santo works with the positive energy in order to cleanse. 

When it comes to palo santo vs sage and cleansing, it is really down to your own needs and spiritual state! 

❤️ Related Post: How To Cleanse Crystals With Palo Santo – A Simple Guide

Are there any Sage and Palo Santo ethical issues?

Sage and palo santo ethical issues

Like anything that can be purchased and used in the modern world, there are ethical issues when it comes to sage and palo santo.

Because of an increase in the demand for these plants, there are suppliers who are not using sustainable and moral methods of harvesting. 

When it comes to palo santo and using it for spiritual practices, the tree must have died naturally and left on the ground for four to ten years before harvesting.

This is because of the spiritual transformation it goes through during death and the spiritual energy that is released after. 

If you are wishing to purchase palo santo for spiritual uses, make sure that it follows this tradition and buy from a reputable source. 

Similarly, you must make sure that the sage you are burning is responsibly sourced.

Always research the shop you are buying from and read about their practices and sources. 

It is also important to be aware of the culture and background of both sage and palo santo.

By having respect for the spiritual plants and their history, and sourcing them responsibly, you are able to ethically use them in your life. 

Palo Santo vs Sage: Two Amazing Spiritual Tools

I hope this article on palo santo vs sage has helped you understand the key differences and how they can be used to help us on our spiritual journey. 

Palo santo and sage are both types of incense that can cleanse our homes and spirits.

They allow us to connect with nature and bring forth positivity, as long as we use them respectfully and properly!