How I create Palo Santo Smoky Quartz Water and the call to boycott palo santo.
I have been meaning to do this post for a while and had some concerns around the use of Palo Santo in my signature Smoky Quarts Palo Santo Elixir.
I learnt early on when sourcing my Palo Santo there was some confusion around the supply of Palo Santo due to its recent popularity trending around the world as we incorporate this grounding and sacred ritual into our own mindful practices.
What you need to know is there are two South American trees called Palo Santo, both which are frequently enjoyed for their rituals and fragrance.
Even though the trees share the same name Palo Santo, they are two totally different species that grow in different parts of South America.
The two species are
Bulnesia Sarmientoi is threatened with over-exploitation … I do not source this!
Bursera Graveolens, is the sustainable source which I use for our distilling.
For reference and easy way to tell the two types of Palo Santo apart: Palo Santo from the threatened Bulnesia sarmientoi tree is dark and reddish, mahogany in its appearance. Palo Santo from sustainably harvested Bursera graveolens, such as what I use is yellowish-tan, similar to pine.
In a sad twist, the misguided call to boycott Bursera graveolens removes opportunities for sustainable livelihood in Ecuador, which actually then encourages forest clearing for cattle grazing and other land-degrading industries, while it does nothing to address the overconsumption of Bulnesia Sarmiento in Argentina and Paraguay.
I only source from a supplier that gathers wood from fallen trees that have aged at least four years, allowing the resins to naturally develop. They have adopted a tree planting program having helped to plant over eighty thousand Palo Santo trees in the Manabi region of Ecuador to ensure the abundant future for this beautiful tree, but it also preserves and restores habitat for a host of critically endangered endemic plants and animals.
How I create Palo Santo Smoky Quartz Water.
The making of the Palo Santo/ Smoky Quartz Sparkling Water involves shaving palo santo and steam distilling it. I then take an extra element of double aged American Oak to further amplify the sweet yet smokey flavour of the Palo Santo, which results in the over use and wastage of Palo Santo. Once distilled all the component are combined with water and lightly sparkled.
This method of shaving Palo Santo is based on traditional methods of herbal Palo Santo tea.