Palo santo, sandalwood, incense sticks or sage;

Do you want to clear your space, your aura or your crystals and are confused what to use?

In this article we will see what the differences are between the most popular options for energy clearing!

Energy clearing

Energy clearing is the cleansing of dirty negative energies. Imagine for example that we have a clean plate and a piece of trash falls inside. What are we going to do? We will remove the trash because it is a foreign body! In the same way when we do energy clearing, we remove incompatible and dirty energies.

There are many ways to do energy clearing such as with:

  • the power of thought/imagination
  • prayer
  • essential oils
  • salt
  • the Sun
  • Sounds

and one of them is by burning plants with special properties.

Let’s discuss the most popular plant choices.

Palo Santo

palo santo

Palo santo (sacred wood) is a tropical tree in Central-South America. It was used by the Incas and the Shamans in special ceremonies. Traditionally, people used only dried twigs that had fallen to the ground on their own, and used them for burning. In recent years, unfortunately, due to the sharp increase in demand, the collection method is not so traditional and ethical anymore. It is important to buy Palo Santo from Brands that you know are “Ethically Sourced”.

The smell of authentic palo santo is excellent. It is very sweet and resembles frankincense and neroli. It is not suitable for powerful energy clearing. I recommend it for gentle aura cleansing or for small crystals. One downside is that every now and then the smoke stops and you have to relight it.

Tip: to keep the smoke longer try shaking the palo santo. A lot of people rotate the palo santo clockwise or anti-clockwise when it burns.


It has similar characteristics with palo santo. It is recommended for mild cleaning.

You can find sandalwood sticks easily in the market, as well as sandalwood essential oils. Based on Pranic Healing the color of the sandalwood prana is green.


white sage smudge stick

Known for its properties even in Ancient Greece. It is a powerful cleanser!

Based on pranic healing, it has green, blue and purple energy, which is why it cleanses more powerfully than palo santo and calms at the same time.

It is also recommended for energy clearing Spaces (while palo santo, as it is milder, is not so suitable). It is suitable for crystals energy cleaning but the downside is that they smell strongly of smoke afterwards. For this reason I suggest other ways for crystals, like palo santo, thibetan bowls, salt cleansing (as long as it is safe for the crystal), pranic energy clearing with electric violet prana (if you know pranic healing), Reiki dry cleaning and Cho Ku Rei symbol.

You can easily find smudge sticks of dried white sage in the market. If you have a large space and want to clean it with sage, I recommend following the tips from Mark Bajerski.

Incense sticks

incense sticks

This is a very practical way. The big disadvantage is that no one knows exactly what they contain. Another disadvantage is that they have little smoke compared to e.g. a sage smudge stick. This can be partially countered by lighting multiple sticks at once.

Choose brands that are ethically sourced, and use quality materials. Some poorer quality sticks are black in colour but this cannot be a reliable criterion. As you try more brands (Goloka and Satya are among the best known), you will understand what the best quality ones smell like. They have a more natural smell while the others smell more chemical. If they smell like chemicals throw them away!

I recommend sticks for a nice essence in your room and for cleaning small crystals. There is a nice combination of palo santo and frankincense from Goloka brand, that I believe is superior to other common sticks for energy cleansing – try it! People who have smelled it have been impressed. You will find it very easily if you Google it.


Have fun using palo santo, sandalwood, sage and sticks now that you know the differences! Contact me for more information.

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