4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Sacred Smoke: The Magic and Medicine of Palo Santo (Kindle Edition)
As a speaker and writer on Herbal Fumigants I was alerted to the free Kindle download of this book by a friend. I was delighted to receive it and looked forward to reading it.
The style is wordy and New Agey but I thought I could put up with that. Unfortunately apart from a brief encounter with an Ayurvedic group at the beginning where Palo Santo is used as an incense, the entire book is sales literature for the essential oil that the author imports and sells.
It is the story of an Italian immigrant to Ecuador making 'new' use of the plant as an oil. There is barely a whiff of the ethnobotanical use of the plant by the indigenous population, whether as a fumigant, other medicinal use or as an entheogen. Apparently most of the locals under 40 have forgotten what Palo Santo is for, other than that the smoke repels mosquitos! The authority of the Italian oil-maker is underpinned by a passing conversational reference to a 17th century Spanish botanist called Fraile, who even the author thinks is fictitious, or at least is an amalgam of any passing clergymen in Central America!
This is not a book about sacred smoke,fumigants, incense, fragrance, ethnobotany, or even the wood; it is a brochure for the oil. Very disappointing.