Patchouli Essential Oil
For many the idea of patchouli is inextricably linked to the Indian culture. It conjures images of brightly colored silks, spicy food, mystical meditation and peaceful yoga and still seems connected to the people who discovered many of its uses. In spite of its perceived unbreakable link to India, patchouli actually originated in the Philippines. It made its way from that archipelago to China, where ancient healers in Chinese medicine unlocked the herb’s ability to fight digestive issues, combat fever and calm skin ailments. It would take another 1,500 years to reach India and the Ayurvedic healers who would put the herb to new uses.
In India, the discovery that the herb could repel insects from prized fabrics and people was an exciting new direction for the herb. Patchouli perfume also made a big splash here, complementing other fragrances and oils and lasting long throughout the day. We now know that patchouli oil is a fixative, so it not only lasts a long time itself, but it also helps other essential oil aromas in its mixture stay strong.
Earthy and musky, Patchouli has stirred the olfactory senses of the world for centuries, first in perfumes and now in patchouli incense sticks and aromatherapy applications. Patchouli oil’s aroma is considered to be stronger than any other plant-derived essential oil scent.
In many cultural and regional cuisines, you’ll be delighted to find that patchouli oil is added to a wide variety beverages, foods, candy, baked goods and meat dishes.
Discover the Delights and Benefits of Patchouli
- Skin. Patchouli oil can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema and athlete’s foot. Chapped and mature skin may also benefit from the application of patchouli oil.
- Insect Repellent. Insects are repelled by the scent of patchouli applied to exposed skin.
- Frigidity. Hippies of the ‘60s can attest to the aphrodisiac properties of the rich, earthy fragrance of patchouli oil. The earthy, musky scent inspires earthy thoughts, the oil also stimulates the sex glands, making it a potent aphrodisiac.
- Stress. Placing patchouli oil in a diffuser can alleviate stress, providing a calming, grounding state.
- From mystical meditation to peaceful yoga, the aroma of patchouli oil has been used for centuries to facilitate prayer and spirituality.
- Root Chakra. Aromatic patchouli oil leads one to experience the warm, vital, balanced root chakra to protect and to reconnect one with the earth.
Patchouli oil can interact poorly with certain drugs, so be sure to talk to your physician before using the fragrant oil. The oil may also prevent blood from clotting, so use with caution. Sensitivity with topical use may occur, but you can test your skin’s tolerance of the oil by diluting it with a little water or a carrier oil to perform a patch test. Keep in mind that patchouli oil has a tranquilising effect, so you may feel drowsy after use. Kids who are younger than 6 years old should not be given patchouli oil.
- Botanical Name: Pogostemon cabin
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
- Plant Part Typically: Leaves
- Color: Deep golden brown
- Consistency: Thick to medium
- Perfumery Note: Base
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
- Aromatic Description: Earthy, woody aroma with a hint of fruity