For years, Patchouli Essential Oil was recognized for its sweet aroma and was used as an incense and base in making perfumes. But beyond the unique scent is a great wealth of benefits that can heal the body and cleanse the soul.
Besides its versatility, the best thing about Patchouli Essential Oil is that, unlike most essential oils that oxidize and lose their aromatic and therapeutic strength over time, Patchouli Essential Oil improves as it ages, just like fine wine. Aromas of a certain distillation which were unpleasant to a customer at first can, with time, come to be loved.
Patchouli essential oil in history
Patchouli Oil is derived from a bushy herb belonging to the mint family. The plant is characterized by stems reaching three feet in height and small, pink-white flowers. The flowers and leaves are easily recognized for their rich, earthy and woody fragrance.
The Patchouli plant traces its origin from the mountainous Southeast Asia, where 18th-century silk traders traveling from China to the Middle East carried dried Patchouli leaves to prevent moths and other insects from laying eggs on the material. Further South, in 19th-century India, Patchouli was used primarily as a perfume for shawls and fabrics.
Today, the Patchouli plant is extensively cultivated in Indonesia, China, India, Thailand, Taiwan, The Philippines, and Malaysia. It can also be found thriving in the wild forests of South America, Hawaii and other tropical regions.
The oil is extracted from the plant’s dried leaves and flowers via steam distillation as a thick, brown or light yellow liquid. When left to settle, the brown or yellow turns to a deep amber, and the scent becomes smoother and more refined.
Patchouli oil uses
Patchouli has been a valuable essential oil for years. While primarily used as a fragrance, it eventually found its uses in traditional Asian medicine, where it was employed in the treatment of skin and hair conditions, such as dermatitis, eczema, acne, chapped skin and oily scalp.
Modern experts have, however, expanded the list of health benefits of Patchouli Oil to include boosting the immune system, enhancing mood, stopping fungal growth and reducing inflammation.
The following are some of the most common uses of Patchouli Essential Oil.
A remedy for inflammation
Since the early ages, inflammation was a known symptom of many diseases and illnesses. And one of the reasons why Patchouli oil was so valuable was its antiphlogistic qualities.
Patchouli oil can soothe internal inflammation that comes with conditions such as arthritis and gout, and also remedy external swelling caused by certain skin infections.
To treat inflammation, rub a few drops of Patchouli oil into your palms and gently massage the agitated area.
Because of its mood-lifting properties, Patchouli Oil is used by aromatherapists all over the world. Inhaling the oil has a pleasant effect on our hormones, where it encourages the excretion of dopamine – typically called the “happy” hormone – and serotonin. These hormones reduce the feelings of anger and anxiety and induce a sense of peace and calmness.
Patchouli Oil’s antidepressant characteristics have made its use common during prayer and meditation. You can easily experience the effects of Patchouli oil by adding a few drops to a warm bath, or an indoor oil burner.
Like many essential oils, Patchouli is an antiseptic, meaning it prevents bacteria from infecting wounds, cuts or sores and causing bigger problems, like tetanus. Additionally, Patchouli kills fungus and can, therefore, help to battle fungus conditions like Athlete’s foot.
For self-treatment, simply apply a few drops of the oil on the infected area. You could also make yourself a warm bath with five to ten drops of Patchouli oil.
Strengthening hair and skin
Patchouli oil maintains healthy hair and skin by stimulating muscle contractions and regenerating skin cells, which prevents hair loss and keeps the skin young, vibrant and healthy. Any type of skin, - normal, dry, cracked or oily – can benefit from the healing properties of Patchouli oil.
For this reason, Patchouli oil is packaged as an ingredient to many hair treatment products, lotions, and moisturizers. You can also add a few drops yourself, and apply to your face, skin, and scalp directly.
The use of Patchouli oil as a stimulant dates back to ancient Roman culture, where it was used to boost the appetite. Presently, the oil is considered a hormone empowerment and is one of the natural remedies for hormonal imbalance.
Moreover, inhaling the Patchouli fragrance increases libido or sex drive by boosting testosterone and estrogen levels. This effect has led to its widespread use as an aphrodisiac.
As with all essential oils, never expose undiluted Patchouli oil to the eyes or nose. If applying to the skin, always start by doing a patch test to a small, insensitive part of the body.
Information about the effects of Patchouli oil to children and expectant/lactating women is not consistent, but to be safe, avoid administering to children under the age of six. And if you’re pregnant, consult a health care professional before introducing the oil to your diet.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.