Patchouli Essential Oil is the oil derived from the leaves of the aromatic plant “Patchouli”. Patchouli has 3 different species, Pogostemon Cablin, Pogostemon Heyneanus and Pogostemon Hortensis. The oil is derived from the Cablin species due to its superior nature and properties as compared to the other two species. The use of patchouli oil is said to have originated in the South East Asian region as early as the 1800s.
The main components are patchoulol and α-patchoulene. The concentration used is directly proportional the amount of oil being extracted. There are two methods used to extract the oil: steam distillation and using supercritical carbon dioxide at different pressure levels.
Patchouli essential oil has a strong aromatic scent and is commonly known to be a relaxant as it acts as a soothing agent for the nervous system.
Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil
1. Patchouli Essential Oil Helps Fighting Cancer:
The alcohol present in patchouli oil has an anti-tumorigenic behavior and helps fight against cancer cells present in the human colon. Colorectal cancer is also known as colon cancer or rectal cancer. It refers to any cancer of the colon or rectum. It is now said to be the second most common cancer worldwide, coming in after lung cancer. An aromatherapy massage using patchouli essential oil helps with constipation in patients, which is one of the major symptoms faced by those suffering from cancer. There is still ongoing drug testing for other types of cancer and how effective the oil is.
2. Patchouli Essential Oil is Used as an Aromatic Agent:
Due to its strong earthy scent and musky nature, patchouli essential oil is often used in the perfume industry, ranging from perfumes of luxury products right down to the everyday deodorant. We also see the oil being used in incense sticks and pot-pourri. It can also be mixed with anise and clove to work as a mouth freshener. It is also added as a flavoring to a number of items such as baked items, gelatin, frozen dry desserts, beverages etc.
3. Patchouli Essential Oil is Used as an Antimicrobial and Skin Agent:
Patchouli essential oil has strong antimicrobial qualities and works effectively for skin-related issues such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores. It can also help reduce swelling from snake and insect bites. It has antiseptic properties that aid in quick healing. It also prevents the infection from spreading further. The oil also acts as an anti-fungal agent for surface wound and skin infections.
Patchouli essential oil is also widely used as a skin care product as it helps keep the skin bright and taut, giving a younger look. It acts as a moisturizer and works well to keep dry skin soft and supple. The oil is also used as an anti-aging solution as it helps prevent wrinkles. It helps with tissue regeneration, thus, also promoting the regrowth of skin cells. It works well for scars, burns, acne, cuts, stretch marks and a host of skin care problems. Frequent use of the oil can hide scars and lasting marks as well.
4. Patchouli Essential Oil Combats Depression:
Patchouli oil is a great anti-depressant. It is an instant mood booster and works directly on the body’s nervous system. It is usually used as a massage oil in aromatherapy for this purpose. It has a calming effect on the person undergoing the massage and removes disappointment, giving a relaxed stress-free aura.
It can also be used in a burner, emitting a natural sweet fragrance. The fragrance is picked up by the sensory nerves and also assists in relaxation and fighting anxiety issues.
5. Patchouli Essential Oil Acts as an Aphrodisiac:
Patchouli essential oil has been used to increase sexual libido and heighten arousal for centuries. It is even able to cure problems like erectile malfunctions and frigidity. By those in the know, the oil is a better substitute for the medication available in the form of tablets etc., as the oil is a natural source, thus having minimum side effects.
6. Patchouli Essential Oil has Dietary Benefits:
Patchouli essential oil helps in controlling the frequency of urination along with the amount of urine being excreted. As a result, it helps directly with weight loss while improving appetite as well. Majority of people suffer from either cholesterol or blood pressure or both, owing to the fast-paced stressful lives we lead. Patchouli oil lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, which is key in this day and age. Regular use of patchouli essential oil can help with the prevention of stones forming in the gallbladder or kidney. Stopping the development of gallstones and kidney stones makes the oil a popular choice, rather than trying to undergo treatment to either dissolve the stone or have it removed via surgery. It also helps in preventing conditions such as gout. A gout is a form of arthritis. It is often caused as a result of uric acid crystals in the joints.
7. Patchouli Essential Oil as an Insect Repellent:
Patchouli essential oil is often used as an insect repellent, not just on humans, but for clothing and cloth items as well, such as linens, woolen shawls, and rugs. It is mixed with water to disinfect bed linen. It is also used in body lotions, sprays, fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks etc. to keep mosquitoes, lice, fleas, ants, bedbugs, and moths at bay. It can also be used to chase away pesky flies. This is especially useful at campsites, etc where insects are plentiful and bites can cause the onset of harmful diseases.
8. Patchouli Essential Oil Can be Used as a Cosmetic:
Patchouli essential oil is heavily used in the cosmetic industry, especially as a luxury product. Since it allows the cosmetic product to have a “natural” tag, it is extremely popular with animal activist groups and those opposed to animal cruelty and testing for the gain of good looks. Patchouli has been exploited by the cosmetic industry to be used as a huge selling factor in products such as bath gels, aromatic soaps, body lotions, aromatic shampoos and hair oils, cosmetic fragrances, etc. Its natural fragrance allows the industry to bottle it easily without the need for a lot of addition of other scents. The natural oil can mask body odor effectively, however, it needs to be diluted as the aroma is very strong. While most people find the smell astonishing and attractive, there are some who believe the smell is too strong and causes irritation to the nose. This is why most perfumes (and other fragrance enhancers) in the market do not use a pure version of the oil. Instead, they dilute the oil and mix it with a synthetic substance with similar properties and smell which gives it a more tolerable fragrance.
The complete study on medicinal value of patchouli essential oil and other leafy herbs can be found here
Cautionary Use of Patchouli Essential Oil
It is generally non-toxic and does not cause irritation or sensitizing, however, is advised for external use only.
Due to heightened olfactory senses, certain people may feel nauseous with the overuse of patchouli essential oil in its purest form.